Jean Philippe Patisserie, Las Vegas, NV

29 Jun

I was in Las Vegas for a mini vacation. Staying at Aria, it was super convenient to get down the elevator every morning to find that Jean Philippe Patisserie is right next to the guest room entrance. I grab my coffee and a pastry there before I am out and about to enjoy the sun.

Jean Phillipe is famous for his chocolate but at the patisserie, he also offered a lot of different lovely delicious sandwiches and sweet creations. One that caught my eyes was nonetheless, the Rose Macaron with Fresh Raspberry. The macaron was catchy not only because of its vibrant reddish pink color, but also of its size and beautiful edible sugar coated rose petals lay atop.

JeanPhilippe

The macaron cookie shell was of thinner type, so it wasn’t as chewy as expected. In between all the fresh raspberries were some delicious and very fluffy pastry cream. The rose petal was amazingly floral and delicious. The macaron this size was hard to eat but when you take a bite of all the component together, oh my, it was unforgettable! You get the crunchy sweet shell, tart raspberry, soft fluffy pastry cream–the different flavor and texture become very unison in the mouth.

Jean Phillipe is also available at Aria Hotel as well as Bellagio Hotel.
Extra tip: I personally find that it’s easier to find and get this decadent macaron at the Aria than Bellagio! Also,  call to see the macaron availability before heading over!

ARIA
3730 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(877) 230-2742

and

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(888) 987-6667

Miette Patisserie, San Francisco, CA

26 Jun

One of my favorite macaron flavors has to be hazelnut. It’s rich and nutty! Hazelnut flavor macaron is like one of the standard that every shop should have along with vanilla and chocolate. Of all the places I’ve tried, my favorite hazelnut macaron has got to be the ones from Miette Patisserie.

Miette Patisserie made their macaron with ground almond with the skin intact. And unlike most macaron shops, they do not use food coloring in their cookie shell and buttercream. Also, instead of placing them in the refrigerated display, they place them in these really cute jar. So as you move along the line, they are right at your eye level–super catchy and mouth-watering.

miettemacjars

Okay onto macaron tasting…so one major reason that Miette is one of my favorite macaron shop is because they have the chewiest macaron cookies! They’re thick and they are chewy! After a bite, you can see individual grain of almond meal that come together. The shell is also not as smooth as other shops because they coarsely grind their almonds. The buttercream is also to die for! It’s so light and super, duper silky! Yup, silky!

Miettemac

If you do plan to visit Miette Patisserie at the Ferry Building, try going on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday afternoon, when farmer’s market is also present! I can easily spend half a day there enjoying the lively atmosphere and delicious food!

Miette Patisserie
1 Ferry Bldg, Ste 10
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 837-0300

and

Miette
449 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 626-6221

Madagascar Vanilla Macaron

22 Jun

Hi guys! I’d been MIA forever! What have I’d been doing? Pretty much I did anything but baking macaron. I know, it was sad. The last batch I made consisted of a little over 100 macarons for a wedding and since then, I got a little overwhelmed. As much as I love baking them, I hit a road block where I like a break to get my inspiration intact and just to make sure I still have fun making them.

Anyhow, the 100 macarons I made was a little challenging considered I made them in my home kitchen, and it was toward end of the week on top of my full time job. The batch also consisted two different flavors–Madagascar vanilla and raspberry. I will give you tips on time management and what you can do to prepare everything and get them out on time in future posts.

100mac

In the mean time, the wedding batch consist of one of my favorites (and according to my friend, also the crowd’s favorite that night), Madagascar vanilla macaron.

The recipe is just the basic Italian meringue way, found in my earlier post hereMINUS the green tea powder and food coloring.

For the buttercream, here is the recipe:

Madagascar Vanilla Buttercream

[Ingredients]

1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups powder sugar
3 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla extract

[Instruction]
1. Sift powder sugar, and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat butter until soft and fluffy.
3. Add in powder sugar a cup at a time.
4. Add in Madagascar Vanilla exract
5. Beat until soft and fluffy. Use spatula to scrape down the side of bowl occasionally.
7. Ready to use.

100mac2

They look so simple and clean. But as always, fill with big flavor! I hope you enjoy it!

Pierre Herme’s Macarons!

30 Apr

My good friend Mei went to London for work recently. I ask her if she can bring me back some Pierre Herme’s macaron (if she doesn’t mind and has the time to stop by the boutique).  Ahh! The day after she returned, she stopped by with them! A whole box of 12.

The box is silky red. I felt it and looked at it, as if there are magic inside! Mei said they charge extra for the box. I plan to keep the box and set it aside with my Laduree one.

Unlike Laduree, Pierre Herme placed a plastic holder in the box, on top and under the macarons, securing them.

