cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ano da França...

Tropical French Macarons for a Sweet Victory

It's been nearly a month since Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2016 summer Olympics. If somehow you hadn't yet heard, just pretend you did. Rio beat out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo in the bid to hold the 2016 games, the city was chosen October 4th in Copenhagen, a decision that has sparked much joy coupled by expected grief. For Brazilians, for South Americans, and for anyone else who has a soul (mmm) the Rio victory symbolizes both a boost for Brazilian nationalistic pride (only a few Brazilians already have big heads) and a reaffirmation that indeed Latin America is finally coming into the world spotlight it has long deserved. Naturally there has been quite a bit of hesitation from both the Brazil-lovers and Brazil-haters (is there even such a thing? a Brazil-hater?) on the chosen city; "Rio is such a dangerous city" - "The money could be put to better use" - "All those tourists, such easy targets, Rio is a war-zone, what are they thinking!?" bla bla bla. But true. Sure Rio has a lot of problems, watch City of God and you won't disagree. But there are thousands of people living in Rio who aren't murderers, drug dealers, gang members, thieves, or helicopter snipers. There are millions of good people living in Rio and around Brazil who deserve the Olympic games. So here at the Salty Cod we wish to ask you to stop thinking about the negative aspects of Rio 2016, and instead close your mouth (preferably over a macaron), lay down your doubts, and celebrate with us that World Cup and the Olympics are going to be back-to-back in a country that will very soon take over the world. This is not a political blog, but we wish never-the-less to say stick it Chicago. Is there writing in the sky? BRASIL!!!


For those of you who don't know, one of our staff members here at the Salty Cod happens to be a Brazilian, so there has been much celebrating in and around the office and test kitchens. So what do we do to celebrate? Why, bake French pastries of course. With no room to brag in our novice qualifications as a patisserie (what qualifications?), I am quite good at making macarons. Yes, i said that. While no where near the skill set of say Helen or Aran whose recipes i've used over the past couple of years to navigate making my own macarons, i've done it enough, (and in quantities that would make some cry), that i know the ratios and timings in my head. What can i say, i like macarons. I lived in Paris, they are gluten-free, and i'm a self absorbed snob who secretly revels in the smug-pleasure of knowing that mine turned out with feet and yours need to see a podiatrist. Either way, a personal treat for a personal topic (mmm yes i take Olympics very personally). So i decided to make macarons, it's the year of France in Brazil anyways, so c'est absolutement parfait pour l'occassion. Then i realized Daring Bakers was doing October challenge macarons- merde, are you kidding me? Well, can't post macarons twice in a month. So. I'll save my idea. And celebrate my (excuse me, their) victory at the end of the month. This is my second month with Daring Bakers, and so far it has not been quite all that daring. Puff pastry and macarons....perhaps next month will be gummy bears.

What makes these macarons Brasilian besides their tri-color? There are Brazil nuts ground in with the almonds in the shells, and the fillings are assorted cheese mixtures with tropical fruit. Idea Original: creamed cheese with guava, but, no guavas in this part of the world. Ergo Idea Supplemental: creamed cheese with pineapple, creamed cheese with banana, and creamed cheese with avocados and apples. Is that a Brasilian macaron? Yes. Yes it is, verdade! Are there any macarons in Brazil now? I will say most likely not. Will that always be the case? Most certainly not.

So what do you know about Brazil aside from the capital as Buenos Aires (please catch my sarcasm here), tropical fruit hats, beautiful naked women, coconut water on the beach, hunky Latin lovers (scratch that), and children playing barefoot soccer in the womb? Nothing? Oh come on, even doctors had ideas. The smartest of medical school trained professionals know to ask (i am referring to my own...lady doctor here) if there are refrigerators in Brazil. Hmm, good question, as it may be difficult to hook up electricity to the Amazonian tree-houses all Brazilians live in. Well, maybe there is no Spanish word for refrigerator. To this point i believe the Rio Olympics are justified in of themselves; the world will be forced (through a month long series of Travel-Channel specials, McDonalds commercials and Visa advertisements) to see that Brazil is not a country of jungle people in grass skirts; me Tarzan you Jane- but a country as, if not more, rich and diverse than all the other tough guys out there. The Olympics may not be for 7 more years, but well, i think it's worth making a note today, tomorrow, and everyday. Carnival is year round non?! So why not the Olympics!

