Sunday, May 23, 2010

For my AP World Literature class, each student chooses a country at the beginning of the year that they will research and write a paper on at the end of the year. In addition, a class length presentation will be given on a topic of our choice relating to the country. When choosing the country, everyone thinks mostly about what kind of fun presentation they would like to do, and what country would allow them to do it.It took no time for me to realize mine would obviously be food related. And what better country than France? I focused on two main areas for my presentation: Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and Macarons.

The only picture I managed to take of them, and they look super sloppy=(

Finding out about Le Cordon Bleu was really interesting and definitely gets me thinking about what it would be like to take an actual cooking class. But the macarons were definitely the best part of the project. I researched their history, compared recipes, and then went ahead and made them myself. It was REALLY intimidating reading other people's blogs and hearing how difficult it is to make these. Between cracks, no feet, correctly mixing, resting before baking, and baking times, I was getting quite nervous.But I jumped right in. If they weren't perfect I wasn't going to complain. I've never had one before so I really wouldn't know the difference anyway, right? I'd seen them all over the blog world and was so anxious to try them myself and see what all the hype was about.

I made three kinds. Even though this was a HUGE project for my class, I managed to take very little pictures? Idk. I'm stupid. But they were:

1) Coffee-espresso macarons with a dark chocolate nutella ganache filling
2) Regular macarons with a dulce de leche cream cheese filling
3) Chocolate macarons with a raspberry buttercream filling

All three were a hit. The order I have them in is about how I ranked them taste wise myself.
I really really really liked these! Macarons are so amazing. I have googled but have yet to find anywhere near Pittsburgh that sells them=( But hey, I make pretty darn good ones that I don't need anyone else's! (For the time being. Especially since I wish to visit Laduree!!!)

Fluffing my aged egg whites...

Mixing the dry to the meringue

The coffee-espresso mixture

Allowing the coffee-espresso's to rest 30 minutes before being placed in the oven

The chocolate ones turned out the worst. They tasted fine, but they structurally weren't the best. Many of them cracked, and I don't think very many formed feet.

The plain white macarons by far came out of the oven the best. Perfect feet on everyone, and no cracks in the bunch!

However, I'm not sure if cooked them long enough. They turned out wonderful, let's not forget;) But The ones in the middle of the baking sheet never came off easy and usually separated themselves. See below. It made for great excuses to try them, though...

Here is the lovely dark chocolate nutella ganache being generously spread on the macaron cookies.

When I gave them out at school, the reactions were completely unexpected. Everyone loved them. I brought in definitely over 40 I think, and I brought like 3 home. I still hear compliments about them weeks later. I actually got really emotional over the reviews. I mean, I like to consider my self an amateur baker, but everyone was sooo nice about them. They made me feel amazing!!

Quick Notes: Almong flour from the store was not fine enough. I had to sift it for hours! Yeah that was pretty sad... Plus it was soooo EXPENSIVE! If I make these again, (which they were sooo easy and sooo amazing that I should!!), I will buy/borrow a food processor and grind my own almonds!


  1. Julie said...:

    These look amazing! Wonderful presentation. Macarons are on my list to make this month. I may be calling on you for assistance.

  1. Sherry G said...:

    Thanks Julie! I actually feel like I did a really good job on them, especially for it being my first time. With the exception of the chocolate ones, I think they turned out just as they should have=)

  1. Ingrid said...:

    First time? You knocked these out of the park! And three different types? You go girl. I'm with Julie, when I finally get around to making these I'll be emailing YOU!

  1. Sherry G said...:

    Thank you! Haha and if you do come to me for help, I'll do my best! Honestly I think this was a rare case of "beginner's luck"!

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