Friends Jennifer, Kevin and I get together occasionally at Bret’s Table to cook, what some would say are complicated desserts. That wouldn’t be my definition. We just cook whatever looking fun and interesting. Most recently we have been testing various French Macaron recipes, some with more success than others. To date though, we haven’t found one that is a consistent winner.
We are beginning to wonder why we are having so many failures. Is it the recipe or are we baking them off during the wrong phrase of the moon? Are we beating the batter too much or too little? Given our frustration, can I just say that French Macarons are finicky little buggers! Our quest though, is due to the fact that the first time Jen and I made them they turned our perfectly. I think it’s called beginners luck! Every time since then something goes haywire; the foot doesn’t form, they’re hollow, they don’t rise, etc. They’re frustrating to be sure, but a delectable treat we have pledged to master one of these days.
In the meantime, we needed to take a break from the macaron disasters and decided to try our hand at baking a Framboise et fruits de la passion Gâteau Mousse. This is a cake that Jen learned to make while attending the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris a few years back. We got started on the cake at Bret’s Table on a recent Saturday afternoon, stopping ever so briefly to nosh on some spicy guacamole from Whole Foods and enjoy a delicious fresh heirloom tomato salad and duck rillettes while sipping a couple of glasses of wine. Okay, maybe that’s why it took upwards of 5 hours to prepare, bake and assemble the cakes.
The recipe is not quite ready for publication, as omissions were found, particularly in the “la méthode”. Actually “omissions” is an understatement as recipes at the Le Cordon Bleu, if I remember, have only the ingredient list. The students are responsible for writing the method based on what they are shown by the chef instructor. Jen was kind enough to retype the notes she had taken in class but as we discovered time away from the recipe had caused some lapses in technique. It’s nothing we couldn’t solve, but will require some tweaking of the written word when we get together to bake it again.
Regardless, I wanted to share a picture of our first attempt. I’ll post other projects as we do them. Until then, thanks for pulling up a chair at Bret’s Table.