Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mad About Macarons with Jill Colonna

Remember how thrilled BEAR was when Mad About Macarons arrived in the mail? Yesterday we met up with author Jill Colonna at her favorite pastry supply shop, Mora - 13, rue Montmartre 75001 To get the scoop on all her fav pastry tools for making macarons!! Jill's favorite bowl scraper (about 1 euro). More expensive, but this metal scraper will remove your cooled macarons (after 10 minutes) with one wisk of the hand - voila! Jill likes the Flexipan molds for baking.
Over the plastic kind...
Nozzle #9 is perfect for making macarons - I bought one too.
Jill uses Exopat parchment paper to line her baking pans, not Silpats.*And only bake ONE pan of macarons in the oven at a time!
*PLEASE TAKE NOTE future macaron makers!
You need a proper pastry scale if you want to make proper pastry. All the pros everywhere use them. The measurements in grams in the book are universal. Every pastry chef worth his/her salt has a scale to get the exact quantities correct. C'est comme ca.
Making pastry is chemistry and not a casual handful of this or that.
Another thing Jill pointed out - is get to know your oven.
An oven thermometer is the best way. Macarons can be fickle - much depends on your oven.
Another lecon. Jill does NOT use a Kitchen Aide to beat her egg whites.Simply a Moulinex hand-held electric whisk.
So we can all get down and start making macarons, myself and BEAR included!
Here's a sneak peak inside Jill's shopping basket.
Jill could not be more adorable or accessable or generous with her secrets. Do visit her new blog, Le Blog. And for heaven's sake get her book!
BEAR is thrilled at the prospect of actually making some macarons of his own.Plus Jill has promised a follow-up lecon next trip if we do our macaron homework.
We were both smitten with Jill's bag from Lupo by the way.
The outside of Mora FYI - they couldn't have been nicer or more helpful and the prices are less than across the street at Bovida...hmph
Jill insisted on taking me to Jean-Paul Hevin's new Chocolate Bar, but that's another story.
*Noted in Jean-Paul Hevin's windows -> 'overbeaten' macarons.
See the dents? Ha! Who knew?
Shall we all get baking?
I'm ready to plunge in enfin.
BONJOUR MAD ABOUT MACARONS & Jill!

31 comments:

  1. After two years of reading (and drooling) over your macaron photos and artworks, a Swiss bakery 15 miles away from my home finally started selling macarons! Of course, I drove right over to buy some today, since
    it was "Jour du Macaron."

    I was surprised at the size of the macarons from the Swiss bakery. Each one was approximately 1 1/4-inches in diameter.
    Is this the standard size? They seem larger in the photos and videos I have seen online, but
    perhaps my perspective is off.

    warmest regards,
    IsDihara

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  2. Jill looks like a great person - it looks like you guys had fun together!
    I enjoyed the whole post until you got to the part about the oven. You have to cook these things?! Good grief!
    (Nozzle # 9 has potential as a song title.)

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  3. (I think that if you hold down the "Alt Gr" key [assuming you're on a pc] while typing "c", you can get that "ç" you need for "leçon")
    all the best!

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  4. Oh, sweet Paris! :-)

    (Blogger had my longer and oh so witty original comment!)

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  5. Alright, I intended to write "Blogger ATE my comment" - my brain cells suffer from pollen attack! ;-)

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  6. What fun. In all my years of reading your blog, I have concluded that you're always doing the funnest (that's a word, right?) things.

    Marsi

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  7. Justine8:58 AM

    Merci for sharing all of Jill's secrets of the macaron trade!
    I feel much encouraged to get cracking in the cuisine!!

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  8. Maybe macarons can replace cupcakes and whoopee pies in the USA!
    Looks like you're having a ball. xox
    Pam

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  9. I have yet to get my courage up to try making macarons. This post has been most helpful and inspiring.....perhaps in the near future, I'll give it a go.