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Amy S of (i have no idea what her blog is). The recipe is by Claudia Fleming and is found in The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern. However, as i enjoy making macarons, i suggest you try using instructions from Helen of Tartelette, she is, without hesitation, a great teacher for those wishing to attempt a macaron for the first or twentieth time.

Petite French cookies to celebrate such a thing? What can i say, j'adore le Bresil.

*disclaimer: yes i know the capital or Brasil is Brasila not Buenos Aires and that Brasilians speak Portuguese not Spanish.....don't yell at me i was trying to be funny to make a point!

a bientot

38 comments:

Wic said...

love what you did with this challenge. they look delicious and I love the colors.

Jenny said...

Those are some beautiful macarons! The flavors sound delicious. We failed with the challenge recipe, and I agree, Helen of Tartelette is the go-to lady when it comes to macarons! :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work!

Sarah said...

Your macarons are lovely! I'm sold on trying Helen's recipe next time for sure.

shaz said...

Viva Brasil, although I've never been there - sounds like fun. And the macarons sound like lots of fun to eat too :)

Jason Sandeman said...

Love the macarons, maybe except the blue ones. How did you get the color on those? Blue has always been a no-no for me in the kitchen (I was taught that way anyway.)

Otherwise, you have the perfect Macaron. Light, fluffy, and it looks like it is crisp on the outside. Great job!

M.Lane said...

Every time you post I feel like I gain weight! What perfect macarons and what a great tribute to Brazil.

ML

Rochelle said...

Congrats to your co-worker and all the native Brazilians out there on their Olympic triumph over all the rest! BTW lovely macaroons I'm sure everyone enjoyed that victory treat :)

Simply Colette said...

Those look awesome! Love how blended the cultures. Would love to sample some... yum!

Audax said...

Beautiful looking macarons and love the blue one and the others in fact. Great idea for the posting all about Brazil LOL LOL LOL. Cheers Audax from in Australia.

MandyM said...

Oh I love those! Stunning colours :D Living in Ireland I was inspired by the Irish flag for colours :)
Beautiful baking

Colloquial Cook said...

Ben nous on adore tes macarons. ergo on adore le Brésil aussi. C'est trop beau, et tu me donnes faim!

6p01053695af5a970b said...

Love your entry! Your macs are stunning. I'd shut my mouth over one of them any day.

Anonymous said...

u should start charging... hehehe u're a pro! great post!

poulet

Susan @ SGCC said...

Gorgeous! I love all of those vibrant, happy colors! Well done!

Jill said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the colors! They just look so delicious and they are fabulous! Great post. :)

Christy said...

Lol!! I get the same thing about Indonesia too!! Actually, James know people who think that all Indonesians live on long houses on stilts in the middle of the lush tropical rainforests of Sumatra. Oh, and that we are not capable of building tall buildings whatsoever. I guess this is almost as bad as a friend's mother who thought that Australia is habituated by naked white people who go around having sex with each other, with kangaroos living amongst them.

There's no guava in Brazil??!!! But that's not possible!! Isn't it a tropical country?? Guava and cream cheese sound delicious! And oh, I'm going to make an avocado macaron too---putting avocados in sweets is my latest obsession----so few people realise its potential!!

Vera said...

Lovely lively colors!

Nico said...

Very nice macaron, nice combinations.
One thing, Buenos Aires is capital of Argentina (a totally different country), Brazil's capital is Brazilia.

Mallory Elise said...

Hi Nico- hehehehe i'm sorry you didn't catch my sarcasm in that string of stereotypes.......i am well aware that Brasilia is the capital....it's a joke in Brasil that Americans say the capital is Buenos Aires...my goal in writing that section was to string an incorrect capital along with fruit hats (carmen miranda you know) beautiful beachy women, soccer, and tarzan like men to show that there are A LOT of things about Brasil that need to be seen and learned by the world so that these aren't the only images associated with Brasil. mmm thanks though!

