Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saffron Macarons with Chocolate Ganache



Ever since my visit to the spice market a couple of months ago I have been dreaming about making saffron macarons. I picked up some wonderful quality Iranian Saffron and just thought it would be perfect to combine this exotic earthy flavor with the light elegant French macarons. It would be like marrying an Arabian prince to a French empress...I'm sure they'd have adorable children! I have never seen saffron macarons, even though I have seen macarons made with all kinds of flowers & spices. Some of my favorites have been Hibiscus Macarons by Tartelette & Lavender Macarons by Aran from Cannelle et Vanille.



Saffron is one of my favorite spices and is usually used in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It's such a versatile spice that can be used for sweet and savory dishes. It looks like little maroon threads but one you mix it with a wet ingredient it immediately emits this golden yellow color. Its fragrance is intoxicating and taste is very exotic. It's also the most expensive spice in the world. Fortunately, I live in a country where we have easy access to Iran and so we get the best of Iran's wonerful nuts and spices! Which reminds me that I will be making a trip to the spice market soon and will keep my eyes peeled for some very green pistachios. I do hope I find them :)



I used a different Macaron recipe this time and did regret it later as I felt they weren't as successful looking as my previous ones. But boy did they taste good, the aroma coming from the oven as they baked was so fragrant. The recipe I used can be found here, and I just added a teaspoon of saffron and pulsed it with the sugar and almonds. Once you add the wet ingredients the yellow color will emerge. You can also add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring if you want a more intense color. I filled them with dark chocolate whipped ganache.



As I was doing the photo-shoot today I saw a little hand creep it's way into my view-finder. I had to include some pictures of my little cookie monster. She just cracks me up.

48 comments:

Marianna said...

wow, that is so decadent! I've never tasted saffron + chocolate together. Must be really unique! Great macarons, I am always in admiration of people who successfully make them!!!

Vera said...

What a beautiful little girl! It's so great to be able to see not only food photos (which are wonderful, indeed); it's like getting to know you, Basma, better.

Absolutely gorgeous macaroons!! And amazing, must-try flavor!

Veron said...

What a cutie! I use saffron in my macarons when there is a special occassion. It's my favorite spice of all.

Bakerette said...

Marianna, yeah they did taste great!

Vera, thanks so much, she kinda forced herself in the frame :)

Veron, wow I thought I was so original making saffron macarons! But you are the Macaron star!!

Aran said...

soooo cute!!! beautiful eyes!!! and the macarons look delicious, of course.

Miss C. said...

Your macarons look absolutely delightful! Oh I love the smell of saffron! We made saffron crumble once to accompany a dessert at the restaurant where I'm working at, and when you open the container the ethereal scent just floods your senses.I imagine these would smell the same.

Your daughter is so beautiful! And showing the signs of a gourmand already, I suppose...

-Christy

Garrett said...

I've had a bit of trouble finding cheap saffron in my area, so I hardly ever cook with it. Really, I think I'm missing out - I might have to splurge and buy some. These macarons came out looking wonderful!

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I see these little hands in my viewfinder often......The saffron and chocolate is a genius combination.

Ma Baker said...

These look fantastic. I really must get my act together and give macrons a go. They look so tasty.
Almost as tasty as that sweet little face. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Your cookie monster is the cutest little thing ever!
And your macarons are beautiful, too!

Bakerette said...

Aran-thanks, your son is the cutie pie too!

Miss C- I really do hope my daughter inherits my love for baking, i am so looking forward to the day when we make things together..

Garett- yes Saffron is expensive but we are so lucky to be able to buy it cheaper here but all you really need is a few threads to get that flavor, if you steep the threads you get the amazing yellow color too!

Nina, Ma Baker & Patricia- thank you so much :)

Aimée said...

What a sweetheart!
Your macarons are some of the nicest I have seen. What a gorgeous color on them!

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Heather said...

wow these sound delicious! what an exciting combination of flavors!

Sandra Avital said...

Seeing the 1st picture, I wanted to write how gorgeous are your macarons.. but who cares of macarons with such a beautiful girl!!

Tartelette said...

Your macarons are gorgeous! Veron sent me saffron for my bday which makes me think I should get cranking, right!
Your daughter is absolutely, positively adorable!

Mcwhisky said...

Beautiful, beautiful macaroons. It doesn't puff up and pretty dome it has. Chocolate and saffron? That's pretty awesome. :)

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

It's ages since I've made macarons and these look so good. Chocolate and saffron is just a magical combination.

Great looking blog btw.

Mrs Ergül said...

Hello Basma, you have a very nice looking blog. Of coz, the photos too! I really like it so I've tagged you :)

Three-Legs Alice said...

wow - what an unusual and delicious sounding combination!
i just discovered macarons recently on a trip to london - the Maison La Duree in Harrods' macarons sent me through the roof!
So seeing this is really fascinating - beautiful things you have here :-D

and mashalla you have an adorable daughter!!

tla

Big Boys Oven said...

Such a lovely macaron and great choice of spice, saffron!

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Tartelette said...

Somebody brings my Bakerette back!! Now!!!

Madam Chow said...

Wonderful combination - I am always looking for ways to include saffron and other spices in my cooking. And I love your little cookie monster!

Vera said...

Basma, dear, where are you? I'm just wondering if everything is alright. I really miss you, I think I am not the only one. Please let us know if there's any help needed.

Zita said...

Wow, just found your blog... beautiful, saffron macaron that's another recipe to try... :)

Helene said...

Just found your blog. The macarons are beautiful and the pictures also.

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Culinary Cory said...

I see saffron used often when I watch my food network shows. I even bought a bottle once to experiment. I never thought to combine it with chocolate.

Lo said...

I haven't seem your blog in a few months, I hope all is well. I enjoyed reading your blog and loved your photo's. Hope you return soon.

michelle @ TNS said...

decadence! the chocolate! the adorable dumpling! what else do you need in a blog post?

Latifa said...

WOW...what a delicious blog! I recently tasted macarons from fauchon and i liked it. Your post encoureged me to try baking them at home soon. I also loved the idea of safforn flavour.

good job!

Y said...

Your cookie monster is too cute! :)

Culinary Workshops said...

Saffron adds extra flavor, Mostly it is used in spicy foods. The saffron macarons looks great. Your daughter is very cute.

Thanks
Lucy

Aparna said...

Its look awesome. very beautiful.

bakergirlcreations said...

what a darling picture...those little fingers!

Kamana said...

she looks gorgeous. Love the big expressive eyes.

and your food photography is superb!

Cupcakes In Heels said...

wow that looks amazingly good! your little girl is so adorable =).

Laureen said...

Thanks for sharing. After a 3rd attempt I finally succeed to make a proper Macarone: smooth shell and with a collar.
Thanks to your recipe

pityenlacocina said...

what a lovely cutie you have! and the macarons look divine! i have to start thinking about making them, for one and for all!

cheers from london,

pity

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sinnlighet said...

oh my... love your virtual image!! amazing mix of pic's!!

regards from sweden & agneta

Rajani said...

just found you on foodbuzz... don't you blog anymore?

Christiana Weber said...

Your photos and posts are lovely! Not to mention the little girl! This recipe sounds delicious, I can't wait to try it! Looking forward to more of your posts!

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dinnersanddreams said...

The saffron is quite unusual and interesting in macarons. Well done!

Nisrine

Valerie said...

Really interesting blog! You have great pictures and original recipes!