Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Le Big Mac

Vincent Vega: "And you know what they call a... a... a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris?"
Jules: "They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?"
Vincent Vega: "No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the **** a Quarter Pounder is."
Jules: "Then what do they call it?"
Vincent Vega: "They call it a "Royale" with cheese."
Jules: "A "Royale" with cheese! What do they call a Big Mac?"
Vincent Vega: "A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it "le Big Mac"."
Jules: ""Le Big Mac"! Ha ha ha ha! What do they call a Whopper?"
Vincent Vega: "I dunno, I didn't go into Burger King."

That's possibly one of my all-time favourite scenes from my all-time favourite movie - Is Tarantino a genius? Or is Tarantino a genius? I watched it for the nth time recently.

OK, enough preamble.
A tall, big (relatively speaking) macaron-inspired dessert. I'd made a batch of salted butter caramel macarons - hands-down my all-time favourite flavour, incidentally - and thought it would be fun to work a composed dessert around the caramel au beurre salé theme, featuring my all-time favourite ingredient quartet. Much beurre d’Echiré, fleur de sel de Guérande, crème fraîche d'Isigny and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla later...

Friable salted chocolate sablés are layered with caramelized milk chocolate ganache (I used Valrhona Jivara, which has beautifully pronounced burnt sugar notes. So rather than simply heating cream, the cream was combined with a deep amber caramel before pouring over the Jivara fèves. Once this mixture cools, it's emulsified with a goodly lump of softened salted butter). The macaron perched atop this crisp-creamy, sweet-salty tower is the business. I find the salted butter caramel filling utterly moreish. And will sheepishly admit to being capable of demolishing whatever is leftover from filling the macaron shells neat, straight from a spoon - no wonder my enthodontist loves me. A small scoop of crème fraîche ice-cream, a smidgen of vanilla-infused caramel sauce, and shards of macadamia-studded nougatine round things out.

The best part of it all? Leftover components to make simple-yet-scrumptious, spin-off treats, such as these sandwich cookies (salted chocolate sablés plus caramelized milk chocolate ganache, topped with a flake or two of sea salt).
I had a fair bit of extra ganache, discovered that it made for a magnificient macaron filling, and have been amusing myself at teatime the last couple of days trying to decide if I like the salted butter caramel macarons or the caramelized milk chocolate ones more.

PS: Speaking of macarons, this macaron and biscotti class is back! I will be teaching only 2 sessions of this demo class, held on 24 May 2008 (Saturday) and 25 May 2008 (Sunday) at Shermay's Cooking School. The May schedule has all the details; for inquiries, please call +65 6479 8442 or email


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi J, you are back!! Goodness, your blog is neglected...I miss reading your posts which are really far and between now. Do try to post more often - your fans want to read!

12:22 pm, April 30, 2008  
Blogger Veron said...

Whenever I get orders for assorted macarons, my customers always choose caramel fleur de sel as a flavor. Beautiful big macs!

8:08 pm, April 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joycelyn, you know how happy I am you are back - with such beautiful creations as always! Just reading your words makes my mouth water, the delicate salted chocolate sables look especially gorgeous (I wish they travelled well). I love the scene from the film too :) You must be very busy - do take care, and enjoy your classes. kxxx

10:58 pm, April 30, 2008  
Blogger Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Love Tarantino :) And those macarons look sooo good!

2:32 am, May 01, 2008  
Blogger Cannelle Et Vanille said...

It was so worth the wait. Beautiful creations for the yes, the mouth and the brain. You are a master!

7:17 pm, May 01, 2008  
Blogger Mama Mia said...

yeay! New post! Oh my~ those macarons look divine. And my husband ALWAYS says those lines when we go to McDonalds in Paris. haha

12:50 pm, May 02, 2008  
Blogger 'kwse said...

Wow. Those look absolutely lovely.

4:07 pm, May 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog, and it's lovely!

8:54 pm, May 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooohhh I hope I can attend your class! I may drop in Singapore next month. I still can decide the dates yet... :-( Thanks for the infos.

As usual... i love your blog & the photographs - they are so inspirational.

