Happy New Year !!!

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Macaron Tower

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2012! Last year was definitely the year of the macarons for me, hoping this year would be just as good. :)

I know I have not been blogging for a while and not sure if I will be consistent in the future. The problem with me is, is that words are hard to come by if the subject does not inspire me. I do not want to write a post just because I need to keep a quota of 2 a week. The problem with that is, when I do feel inspired I end up with a very long post. :)

I’ll definitely start blogging more about local food here in Richmond, a ton of new restaurants opened last year. Whether they are just an iteration of each other with the same old RVA cuisine remains to be seen. 

I’m also in the quest for the perfect “adobo” – this is not the spice that I am talking about but the national Filipino dish – a stew (or braise) of soy, vinegar and garlic. There are different variations: the tostado (fried or dry) and the masarsa (saucey) and many in between. My brother was able to get me a cookbook devoted to this one subject. :)

On the Petites Bouchees business front. I am working on some new items. I have started with pies and tarts last year and though they have been moderately successful, the macarons took over until I’ve decided to devote 99% of the time to them towards the last quarter. 

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macaron ice cream sandwich

I’ve also worked on my first macaron tower for a company event.

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macaron tower
 
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Company event

I also made the verrines and tarts for this sweet dessert spread.

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raspberry white chocolate cream verrines

In the middle of all these, I was able to take a class with the fastest rising-star of the cake world, Maggie Austin Cake who, luckily for me, is based out of DC. If you haven’t seen her jaw-dropping work, get over her website now and prepare to “ooh and ahh”. :)

Here is one of my roses from her fun class.

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la rose

And as always, I’ll still be making more macarons in different colors. I expect a bigger demand for them for the next few years. Why? Because Laduree opened in NY and has really elevated the macaron to a food-fashion accessory. :)

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Colorful macarons

Bonne Année !!!

Petites Bouchées in Carytown at Amour Wine Bistro

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Macarons for this Saturday

We are thrilled to announce that our macarons will be available this Saturday, September 10 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm at Amour Wine Bistro. You can now buy them individually and I will have many flavors available. I am thankful for this opportunity given to us by owner Paul Heitz an expert in French cuisine, pastry and wine pairings. I was never a fan of wine pairings but after sampling a cocoa sorbet paired with a wonderful dessert wine I am sold!

Which led me to an epiphany: when food is paired with a wine based on its own merit and not on the winery dictating it, the experience is so different.

We’ve been advised several times to sell our macarons in supermarkets and other coffee shops but we’ve dragged our feet on this. Why? It takes us time and effort to make them, we simply can’t imagine our macarons in a grocery store or in the forgotten shelves of a gourmet shop without a trusted eye to keep watch over making sure that they don’t get crushed or mishandled.

Which is why when Paul offered us the use of his establishment to sell our beloved macarons, we were psyched! For one thing, his restaurant goes very well with the French theme of the macarons, secondly, Paul and I had a long conversation about quality: the quality of the ingredients and the care you give in creating something you are passionate about are a shared philosophy.

So check us out this Saturday at Amour wine bistro. The plan is every Saturday this September and depending on the reception we may plan to expand to other days and times in the coming months! Please check our Facebook page for updated dates and times.

Some blog revisions….

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More pie pops :)

This blog is undergoing some subtle changes. If you all haven’t noticed, I’ve trimmed down the categories and have added a top navigation bar to access some popular categories directly like the Macaron Chronicles. Displays now include a thumbnail of the first picture which will help with post identification when looking for recipes or topics.

I’m also working on the Macaron FAQ (frequently asked questions) page as a distillation of what I’ve learned through all the chronicles and also what questions readers usually email me about.  Please be patient as this will be a work-in-progress for a couple of weeks.

Also, please check out the Culinary Obsessions category at the bottom of the sidebar. This is like my featured posts and will give readers an idea as to my blog’s tagline.

I was also featured on Richmonddotcom’s “Five questions with a Foodie”, read the interview, here.

A baby shower dessert table

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Sweet table

It’s been a hectic weekend. The French Food Festival has come and gone, thanks to all who stopped by our booth, we sold out by 3pm, yay! Also this weekend, favor bags for a charity event, Wag and Swag to benefit “Fetch a Cure“, and lastly a baby shower dessert table. 

The mom-to-be loved lavender. Pink and green rounded out the color and we worked with that color palette.

It was an intimate gathering of about 40 people so I kept the table small with enough variety to add interest, color and of course flavor: banana cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, red velvet cake pops, strawberry marshmallows, assorted flavor Parisian macarons, homemade chewy caramel, jelly beans and chocolate gems.

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Black currant, bittersweet chocolate macarons

The macarons above were inspired by Pierre Herme’s Chuao fetish and are Italian Meringue macarons.

