One of the pitfalls of working full time is the inability to take lovely natural light weekday photographs. By the time I set my mise en place and get the oven going, my natural light is at an end. So, I have to be satisfied with marginal photos.
Tonight's batch are of the espresso variety... Tartlette's mac recipe boosted with 1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder from King Arthur Flour. I didn't take the Trader Joe's almond meal shortcut, and hauled out the 28 pound Cuisinart and ground the almonds with the powdered sugar. Most of the recipes I saw online called for 2 Tbsp finely ground coffee, but I didn't want to go that route- I had enough of speckled macs last night. I figured the instant espresso powder would give a lovely coffee colored shade, and right I was.
Okay, they're out of the oven and I'm not crazy about the coffee/almond flavor. They taste a tad burned to me. Could I have used too much espresso powder? Maybe when they've melded with the mocha buttercream I'll like them better. They're lovely, though I had four random shells crack while the rest of the batch turned out ideally.
Next up is the mocha buttercream frosting:
FOR MOCHA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
DISSOLVE instant coffee in milk in glass measure. Beat butter, vanilla extract and salt in large mixer bowl for 3 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate until blended, scraping occasionally. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in coffee mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired spreading consistency.
Tour des macarons... Jeff loved these. I haven't tried one yet- waiting for maturation. I don't know if I'm going to be crazy about them. Too sweet perhaps? I'll try for some natural light beauty shots tomorrow and will update on the final product.
My final verdict on the taste is AMAZING. They're seriously delicious. I think that if I'm going to make them again, I'll use a tad less espresso powder- just under 1 Tbsp instead of just over.