Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things

I have this new thing for cherry blossoms. They are so stunningly beautiful. Considering that my only interaction with cherry blossoms is through my Bath and Body Works Body Mist and through the countless pictures I keep looking at, I'm not sure how legitimate my adoration is or how long lived it will be. But in the meantime, I'm going to revel in them and indulge my love for them by looking at pictures of cherry blossoms and clothing myself with the Body Mist from top to toe!

And while I'm at it, I also what to share what Cannelle et Vanille has done with Cherry Blossoms! She got inspired by them and made macarons based on the theme.

Cannelle et Vannille's spread on macarons for Martha Stewart's Weddings
Cannelle et Vanille's Aran Goyoaga is a pastry chef and a self taught food stylist and photographer (incidentally, she uses a Canon 5D) whose beautiful blog is such a joy for the beholder. She writes simply and poignantly and her food styling is clean and crisp with a touch here and a tilt there.

I could spend hours on her site, just looking, gasping and learning. I wish there were more people like her in this world and I knew all of them!

Now, moving on to macarons. Not macaroons, but macarons (pronounced as in macaroni). Now macarons are these quaint little Parisian treats that the blog world and the real world has been going ga-ga over. If I had a penny for every time I have read about it on a blog, I could have started my own macaron shop by now. (Or moved to Japan and owned a cherry blossom plantation, for that matter! I could live in a little white cardboard house amidst the tree fairies and elves and I could party with the mad hatter and Alice! Sigh!). And here I am joining the bandwagon of bloggers!

Source: melangerbaking.com, colinwoon.blogspot.com, anh-minh.com, paulettemacaroons.com, ablefortwo.com.au,zencancook.com,notsohumblepie.blogspot.com

Anyhoo, macarons are these sweet treats made of egg whites, almond powder and granulated and powdered sugar (much like macaroons, except that macaroons are made of coconut powder, rather than almonds). The confectionery is characterized by a domed top, ruffled circumference known as the foot (you need to know this!), flat base and an eggshell like crust that (ideally) yields to a most, airy interior. And it is presented as a sandwich of buttercream or jam (or any filling for that matter,including ketchup) between the flat sides of the macarons.

While  Larousse Gastronomique (again, deserving of a whole blog) cites the macaron as being created in 791 in a convent near Cormery, some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II. However, the macaron as it is known today, called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron", is the creation of Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée, and is composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling. Popularly, Ladurée is recognized as the inventors of the macaron as we know it today. Awesome story, ain't it?

Now, if you're wondering what my point here is, I would like to say that this is about my latest dream: To move to Japan, buy a cherry blossom farm, build a Japanese style house, bake macaroons and sit in the shade of my beloved trees and read Cannelle et Vanille all day.

Sounds about right!

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