Bye Bye Summer, Hello Fall and Macarons.

10 Oct

Sigh :(.  Summer has come and gone finally.  Gone were the warm days filled with bright sunshine, high temperatures, fireworks,  long line ups for ice cream and in their place are the shorter sun filled days, crisper air and lower temperatures at night.  Brrrrr.    The beauty of it was that Vancouver remained beautiful as it transitioned from a sunlit warm bright blue sky to a multitude of colours ranging from golden yellows, to oranges, red and dark red.  Fall was here alas.  Soon there would be kids jumping around on piles of raked leaves and having a marvelous time.  A sight that will be!!

I was in Steveston last weekend to gorge myself on food while market hopping at the last outdoor Farmer’s Market in Steveston; another sign that the seasons are changing.   Steveston has always been an attraction for me as everything was centralized.  All the fresh seafood, pastry shops, coffee bars, restaurants, parks and condos were located within a 10-15 minute walk and because of the convenience, Steveston attracted hundreds of locals almost every day or weekend for that matter.  What made it even more appealing was the Farmer’s Market that happened every two weeks.  It  was a gathering of artisan vendors stemming from jewellery, bakery and farmers showcasing what they had to offer to attract dollar signs from the public. 🙂   I got some really nice peaches for the road and boy were they plump and juicy.   Next up was walking down to Gary Point Park for a nice stroll around the seawall.

Gary Point Park was another favorite destination amongst locals, besides Pajos Fish and Chips, as evident by the number of people strolling  side by side chattering away, families lounging on the lush green grassy turf and kite fliers flying their kites while relaxing in the distant.  It was a place where individuals and I went to unwind in quiet solitude.   There was nothing more calming than to look out at the glistening water while listening to the sound of waves crashing softly onto the shoreline.  The experience was quite tranquil and serene.  As always, all good things come to an end.  I had to work that evening sniff sniff.

On the other hand once I got off work, I used what was left of my time to make more goodies.  A good way to end the week on a high note don’t you think?  I have been flipping through pages of my pastry book by Laduree recently and have been salivating at some of the morsels again.  Even worst, I found myself surfing the net looking at macaron pictures and drooling.  I think if anybody looked any closer they would see me salivating.  Pretty horrible wasn’t it?  I was like the puppy in Pavlov’s experiment, all that was missing was the bell 🙂  I guess it was time for me to make macarons again.  Well…that’s not really true, I made it for friends as well.

This time I decided to half the recipe so that I could make two types of macarons.  As a fan of caramel and chocolate, I decided to make a dark chocolate macaron with a dark chocolate caramel ganache.  Tips on making macarons could be found here https://evasbakingpassion.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/summerbiking-beaches-berry-picking-and-baking/.   The chocolate macaron batter was made  first by adding cocoa power to the almond meal and icing sugar.   Through observation, I found the batter quite thick and dry after adding the cocoa hence will reduce the cocoa next time.  The batter had to be smooth and flowing.  Nonetheless, the macarons developed feet when baking and didn’t  crack; I had somewhat succeeded.  The caramel for the dark chocolate ganache was first prepared, then combined with the ganache and piped  onto the chocolate macarons. 

For the other half of the recipe, I decided to make my favorite flavour pistachio.  I have recently been craving the aroma of fresh roasted coconut thus I made a roasted coconut ganache to go with the pistachio macaron.  In preparing to make the ganache, I first toasted the coconut, then boiled some cream and infused the coconut with the cream.  I then combined the coconut mixture to the chocolate to make the ganache.  Once the pistachio macarons where ready, I simply piped the coconut ganache onto the macarons and garnished them with raspberries.  Not bad for a weekends worth of market hopping, relaxing and baking ehh….

Chocolate Macarons adapted from Laduree

260 g ground almonds (I roasted and ground my almonds; finer texture)

2 50 g icing sugar (I sifted the icing sugar)

15 g cocoa power (I used 3.5 tablespoons)

6 egg whites

210 g granulated sugar

Enjoy!!!

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