Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What I Have Been Reading Wednesday, Les Petits Macarons…

Les petits macarons LFS
     It is a very rare occasion when a cookbook makes me actually lust after the recipes and daydream of the recipes therein.  This cookbook has accomplished this feat.  Seriously this book is amazing.  The photography alone will make you running to the grocery store, to recreate the recipes yourself.  Now this is a specialty cookbook, course I am sure that you already realized that by the title.  This book only focuses on macarons.  In many ways I love specialty cookbooks like this because I feel like the item really gets the attention it deserves, and I get the guidance I need to create them.
     As all of you know, I am now completely gluten-free. *sigh*  I still miss my gluten!  I have been going through my cookbooks looking for recipes that were gluten free, or trying to make new versions of my old classics.  As I looked on my bookshelves and saw this it reminded me that, *drum roll please* macarons are gluten-free.  Can I tell you how happy that makes me?  At least one of my favorite things I won’t have to change or re-create.
      So on to the book.  I love the attention that they have given to every single detail.  It is the most thorough macaron cookbook I have ever read, and I have read a few in my day.  Written by Kathryn Gordon and Anne McBride, you can feel their dedication to the craft and their complete passion for baking.  Kathryn Gordon is actually and instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.  Anne is the director of Experimental Cuisine Collective at NYU.  They both focus on the importance of technique, after the technique is mastered the flavor combinations are endless. 
     I love that in their book they included a troubleshooting guide complete with pictures.  This helps to spot why exactly your macarons aren’t quite like theirs.  They show the different methods for creating the macarons, whether you want to try the French, Italian, Swiss, or Kathryn’s French macaron method.  They have a section called “Before you bake,”  I strongly recommend reading that section BEFORE beginning.  Even if you have made macarons before it will help, if you haven’t then this is a great way to help it be a positive first experience.
     One of the things that I love about this book, is that is does both sweet and savory macarons.  We have the traditional flavors, and then some a bit more out of the ordinary such as, foie gras with black currant gastrique.  That flavor is amazing by the way.  Or there are ones like; fleur de sel caramel or oatmeal cookie buttercream.  So far every recipe that I have tried has been excellent.  The recipes are very clear and easy to follow as well, which makes creating macarons easier. 
     While this isn’t an everyday cookbook by any means, it would be an excellent book for a baker, or an entertainer.  I love making macarons for when we entertain or have company.  Also I find a few macarons in a nice box is always a very much appreciated present.  There really are so many things to do with the recipes in this book.  It takes some practice, but completely worth it!

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