I couldn’t resist and didn’t wait for my first one to reach room temperature. Just from one bite, I can tell it’s not super sweet, and it’s to my liking. I brought the second one to room temperature, and omg, it was divine! Super chewy, the buttercream was velvety.

I cannot express how happy and thankful that Mei brought these back for me. I don’t think I’m visiting London anytime soon. So, it means a lot to me to able to try his macarons without paying a lot for shipping and have the box go to a lot of postal handling.

Black Sesame Macaron

26 Mar

I love black sesame desserts–ice cream, dumplings, mochi, pudding etc etc! So I figure, why not make a black sesame macaron!

You can get black sesame seeds whole or grinded already. One of the key to intensifying the flavor of the macaron is toasting the black sesame. You know they’re ready when you smell the sesame. The toasted sesame is then used for both the shell and buttercream.

So for the macaron, just use a basic macaron recipe and add 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame. For the buttercream, whipped 1 cup of butter with 4 cups of powdered sugar, and when everything is whipped. Lastly, mix in 2 tablespoon of toasted black sesame. Oh yeah, and the secret ingredient…sesame oil! Just add in 1 teaspoon when everything is blended.

Last but not least, the million dollar shot! Just kidding, but I just love the color of the buttercream against the lighter color cookies.

Happy Macaron Day!

20 Mar

Woohoo! It’s finally here, Macaron Day! Sooo…if I were in New York or Paris, I would be getting some free or discounted macarons right now, but I’m at neither. Aww.

I just got off work, and I am nowhere near a macaron shop or a bakery that sell macaron. I feel like I really should have one just for this day. What to do? Luckily, I have a few leftover chili chocolate shells, but I have no buttercream or ganache. I’m so tired that I don’t want mix up anything and clean up after either. Now what? Quick! Think of plan B! I opened the refrigerator and guess what, I have a pint of cappucino gelato in the freezer…score!

I had my first ice cream macaron cookie few years ago at Milk in LA. They put them all in a skinny tall see-through freezer. I stared and stared, and took forever to choose one flavor to eat at the shop. I ended up with the grasshopper one– it was delicious!!

Anyhow, cheers to Macaron Day with my chili chocolate macaron and cappucino ice cream sandwich, and a large cup of hot coffee!

Oh yeah, I sprinkled a dash of fresh ground coffee for that bitter coffee taste on the shell. You can also sprinkle them on top of the ice cream.

Have you ever had something cold and then hot right away? I took a bite of this and then had a gulp of coffee. Everything just melts in my mouth. It’s like drinking a root beer float!

Okay, time to go wash my ice cream scooper.

One More Day: Chili Chocolate Macaron

19 Mar

One more day until Macaron Day! In the mean time…

Who loves spicy food? I do!
Who loves chocolate? I do too!

One of my all time favorite chocolate flavors, next to hazelnut, is chocolate with chili. What really drawn me to it is the smokey and spicy aroma. I love chili powder in my meat marinade and on cheese and potato, but what makes the spicy chili even better is adding a sweet component to it, in this case, chocolate! A lot of chocolate brands such as Lindt and Vosges offer this flavor; and I’m glad I live near markets that sell them or can buy them on their website. So instead of making plain chocolate macaron, I want to make a chili chocolate one.

[ Ingredients ]

Shell:
1 batch of chocolate macaron shell
1 tsp red chili powder*

*the red chili powder I used contains ground chili pepper, ground cumin, ground oregano, garlic powder & salt

Ganache:
100g of dark chocolate
100mL of heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp of red chili powder (adjust to your liking)

[ Instruction ]

Shell:
1. Follow the chocolate macaron shell recipe, but also add the chili powder to the dry mixture.

I get addicted to pipping macaron batter circles sometimes. I get super excited and happy when they all line up and turn out the same size and shape!

Ganache:
1. In a pot, heat the heavy cream with the chili powder on medium heat.
2. Before it starts to boil, turn off and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate.
3. Keep whisking until chocolate is melted.
4. Add in butter, and continue whisking until smooth.
5. Set aside for later, or refridgerate if using it for the next day (thaw in room temp).

Assemble:
1. Fill a piping bag with ganache. Cut a hole 1/2 inch hole at the tip of the bag.
2. Pipe ganache onto cookies.
3. Place another cookie on top of the ganache.

I think I was being too generous on the chocolate ganache. The macaron looked like it contained very little chocolate, but it actually had a lot when biten into it.  I’m not saying it’s bad, but I felt like I was eating a chocolate truffle. Note to self, maybe a little less next time.

Breakfast anyone? I love these with coffee. The dark chocolate and chili adds a hint of sweetness and spiciness to the coffee.