I like a good mystery.
I mean, I grew up watching the X-Files. It’s been engrained in my soul to fervently attune my spidey-senses to suspicious activity. Honestly, I should be a spy.
(Ahem, maybe I am?)
So, now that I am in the position to solve a mystery. I am stoked.
Thus, I bring to you: The Mystery of the Phantom Falling Television.
The first week that I moved into my new apartment in Paris last August, I was walking up the stairs and noticed a strange sight:
A small TV, like a mini-kitchen-TV sort of vibe, was in the hallway on third floor, face down. It looked like someone from the fourth or fifth floor had leaned over their railing and plopped it over the side. There wasn’t any broken glass… but there it was, screen down, in the hallway. Odd? I thought so.
Well, it stayed there for a few days, and then finally it was gone.
Ok? Well, fast-forward a few more months. I’m climbing up the stairs again, and, LOW AND BEHOLD!, the phantom TV is back! This time it only stayed around for an afternoon, but this visit was just as strange as the first.
The TV magically landed on the third floor, hung out for a bit, then POP – disappeared.
Since the second visit was so short, I kind of forgot about the phantom TV… until last week with the third strike of the TV.
Again – going up the stairs and there it is. It stayed on the floor a few days, but by the weekend it was gone.
If this happens again, I will not only solve this mystery, but I will take a photo of the phantom TV and share it with you all.
This is truly bizarre. I needed to share my puzzlement with you.
And now, I’m going to ponder various theories of the phantom TV while snacking on these macarons. Brain food!
Pistachio Orange Macarons – What you need:
- 90 grams of almond meal
- 20 grams of ground pistachio
- 200 grams of confectioner’s sugar
- 50 grams of caster sugar
- zest of one orange
- pinch of nutmeg (1/4 to ½ a teaspoon)
- 100 grams of aged egg whites (leave out the egg whites in a sealed container on your counter for 24 hours)
Pistachio Orange Macarons – What you do:
Dry the almond, pistachio, and orange zest out in the oven by baking it all for 10 minutes at 100c (stirring a few times throughout the process).
Pulse the nut mixture with the confectioner’s sugar and nutmeg a few times in a food processor, then sift the mix into a large bowl and set it aside.
<<My sister gave me this really cool pastry pump (?, not sure of the word?) for Christmas this year! I, unfortunately, melted my baking scale onto my cooking plate (don’t worry, I fixed everything!) a few weeks ago, so I wasn’t able to make macarons until I bought a new one. Now I FINALLY tried out this pastry bag, and it’s amazing.>>
In another large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Then, slowly add in the caster sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into the dry mixture, and carefully incorporate the two together. Make sure to keep your stirs to under 50! You never want to overbeat the macaron batter.
Fill your pastry bag and/or pumping machine with the macaron batter. Pipe out macarons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Tap the sheet on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Allow the macarons to sit at room temperature for an hour prior to baking.
Preheat the oven to 140-150c, depending on the size of your macarons (I always bake mine at 140-145c).
Bake the macarons for 14-16 minutes (again, depending on size… these guys were small so they actually only needed 13-14 minutes). Once finished, the macarons should easily pop off the parchment paper. If they stick, put them back in the oven for a few more minutes. Rest on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
I paired these guys with a chocolate-orange ganache. My mantra these days has been “chocolate.orange.chocolate.orange.chocolate.orange”. It’s so winter to me?
Chocolate-Orange Ganache – What you need:
- 200 ml cream
- 15 grams caster sugar
- 250 grams dark chocolate
- 40 grams of butter
- zest of one orange
- pinch of nutmeg
Chocolate-Orange Ganache – What you do:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a medium heat-proof bowl. Add the orange zest and nutmeg to the chocolate.
Bring the cream and sugar to barely a boil (a strong simmer, let’s say) on the stove top, and then remove it from the heat.
Pour the cream over the chocolate, and allow it to sit for a moment. Then, once the chocolate begins to melt, whisk the cream and chocolate together until a thick ganache forms.
Allow the ganache to settle at room temperature, or speed up the process by popping it in the fridge for an hour.
When it’s thick – you can fill your macarons!
I like how the ganache looks like little stars!
Normally I smooth out the tops of the macarons before baking to get a clean top, but I let these guys run loose! I'm really happy with the more organic shape.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Granville - Jersey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aXFgnM0KGM