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red velvet cake pops are always a crowd pleaser
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Cupcakes and more macarons
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strawberry marshmallows

 It’s so interesting how many folks ignore the marshmallows, but after some prodding from me to try them they are surprised at how good homemade marshmallows are. 

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Candy Bar
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Another view of the dessert table. It was hard to take a picture of the dessert table with the window behind it but the windows provided such a great backdrop for it.

My thanks to the “Hungry Hubby” for transporting all my cake stands and vessels with care, helping me setup, take the pictures and then haul ass to deliver the macaron favors clear across town. We’re a team! :)

Vendors:

Cake pops: Candy Valley Cake Company

Dessert labels: Paper and Pigtails

Candy: Sweet Spot

How about macarons for Easter?

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Macarons pretending to be Easter Eggs

I’ll be waiving the 1-flavor per dozen thing on Easter week. You can have all these flavors in your Easter goodie box:

Chocolate-Espresso

Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate

Hazelnut-Salted Caramel

Raspberry Ganache

Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

& Vanilla in the blue color featured above.

Place your orders by April 18, 2011 by emailing me at veronica AT petitesbouchees dot com

*porcelain egg tray not included. :)

Our macarons in Richmond Magazine…

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Richmond Magazine – December issue

If you haven’t gotten a chance to get a copy of Richmond Magazine’s December issue, I suggest you do not wait too long because this issue is one of the “sweetest” ones yet. Petites Bouchees is honored to be a part of this issue! And in case you are all wondering, Jenny Tremblay of Sweetest Thing Bakery did that delectable apple cake with dulce de leche buttercream featured on the cover! :)

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Yummy treats!

I know I haven’t been blogging, but I hope that’s going to change soon once the holidays are over. Planning to take a break so I can dig into some of these new cookbooks that Anita listed over at Dessert First. Macarons are fun but I miss experimenting and I miss the blogging community. If I could own a pastry shop, I probably would want to do the recipe development and pass it off to my elves for execution. :)

 

Gift ideas for the holidays!

 

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Macaron gift boxes

 

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been cooking but it’s mostly dishes that really have no recipes – you know the kind that you make up along as you go. ;). Anyway, just want to help the great folks here in Richmond put together their Christmas list.

         For a short-time period, I’ll be offering macarons in half-dozen for $9.00, these make perfect (and yummy) gifts for co-workers. These will be available starting the first week of December.

        The usual dozen for $18.00 and 2-dozen for $35 is also available but now you will have a choice to have an assortment of 3 or more flavors.

        Please email veronica AT petitesbouchees DOT com if interested.

        And if you are wondering how to display a dozen macarons for a holiday table, a compote dish makes the perfect vessel.

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Macarons in a cup

 

 

 

 

The holidays start this weekend with Halloween!

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Halloween Treat box

This weekend, October 30th will be the last weekend for the St. Stephen’s Farmer’s market. I will be having a few of this Halloween boxes made up for sale. It contains an assortment of 6 macarons and will sell for $9.00.

I will also be a member of several online stores with very convenient pickup locations in RVA – details soon.

With the holidays around the corner, I will have almost all my macaron flavors available for tasting at this weekend’s farmer’s market.

See you there!

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delectable treats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert table at Illuminate

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The “Illuminate” dessert table

When Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting asked me if I wanted to be their “Sweets” sponsor for Illuminate – the workshop, I said: “Heck, ya!” For one thing, I love Meghan – she is approachable, fun, and if there’s someone who knows the ins and out of the wedding business -it’s her. Plus she shares my love for science fiction {star wars, lost etc.}, so if we get tired of talking about weddings and other dessert displays we can always talk about whether the series finale of “Lost” was worth all the six years of tv-time we had invested in the show.

I’m gearing up for the Farmer’s Market at St. Stephen’s – I really need a place to push all those yummy experiments I’ve been concocting in my kitchen, so hopefully I’ll have a recipe up here soon.

I just got Dorie Greenspan’s new book in, “Around my French Table” and I spied so many recipes I wanted to try and want to share with you all.

Anyway, here is the rest of the dessert display.

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How cute are these cookies?
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and cake pops?
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Plum-Pistachio Frangipane

I’m slowly working through your lists of suggestions in a previous post on what to add to the dessert table. So now we have tarts and …

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Key lime pies
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the “macaron” centerpiece

I’ll have you know that I used “valencia” almonds {what Pierre Herme uses} for the chocolate macarons and I do detect a subtle difference in the texture.

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Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

And as always, I do have fun pushing sugar…

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Veronica – the “sugar-pusher”

 

My thanks to Julie Renee Photography for the pictures!