Pumpkin Chocolate Macarons

 

 

 

 

Several months ago, I embarked on a beautiful tour of Europe which included a visit to the gorgeous city of Paris.

While there, my diet consisted of: croissants, crepes, and lots and lots of macarons.

No this wasn’t the healthiest few days of my life, but perhaps the happiest. On my last day in Paris I swore that when I went back to the states I would learn how to make these light, pillowy sugar dreams so I could transport myself back to the gilded streets of Paris, even if just for a moment.

 

So I finally attempted to climb pastry everest. As you will see below, I mixed in my fall cravings with this Parisian classic, and came up with this recipe.

Did these taste good? You bet!

 

Did half of the shells crack or fall apart? Yes, indeed. But it’s more motivation for me to tweak my recipe and find out what works and what doesn’t. However, this is a solid foundation recipe and I hope you too will attempt to climb this tasty meringue mountain with me.

20131025-154030.jpg

20131025-154053.jpg

20131025-154106.jpg

20131025-154125.jpg

20131025-154138.jpg

20131025-154150.jpg

Pumpkin & Chocolate Macarons

By Pleading and Pasta (C) 2013

3/4 cup almond meal

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 Tbsp sugar

1.5 tbsp of cocoa powder

2 large egg whites

FILLING

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups  powdered sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

 

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (Note, oiled foil WILL NOT work)

2. Put regular sugar and egg whites in a mixer and let mix for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

3. Meanwhile, sift together the almond meal, confectioner’s sugar, and cocoa powder.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients by folding the dry ingredients in. You want to do at least 25-30 turns on this particular recipe. “Knock” the air out of the merengue by turning and smearing the mix.

5. Put the mixture into a plastic bag for piping.

6. Pipe equally sized circles onto the parchment and lightly bump and shake the pan so the batter settles.

7. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should pop off the parchment.

8. Remove from pan and let cool and make the icing.

9. For icing, mix all of the icing ingredients together. To make the frosting more stiff, add small amounts of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached.

10. Put icing in a bag and pipe onto cookie shells. Put one on top of the other and serve!

Eat with all of your heart, mon ami,

 

G

 

Advertisements

“Béchamel” Pumpkin Pasta

 

 

20131003-185514.jpg

Pumpkin, Pleadings, & Pasta. October will be featuring all kinds of fun ways to dress up the basic ingredient of pumpkin!

 

Today’s feature is something I whipped up when I was craving a festive pasta alfredo. Now, a few words on alfredo. Since I eat dairy free, it’s not something I can enjoy regularly. Further, it’s usually calorie ridden, heavy, and isn’t the most authentic Italian cuisine.

 

Enter bechamel. For those of you that don’t know what a bechamel sauce is, it’s actually a foundational component of a lot of french cooking.  Traditionally it is a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk, and infused with herbs sometimes.

 

I started with a bechamel-esque base (for those purists, it’s far from the original since I used almond milk and not a lot of butter), and built from there. The result was light and satisfying, yet comforting. It makes for a great addition to a cozy fall evening.

 

“Béchamel” Pumpkin Pasta

By Pleadings & Pasta 2013

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

2-3 oz of goat cheese

1 tablespoon of butter

1.5 tsp of flour

Several cloves of garlic

A few springs of fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

a dash of cinnamon

Pasta of your choice

 

1. Melt butter and whisk in flour. Add garlic cloves (crushed)

2. Heat through for 2 minutes then add almond milk and rosemary and bring to a boil

3. Once fragrant, add pumpkin puree and simmer until thickened.20131003-185523.jpg

4. Add goat cheese at the end, salt and pepper to taste and whisk smooth.

 

 

20131003-185536.jpg5. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and add immediately into the “bechamel” pumpkin sauce.

6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Feel free to test run the recipe with other herbs too, including sage which is always a nice compliment to pumpkin.

Eat with all of your heart,

G