This month’s Mac Attack Challenge was Savory Sweet. We were instructed to create a macaron that blends the savory and the sweet, the perfect balance. Invent a macaron to be served on a silver tray as an apératif or hors d’oeuvres with a glass of champagne, as a special snack or part of a festive buffet. This is the season to experiment, to savor, to enjoy and this month you will!
I was extremely excited when I saw the challenge for MacTweets this month. I didn't hesitate, I knew exactly what I was making or trying to recreate- a vanilla macaron with Citrus Fromage Blanc and Loki Fish Ikura. I first had one at the Incredible Feast at the University District Farmers Market in August. It was created by Adam Hoffman of Rover's restaurant. J and I got the last two on the plate. How fortunate for us!
I swear to this day that if there had been more on the plate I wouldn't have left the tent until I finished them off. Crunchy crisp vanilla almond macaron, sweet citrusy fromage blanc and salty salmon roe-an explosion of flavor in your mouth. This is an excellent dish for a cocktail party-and very festive looking with the red roe.
But I warn you, make twice as much as you think you will need because they will disappear faster than you can say oh my God that was incredible ! Fromage Blanc is a sweet cream cheese, if your grocery store or cheese shop doesn't carry it you can make your own. I found a recipe for it by Emeril Lagasse and you will find it at the end of this post. You can use any Ikura or salmon roe-the fresher the better. I also made a few with a raspberry chipotle jam for those guests who don't care for salmon roe-can you imagine ?
For the macarons I used my standby recipe that you can find here . I was fortunate and found fresh fromage blanc at my grocery store. I took 8 ounces of the cheese and 1/4 cup citrus marmalade and whipped it together until it was a nice piping consistency. I piped it onto the vanilla macarons and topped it with the fresh salmon roe from Loki Fish. The taste was a little different than what I remember from the festival but I think I got it pretty close to the original. Enjoy !
Homemade Fromage Blanc
courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
2 quarts whole milk, as fresh as possible
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 cups fresh buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
Heavy Cream, for serving
In a large, heavy saucepan, add the milk and the cream for a richer fromage blanc. In a mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and lemon juice and stir to combine well. Add the buttermilk-lemon juice mixture to the milk and begin to heat the milk, over low heat and very slowly, to 175 degrees F. While the milk is heating, stir only twice, making 2 strokes each time, with a heat-proof spatula or other flat utensil. Check the temperature often. As soon as the temperature reaches 175 degrees F, remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
Line a large colander with 2 layers of fine cheesecloth and set over a large bowl. Gently ladle the curds and whey into the colander and allow to drain until the drips of whey slows, about 2 minutes. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth together to form a hanging pouch, and hang pouch over a bowl and allow to drain until the cheese reaches the desired consistency.
Serve as is, with preserves, honey or fresh fruit, or add salt or fresh herbs, to taste, and enjoy as a savory appetizer. If a rich cheese is desired, spoon or pour a bit of heavy cream over the top before serving. Also, if a very smooth product is desired, beat the cheese briefly with an electric mixer before serving.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 week. If cheese is marinated in oil with fresh herbs, it will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.
Check out everyone else's results here