Procrastination comes all-too easily to an "I can do everything, really I can!" individual like me. So I'm squeaking in j-u-s-t b-a-r-e-l-y with my entry in the First Annual Macaron Challenge from Sucré, the New Orleans sweet shop. (If you're inclined, click through and vote for A Veggie Venture's contribution, there's no need to register and I'd much appreciate it! Voting ends May 31, 2014.)
You see, Sucré challenged thirteen fabulous food bloggers to come up with our own sweet takes on the French macaron, one of Sucré's own specialties. So here I am, this morning, this very morning, with the sun shining brightly into our new kitchen, making my first macarons! And I must say, they weren't the least bit hard, took only 30 minutes hands-on time and turned out quite-awesomely fine! It's quite a thrill to check the oven while the macarons bake, hoping against hope that the tell-tale "feet" (those are the rough edges along the bottom, they're intentional!) will appear as the meringue cookies rise up in the heat. And mine did! Still, I'm no expert in making macarons so will save macaron-making lessons for my fellow bloggers, links to their posts are below.
But what I am happy to share is the filling I used for my macarons, a gorgeous sweet potato buttercream with the real taste and texture of sweet potato, the lovely earthiness heightened with a touch of ginger and orange. It worked beautifully for the macarons and would also be a great center layer for a sweet potato layer cake; you could even substitute carrots for sweet potatoes for a carrot cake!
And here's what's most cool! Sucré has opened up its macaron challenge to everyone, bloggers, home bakers, anyone who's curious or compelled or even just crazy for macarons! Here are the details. For recipe inspiration, I recommend checking out Tartlette; just enter "macarons" in the search box in the right column. Helene's base recipe is generous with almonds and stingy with sugar. Another idea, this one sugar-free? Try out Sucré's fun app, it's "Bejeweled" only with macarons! Details here!
My Disclosure Promise The good folks at Sucré invited A Veggie Venture to participate in this challenge and sent a complimentary box of their own house-made macarons. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.
RECIPE for SWEET POTATO BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 1-1/2 cups
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4oz/113g) salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (50g) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon ground ginger
In a bowl, use a fork to work the mashed sweet potato and cream together, getting it as smooth as you can. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, whip until very smooth and light, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Taste and adjust the liqueur and ginger to taste.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I cooked the sweet potato in the microwave, Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato.
For something ultra-smooth, mix the sweet potato and cream in a mini food processor. I really liked the texture of the sweet potatoes though.
For a non-alcoholic version, use frozen orange juice concentrate, I'd start with a teaspoon and adjust from there.
Because macarons are so sweet, I used less sugar in the buttercream frosting than you might want for a cake, say.
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MORE FAVORITE "SWEET" RECIPES
~ Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ~
~ Straight-Up & Perfect Rhubarb Pie ~
~ Honey Pumpkin Pie ~
~ more sweets & baking recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Mojito Strawberries ~
~ Upside-Down Rhubarb Cheesecake ~
~ Mexican Mango Trifle (Ante de Mango) ~
~ more "Summer Easy" dessert recipes ~
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