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Celebrate French Independence Day with delicious macarons

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Chevre Rosemary Macarons

Filling

1 medium head garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small sprig rosemary

1 log fresh goat cheese

1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the head of garlic.

Cut the head of garlic in half horizontally, without peeling it, to expose the tips of the cloves. Drizzle the olive oil on the foil, and place the head of garlic on top of the oil. Wrap the foil around it completely, then place on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the head feels very soft when probed with a knife. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Once cool, squeeze the cloves out of the skin with your hands.

Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprig and chop them very finely. You should have about 1 teaspoon.

Place the chevre, rosemary, and roasted garlic in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix at medium speed until the mixture is homogenous. Turn the mixer to low, add the crème fraiche and mix until incorporated. Taste and season the salt and pepper, adding more if you prefer.

Shells

1 tablespoon ground dried parsley

1¼ packed cups almond flour

¾ packed cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tb granulated sugar

1 tablespoon powdered egg white

½ cup fresh egg whites from 4 eggs

Sift the ground parsley with the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar. Add salt and pulse in a food processor 4 times for 3 seconds each. Scrape the sides of the bowl in between pulses. Add the granulated sugar and powdered egg white and repeat the pulsing 4 more times. Sift with a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl.

Pour the egg whites all at once into the almond flour mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula until everything is just combined. Continue to mix until the batter appears homogenous, at most 30 seconds.

Cover the batter with plastic wrap placed directly over it and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip with the batter. Pipe the meringue on a silicone mat into quarter-sized mounds. Firmly slam the baking sheets down to remove excess air. Bake at 200-degrees for 15 minutes. Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 11 minutes, rotating after 6 minutes.

Allow shells to cool on pan before moving to cooling rack. When completely cool, spread about 1 teaspoon of filling on flat end of a shell. Cover with another shell. Repeat until all macarons are made.

Source: Les Petit Macarons by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBrine, Running Press, Philadelphia, 2011.

Updated: August 11, 2013 6:10AM



The French have their own Independence Day, but unlike ours, barbeque grills, hamburgers and hot dogs are traded in for something a little more old world.

La Fête Nationale, Bastille Day, celebrates the storming of the bastille on July 14. As sinister as Madame Guillotine might seem, there are no unrefined flavors in the French commemoration of the dissolution of the monarchy, but are there ever?

Celebrate this French holiday by popping a bottle of Champagne and savoring all of your favorite fine French dishes.

However, French cuisine and hot American summers don’t often pair well. Because of the sheer richness of many famous dishes, it can be tough to find a classic French recipe that lends itself to sweltering July temperatures. So take the advice of Marie Antoinette instead: eat cake.

The macaron, the petite meringue confection, isn’t exactly a cake, but it is a delicious and eye-catching way to celebrate the French holiday. For Bastille Day, make a macaron that combines the delicate flavors of French cuisine with the lightness needed for a new world summer.

This recipe for macarons is simplified slightly because it doesn’t require a full French meringue to be made. It is still a timely process, but almost everything French is. The results are always worth the effort and the time involved, and these macarons are proof to that belief.



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