4:43 am, May 04, 2008  
Blogger Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

Ohhhhh! These all look simply scrumptious.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

10:55 pm, May 04, 2008  
Blogger Steph said...

Oh! So beautiful. Absolutely stunning.

4:00 am, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Gato Azul | Chat Bleu said...

Ah là là... quel site superbe!

5:59 pm, May 05, 2008  
Blogger Chef JP said...

First visit to your blog. Simply wonderful-- Thanks!

7:33 pm, May 05, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in awe........ and would so love one or two of the caramel gems while sipping my coffee lingering around your site. Just incredible!

6:46 pm, May 06, 2008  
Blogger maybelles mom said...

I just found your blog, and how I wished I lived in Singapore to go to your class. I read all your tips (from a 2006) post and made my first batch yesterday (chocolate with caramel and violet with ganache). Thanks so much for the tips, the taste and crust was right, but no feet. But, I didn't wait two hours--I got impatient. Alas. But, the bug has hit me and I will try again.

8:08 pm, May 06, 2008  
Blogger rainshiney said...

I love your blog!! And yes, like many others, how I wish I were in Singapore to attend your classes... would you be willing to share some tips and recipes with an eager learner (all the way across the Pacific)?

1:10 pm, May 09, 2008  
Blogger SteamyKitchen said...

Hello! I have a new obsession, and it's the new Haagen Daaz flavor called Fleur de Sel Caramel...oooooh I could eat the entire pint for breakfast (and I have!)

Lovely Veron sent me a package of macarons and it was the first time I had ever had one...

10:14 pm, May 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog, thanks for sharing.
- George Ya76oo

9:23 pm, May 15, 2008  
Blogger Y said...

Heh. A great film indeed. I also like, "Check out the big brain on Brad!". Caramelised Jivara ganache is one of my favourites too - I seem to keep finding excuses to put it with anything. Sometimes I mix an adult portion of alcohol into the ganache and use it as a truffle filling.

12:39 pm, May 16, 2008  
Blogger tangobaby said...

I think you are more of a genius than Tarantino (although I entirely agree with you that is a brilliant movie and you've chosen one of it's best scenes).

I cannot believe how a photo of your macarrons makes me instantly hungry and I wasn't even thinking about food.

8:14 am, May 21, 2008  
Blogger さくら said...

Nice to meet you,
I'm from Japan.
It became reference very much!!
Thank you  (^o^)/

Indeed I am sorry,
Please link to this site.

3:32 pm, May 23, 2008  
Blogger iwhip.iwok.icraft said...

Hi Joycelyn,

Thanks for the wonderfully conducted class yesterday and I am truly inspired after the class, I went back to try the biscotti (the easier one compared to macarons) immediately and baked my first batch today. It turned out a little burnt, think I baked it for too long during the second bake, otherwise it taste good! Next week I am going to try the macarons!


7:59 pm, May 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made the biscotti as recommended and they turned out really great. Many thanks to your really foolproof recipes (and if it doesn't work,it will really only be my fault)

Can't wait to get started on the macarons real soon.

6:34 pm, May 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I attended your class on 25th May. Oh me oh my, my first batch of macarons just came out of the oven and they are gorgeous!!!!!!!! Only 4 split but that's because i was so impatient and put them in only after 30min of drying in an aircon room. But i'm so amazed by their smooth domes and even more so since this is the first time in my life i'm making macarons. Many many thanks for such detailed, foolproof and replicable recipes. You save me from insanity (and wastage).

Now i'm waiting for the next batch.....

3:20 pm, May 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I am in singapore to attend your lessons!

9:29 pm, June 03, 2008  
Blogger Venus ~ Vi said...

OMG! Stunning creations as always! Makes my mouth water~

12:48 pm, June 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hats off to you... i attended your pmacaron class and made it, the result was perfect! Need to practice on the piping but everything went fine. All my friends and relatives enjoyed it. Now I have to agree with you, it is not difficult but just a bit tedious. :)

10:01 pm, June 14, 2008  
Blogger galleryfang said...

I want to take the macaron and biscotti class? When is your next class? am from Indonesia. :) thanks

1:31 pm, August 07, 2008  

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