Nico said...

You know when I was reading the post that crossed my mind, but I let it go.. sorry.
I'm from Argentina and I you will not believe how many people here in the USA does not know where Brazil, Argentina, etc are located, some of them think we are part of mexico, some think we are in europe, some thet we share borders with China!!!! and even one asked me where was AFRICA located, I asked him what do you mean? he said "is between brazil and argentina? or close to paraguay???" he did not know AFRICA is a continent!!! OMG. But the funniest one was one that asked me where is Argentina located I told her south america, and she said "ahhhh..so you share borders with texas and new mexico? amazing!!! Bottom line they should teach more world geography at school!!
nico

anna said...

Your macarons are always so perfect! I love your Brazilian tribute. And tropical fruits with cream cheese sound SO good.

I agree that Daring Bakers hasn't been so...daring lately. Half of it is my covering all these classic items in class and the other half is, I don't know...Maybe just a lack of creativity on the part of some of the hosts? Though puff pastry from scratch and macarons would have THRILLED me a few months ago. Now it's like..."again? But I just spent a whole week making that stuff!" It'll be interesting to see what people come up with as we whittle down the classic challenging items. And I sure hope you find MY challenge, um, challenging.

Shannalee said...

Beautiful. I love how you put your own personal spin on this challenge, and I am so impressed by how perfect they look!

anna said...

Ha, I wish I'd gone with my gut on the recipe like you did. I'm not next month but December - going to finish things up this weekend so I have something to show people!

Memória said...

I know you were being sarcastic but those stereotypes made me cringe, especially the one about the capital of Brazil. Also, many people think that Spanish is the official language there when it is really Portuguese. So, you need the Portuguese word for "refrigerator", not Spanish, which is "o refrigerador".

Anyway, lovely macarons!!! Eles são muito lindos!

Memória said...

Oh, and Nico, the capital of Brazil is "Brasilia" with an "s".

Mallory Elise said...

Oi Memória, OBRIGADA por me informar que a língua do Brasil é o português, você se espantará ao saber que eu me envolvi com o país já há algum tempo. Concordo contigo, estereótipos brasileiros me dão arrepios também e este era meu objetivo ao escrever este post de modo sarcástico (é meu estilo) para mostrá-la até que ponto é importante que o Brasil seja exposto ao mundo durante as olimpíadas. Assim. Estou contigo! E por favor, perdõe o Nico --- ele é argentino. :)

Y said...

Oh you know what, I haven't made gummi bears yet. You could be on to a good idea there.. :) Love the flavours of your macarons.

Lauren said...

Such stunning macarons! You did a fabulous job on this challenge - Love the colours =D.

Robson Curvello said...

Olá Mallory Elise!! Parabéns pelo mais novo passo que você e o Henrique estão dando!!! estamos muito feliz por vocês.

Cuide-se! Fique com Deus!

Robson, Gabriela, Ana Clara e Matheus!

Heguiberto said...

wow,
I loved your narrative about Brazil here. The cookies look amazing with Brazilian colors! How come I never saw your blog before. Loving it! Got here from tertúliadesabores.... will come back!
Heguiberto
http://weirdcombinations.com/

French Cooking for Dummies said...

You did a great job with these macarons, they look wonderful! And viva Brasil :-D

Sierra said...

i took your advice and finally read this one....i enjoyed the gummi bear shout out by the way :) and it made me want macarons again, booooooo. one little thing, don't forget you are from the states ok? hehe dont completely forget about us up here as you join the brasilian scantily (spelling? hah) clad women ;)

Pemula SEo said...

nice cake, thank for share.

belajar bisnis said...

nice, thank's for share.Beautiful. I love how you put your own personal spin on this challenge, and I am so impressed by how perfect they look!

Grosir Sepatu Futsal said...

nice, yummy...yummy...yummy....

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2 thumbs....

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