now, with all the videos and wedding photos out of the way, it's back to our regularly scheduled programming.
wednesday night i had the privilege of attending an event at the coach store on bleecker street. it was a lovely event (as per usual, the waiters pegged me as "the girl who will eat anything" and always came to me first with their trays of h'ordeuvres and champagne [not that i'm complaining,]) not only for the food, drink, & beautiful bags, but it was teeming with lovely ladies - claire, christine, keiko, kim, natalie, lindsey, katy, and jenni. we all chatted, ate and drank, eyeballing the lovely purses all the while, until closing time when we got to choose whichever one we wanted. i selected this bright red shoulder bag from their new collection, which i think will work nicely with all the color in my wardrobe. i wore this peter jensen dress i snagged on sale at asos awhile ago and have been saving for a special occasion since. (for the purpose of full disclosure, these photos were actually taken in my kitchen last night while macarons were resting, haha. i woke up too late wednesday morning to take pre-event pictures, and got home way too late on wednesday.)
dress: peter jensen
brooch: c/o tiffany
purse: c/o coach
i adore this dress. it has all this smocking (is that the right word?) coming off the collar that floats behind you as you walk. it's a tad big, though - i need to figure out a way to take it in a tad at the waist. and the red of the purse and blue of the dress are pretty much my favorite color combination, ever.
so! one of my exciting weekend plans is attending a bastille day party tomorrow evening in manhattan. i have a feeling i was invited half because they wanted me to bring sam and half because they wanted me to bring macarons - but hey, if i can put on a dress and dance, i'll take whatever invite i can get. so i stayed up last night baking a batch of vanilla bean shells, to be filled with dark chocolate ganache.
now. a word about macarons. i get emails asking for tips or advice from time to time, and i'm always happy to share any tips i have - after all, i've made my fair share of them, for events large and small, and i even went to french culinary school to be taught the proper way, for goodness sake. i STILL have my struggles with the things. some of it i blame on my awful, brooklynite oven - it's got hotspots worse than a damn volcano, and it often leads to leaning, wonky-footed macarons. sam has seen me lose it over a botched batch on more than one occasion. BUT. after a few pretty-damn-perfect batches in a row, i think i have three words that will change your macaron world forever: egg.white.powder.
when i'm having a tough time with macarons, i turn to this lady: she is a macaron master. her most recent french macaron recipe (linked) includes 5 grams of egg white powder with your sugar (what you use to make the meringue) and every time i've used this recipe they've been spot on. last night i tried it in my awful oven for the first time, and every single macaron came out, dare i say, perfect. here's the recipe i used last night:
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vanilla bean macarons with dark chocolate ganache
100 g egg whites (room temperature)
29 g sugar, with one whole vanilla bean's seeds scraped in
5 g egg white powder
125 g almond flour
200 g powdered sugar
sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar; set aside. combine sugar & egg white powder. whisk your egg whites (i just use a hand mixer, it gives you a bit more control than a stand mixer,) until there's no more yellow and they're white and foamy; slowly add the sugar/egg white powder, whisking all the while, and beat and beat until you have not-quite-stiff peaks and your mixture is white and glossy. use a sieve and sift in the almond flour/powdered sugar mix in five batches - mix in a fifth, fold in with a spatula until it's well mixed, and repeat 4 more times. once it's all combined and no lumps remain, spoon this into a piping bag and pipe onto parchment paper on a heavy duty sheet pan (pipe a tiny bit of batter onto the four corners of the tray, so that the parchment sticks down,) leaving about an inch between each dollop. tap the tray twice, hard, on a table to release any bubbles and let the macarons sit until they don't stick to your finger when you touch them - i let them go for about an hour. place them in a pre-heated 300 degree oven and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through.
for the ganache:
4 ounces of dark chocolate and 4 ounces of cream. bring the cream to a boil and immediately pour over the chocolate; let it rest for a minute or two, then whisk slowly, from the inside, until it's all combined and smooth. let it sit until room temperature and then pipe a little dollop onto one half of a paired up macaron shell. voila!
what are your plans for the weekend? tonight i think we're staying in and taking it easy, and then tomorrow we've got some more baking to do (and i'm hoping to sneak off to the brooklyn flea) before our party in the evening. then on sunday, any of you new yorkers should come to williamsburg - my friend rachel, who started up terrific magazine, is bringing together a bunch of awesome brands, food, and booze for a big sale at union pool.
i'll be stopping by there early afternoon then heading to another friend's place for some barbecue and homemade ice cream.
hope you have a great one!