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.


IsDihara said...

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,

Nikon said...

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.)

K and S said...

fun fun!

Catanea said...

(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!

Merisi in Vienna said...

Oh, sweet Paris! :-)

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

Merisi said...

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

Anonymous said...

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.


Justine said...

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

Pam said...

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

Harriet said...

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.

Cfycup said...

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 :-)

Prairie Jill said...

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

Jill Colonna said...

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

Amy said...

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!

Jenny said...

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.

A Brush with Color said...

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!

Cindy Margott said...

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

Marie Arden said...

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.

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

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

Bill said...

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

Jill Colonna said...

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 ;-)

Anonymous said...

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.

Is'Dihara said...

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)!

Unknown said...

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 :)

Marina Mott said...

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!!!

Marina Mott said...

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

Jill Colonna said...

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... ;-)

Kim - Liv Life said...

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

Champagne Macarons said...

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

Champagne Macarons said...

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

我以為是我 said...

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 !