While it is supposed to be about the resurrection of Jesus, these days Easter is about spending time with friends and family, for most of us anyway.
It's about long drawn out boozy brunches while watching the little ones run around searching for Easter eggs -- hey, it keeps 'em busy and happy.
Sure, you have your holiday staples like ham, eggs, and lamb -- and mimosas, obviously, -- but when it comes to dessert, the vast majority of revelers leave it to someone else. (There's a reason pastry chefs are the most respected culinary practitioners in France, baking is hard.)
This year, why not try something different? Why not go fancy? How about macarons?
To help you show everyone else up at the potluck, we recruited the help of master patissier Patrick Leze, pastry chef/owner of his namesake bakery in Palm Beach; he gave us his recipe for his delectable and intricate macarons.
For the macaron:
Four ounces egg white
Six ounces powdered sugar
4.5 ounces almond powder
1.5 ounces cocoa powder
Six ounces confectioners' sugar
One teaspoon lemon juice
Step One: Mix half the egg white in a food processor with a pinch of salt.
Step Two: When whites spike (stiff peaks) add three teaspoons of sugar in three batche, until mixture becomes homogeneous, white.
Step Three: Combine the sugar and two ounces of water in a saucepan and cook until it reaches 230 degrees (use a candy thermometer for accuracy).
Step Four: Pour the hot syrup into your white mixture and beat at full speed until your container becomes warm to the touch and peak forms on the whisk. Add the other half of egg white and mix for one minute.
Step Five: Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to give them shine.
Step Six: In a food processor, mix the ground almonds, cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar, then sift two or three times to get a really fine powder.
Step Seven: Add almond powder mixture to your colored whites in four steps. Mix until the preparation is homogeneous.
Step Eight: On a sheet pan, add parchment paper and draw your macarons to the desired size, then flip over.
Step Nine: Pour macaron mix with a pastry bag or spoon. Slam the tray gently a few times on your countertop to remove air bubbles. Let stand for ten minutes.
Step Ten: Preheat your oven to 325 degree and bake your macarons for ten minutes. Remove and let cool for 15mn before you detach them from the parchment.
For the Ganache:
Five ounces dark chocolate
Five ounces heavy cream
Step One: In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.
Step Two: Chop chocolate in small pieces and add to cream, stirring constantly until smooth.
Step Three: Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Step One: Pour a dollop of ganache on a macaron, leaving a 1/4 inch around the exterior.
Step Two: Cap with another macaron and squeeze gently until ganache spreads to the edge.
Step Three: Have one macaron (you deserve it, says Leze), line the rest in a tupperware box and refrigerate at least six hours before serving.
Voila! You just won Easter.
Patrick Leze is located at 229 Sunrise Avenue in Palm Beach. Call 561.366.1313, or visit patrickleze.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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