Archive for May, 2008

Mad about Purple Macarons

Monday, May 12th, 2008

              Inside the macarons

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my tardiness in replying emails the past few weeks. There’s been a sudden influx of requests and enquiries and I haven’t had the chance to sort through all my emails. Please bear with me for the moment!

This post is about another batch of macarons (and a local dessert). The common theme here is the colour purple (or lavender, if you like).

Lavender Macarons

Flavour #4: Lavender macarons with honey vanilla buttercream. I’ve seen lavender used in macarons on several blogs, but haven’t tried it out myself. I wasn’t too sure about this flavour since lavender isn’t commonly used in food around these parts.

The macaron shells gave off a lovely floral scent and I loved the honey vanilla buttercream. But I was definitely too generous with the lavender flowers. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the scent, but once I’d bitten into the macaron, I found the taste too floral. Don’t be fooled by those pretty, tiny lavender buds; they pact a powerful punch flavour-wise. If I ever make these again, I’d definitely be more conservative.

Violette Macaron

Flavour #5: Violette macarons with cassis buttercream. I was more than happy to finally have an excuse to splurge on some Sevarome natural violette paste, although I wonder if I’ll ever be able to finish the entire 1kg tub. The cassis buttercream, made with pure blackcurrant purée, was wonderfully tart and completely delicious with the violette flavoured macaron shells. This flavour is a definite keeper!

              Ubi Macaron with Ubi Paste

Flavour #6: Ubi (yam) macarons with ubi paste. This flavour was first suggested by one of my students, Maggie. Thank you so much for the idea, Maggie! I hope your macaron adventure is going well. :)

This flavour is, without any doubt, my favourite of the lot. The yam paste filling was wonderfully fragrant and smooth. But it does have its “issues”.

First, there’s the extra step of preparing the yam paste. This same yam paste turned the macarons shells soft after a day. The filling is also a lot heavier than buttercream and one runs the risk of the delicate shells collapsing under the weight of the filling if they aren’t consumed within a day of being filled.

Still, I find these macarons irresistable and will certainly be making them again. :) Besides, I have another excusereason for making ubi macarons. I could never use up an entire yam for the macaron filling, which leads me to the perfect solution for all that leftover root: “or-ni” (dialect pronunciation) or yu4 ni2, 蓣 泥!

              Yam Paste Dessert

“Or-ni” is a local Teochew yam paste dessert. It’s made with yam, sugar and oil. The original version of this dessert is served with gingko nuts, pumpkin slices and sugar syrup, although I’ve also seen the paste served with creamy coconut milk.

The raw yam is first steamed and mashed up. It is then combined with sugar, cooked with oil in a wok or large pan until all the ingredients are well combined. By this time, the paste is completely smooth and no longer sticky. The yam paste is then steamed together with pumpkin slices and gingko nuts. Lastly, sugar syrup (boiled optionally with crushed water chestnuts) is poured generously over the paste and served hot. It’s definitely one of my favourite local desserts!