Archive for October, 2011

Mad about Plaisir Sucré Macarons

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

              Plaisir Sucré Macarons

The PH Macaron book has finally been published in ENGLISH last month after years of speculation about when it’d actually hit the shelves. This gave me the push I needed to try another recipe from my French copy of the book.

When I told H that I’d finally be baking macarons again, he immediately said, “I only like the chocolate ones!” So I decided to go with the Plasir Sucré macaron. Okay, so he doesn’t really like milk chocolate, but hey, at least it’s chocolate and there’s coffee (which H loves) in the shells!

Plaisir Sucré Macarons

I honestly thought that this particular recipe would be fairly simple to follow. But the fillings turned out to be really annoying to make.

First up, the hazelnut praline centre. The recipe said to “pour” the mixture into a gratin dish and leave to set in the fridge/freezer, but there was nothing pourable about the chocolate-nut mass I ended up with. I had to press the mixture into the dish and when I tried to unmold it from the dish, it wouldn’t budge a millimetre. To make a long story short, I ended up with many broken bits of praline and a very messy, chocolatey counter top.

Next, the milk chocolate ganache. This took more than 3 hours in the freezer to take on a even remotely “scoop-able” consistency. It was close to midnight and I had no idea if the ganache would firm up further, so I added more melted milk chocolate and the ganache quickly thickened up to a pipeable consistency. I’d definitely recommend making the milk ganache a day ahead.

Plaisir Sucré Macarons

The shells still turned out crispier compared to my usual macaron recipe. I was a little surprised by this since I’d already reduced the baking time and baking temperature, given my previous experience with his Macaron au Chocolate Amer recipe.

The crispy shells meant that the 24 hour maturing and 2 hour thawing time recommended in the book could not be ignored. This is the one thing that I dislike about the PH macaron recipes. I mean, who wants to wait an entire day and then some more to sink their teeth into something that already took more than half a day to make?

Macaron

So were the macarons worth the wait? Absolutely! I prefer the Chocolat Amer ones, but these were wonderful too. I especially liked the crunch of the hazelnut praline centre and the distinct taste of the hazelnuts. I was slightly disappointed that the Gavottes on the shells weren’t crispy anymore, but I’d already expected that given the humidity and the thawing time.

If you’re looking to purchase the English version of the book, I’m afraid that it’s already entirely sold out on Amazon and being offered at ridiculously high prices by resellers. You probably have a much better chance tracking the book down at your local book store, which is exactly what I did.

I’m ending this post with photographs of some other things I’d baked in the past 6 months and didn’t have time to blog about. Fingers crossed that my next post will be much sooner!

Strawberry Cheesecake

              Strawberry Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

              Triple chocolate mousse cake

Roasted Bell Peppers Pizza with Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese

              Homemade Pizza