The instant that I saw this book on Amazon, I clicked the “add to cart” button. I had to have it.
When we were yay high, my mom used to make macarons for us on a weekly basis – almost every Sunday there would be a batch ready for us to tackle. And tackle we did, as you can imagine.
But when we decided to grow up, and when life got in the way, mom stopped making them. By the time I noticed, I had moved out and gone to college. Years passed before I finally heard, or in this instance, read about macarons.
When I received this book, I could not put it down; I read it from front to cover the first night that it was in my hands. I had forgotten about these delicious gems and this cookbook took me right back to a childhood that I so dearly miss.
Today, without further ado, I would like to welcome the author of “Mad About Macarons! Make Macarons Like the French”, Jill Colonna. She is one of the most sincere, genuine, and incredibly beautiful people I have ever met. And I’m not saying that just because she accepted my guest-post invitation – she is a wonderful person and I am very happy that she and I have become great friends in such a short period of time. I am so excited, and grateful, to see her here on Diethood!
When you have finished drooling here, head on over to Jill’s blog, Mad About Macarons, for more of her delicious creations! And, if you want to make trouble-free macarons, get the book – you’ll love the tips that she shares!
Bonjour! I’m Jill. It’s lovely to meet you on Diethood. I was so excited to be asked to do my first ever guest post that I wanted to leap out the screen and hug Kate. Not only is she a talented girl with delicious recipes and ideas, she taught us to say “To your health” phonetically in Macedonian! I knew this would be fun.
In a nutshell: I’m Scottish, started out as a musician then went on to do marketing at business school. There I met my French (Corsican!) husband who whisked me over to Paris nearly 20 years ago and I’ve been living here ever since! After 10 years in an International Organisation, I’m finally pursuing my greatest passions: cooking, eating good food, tasting wine, music and enjoying the French way of life.
I started up the website in October 2010 to coincide with the launch of my book, “Mad About Macarons! Make Macarons Like the French” with Waverley Books. Last week the site was finally made blogger-friendly and so now I’m looking forward to sharing my foodie adventures with you in and around Paris.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share one of my favorite desserts with all you foodie lovers:
Rose and White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Cherry and Cardamom Coulis
What I love about the Panna Cotta is it’s so simple. It’s the kind of dessert you rattle out when in a rush and don’t have time to think of anything over the top or fancy. It does the job and once you have the basic recipe you can make all sorts of flavor combinations – even savory.
Informal? Serve them in funky little yogurt pots or shot glasses for parties with some fruit or purée dolloped on top. Something more formal? Pour into silicone molds and turn them out on serving plates surrounded with a fruit purée and be creative on decor. For a touch of Parisian elegance, mes amis, add a rose macaron or two, serve with a glass of bubbly and feel the toes curl…
Talking of bubbles, I needed a flute of pink Champagne just for the sake of a romantic shot. In the end, the bottle and stem of the flute are barely visible. I tried to get the Champagne in view but the angle was wrong; drank some more to see if a lower level would work. No use. Drank the whole lot and it still didn’t show. In fact, there’s maybe a bit of camera shake? Never mind. It was deliciously fun!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
You will need:
For the Panna Cotta:
- 3 gelatine leaves, 2 grams each
- 400 ml single cream (min 30% fat)
- 100 ml rosewater
- few drops of red coloring
- 80 grams white cooking chocolate
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
For the Coulis:
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- 2 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
- Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.
- Heat together the cream, rosewater, coloring and sugar in a saucepan and gradually melt in the white chocolate. Stir until smooth.
- Squeeze in the gelatine and stir to dissolve into the warm cream.
- Pour into non-stick silicone molds. Here I used briochette molds but you could use muffin molds.
- Leave to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the coulis: place the cherries in a saucepan with water (no need for water if your cherries are frozen since not in season), sugar, lemon juice and the cardamom seeds.
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the cherries are soft. Transfer to a blender and blitz to a smooth sauce.
- When ready to serve, run the underside of the molds briefly under hot water then carefully turn them out directly on to the serving plates and pour around the coulis.
Happy Valentine’s Day!