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  10. Great post! How much fun you must have had with Jill Colonna; shopping and discussing macarons!! I just reserved a copy of her book at my local library and can't wait to join in on the fun :-)

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  11. Sounds like you and Bear are having a wonderful macaronful trip! Can't wait to find out what you're doing next!

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  12. I had such a good time yesterday with you and I also got to meet Bear. Thank you for sharing the fun!

    Just so no confusion (since I was rambling a bit, must be my Scottish accent), I don't use any fancy parchment paper for macs (exopat or silpat) but just simple baking parchment paper (greaseproof paper) that you can easily find in supermarkets...
    I can't wait to see you again soon in Paris.
    Jill x

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  13. Oh my. This is why I BUY my macarons, and don't make them. Guinness chocolate with a "frothy" frosting? No problem. Cream scones? Nothing to it. Swedish almond cake? Yep.

    Macarons? TERROR! Let me know how yours turn out when you get home!

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  14. Fantastique! post. YOu Carol are guilty of turning me on to macarons in my severely macaron deprived environment. So deprived in fact that my first trip to a place that had macarons: London, I got the variety pack from Paul's and found it hard to share. My own attempts have be sad but promising and now armed with Ms. Colonna's insider wisdom I will try, try again. Also, she seems a delight. What a nice surprise it is to find someone so invested in their "art" that they take joy in sharing it..I am sure it was a fun day for you both...thanks for sharing.

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  15. The pastry scale makes good sense--I have one of those. I like parchment paper for baking, (and for cooking fish etc in, too, for that matter.)

    So, Carol--are you going to make macarons now? I hope so! Have fun!

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  16. I am sure it was a fun day for you both...thanks for sharing

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  17. What fun you had meeting up with her. I have tried a few times to make macarons myself to dismal results. How can a small little thing be so difficult?
    Bear looks like he is having fun.

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  18. Jill is indeed formidable if she has convinced you to try making les macs!

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  19. I will have such wonderful dreams tonight with macarons dancing around in my head.

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  20. Love reading all your lovely comments. You know, I honestly believe Bear is going to give macarons a go. It's exciting! I think not needing the KitchenAid helped ;-)

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  21. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Seriously, why can I not find a pastry supply shop like this in the States! Having everything in one spot would be wonderfully amazing! *sigh.

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  22. Just wanted to share a tiny bit of link love with Paris Breakfasts since
    I tasted my first macarons earlier this week. Delicious! Your post
    highlighting your shopping outting with the author of "Mad About
    Macarons" was the deciding factor for which Macaron book to buy. It was a great post (as are all of your posts)!

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  23. Flexipan molds??? Does she use molds for her macarons or just pipe them.

    I've been making macarons for a little while now and have the technique down but would love to get a more uniform size with molds (even though I know that would be cheating :)

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  24. Can you imagine how I got crazy about this post?? Carol, I love it!! I will see her blog, and I will buy her book!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Beijos!!!

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  25. Ok, carol!! I just did it!! I bought the book!! wow!!xx

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  26. Hi Melissa,
    Hope you don't mind me answering via a comment here since you ask about molds.
    No molds are needed for making macarons. Just pipe them: that easy. They become more uniform the more you practise. The molds are for cakes, brioches, quiches etc. for the times I don't eat macarons... ;-)

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  27. I do have the book and I'm absolutely jealous about your personal shopping expedition with Jill! Wonderful tips you have given, thanks!

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  28. Wonderful post! I just purchased Jill's book and I can't wait to get started baking macarons.
    Do you know anywhere in the US to purchase molds? I'm a little (okay, a lot!) intimidated to make these.
    xoxo, B

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  29. Hi Carol,
    sorry for the confusion.. I was referring to the Flexipan molds that are mentioned in the post.

    Glad to hear that you and Bear had a fabulous trip!

    PS: Where to find the best macarons in NYC? I'm planning a trip for next month and, although they won't compare to Pierre Hermé or Ladurée, I hope to find a place that serves great macarons.

    xoxo, B

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  30. Mora is also one of my favorite place to swing around when i got nothing to do LOL
    Anyway i love JPH salon du the !

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