Behold the object of my quest, the delectable, sometimes chemically-hued
No, no, no! These treats are delicately flavored concoctions, made from egg whites, ground almonds and sugar, then filled with a mixture of egg whites, butter and sugar. I'd looked at recipes on-line, thinking that, just as I'd done in a quest to have madeleines, I'd have to make my own. However, I needed a point of reference, some idea of what a macaron was like in the real world, not just on-line.
I'd recently read an article about Circle City Sweets which included a picture of a young woman making what appeared to be pumpkin-spiced macarons. The bakery is located in Indianapolis City Market. Built in 1886, the Market is the last remaining public market building in Indianapolis. Then, as now, it provided the city with fresh meat, poultry, produce and baked goods.
When I first moved to Indy over thirty years ago, the building was full of food stands and small merchants offering various foods, as well as trinkets and crafts. In recent years, the place had fallen on hard times, maybe due to a lack of focus and has since been remodeled and revitalized; most of the "hippy-dippy" appearance I'd encountered years ago is vanished, replaced by a brighter, airier atmosphere.
But back to the macarons ...
While her husband made a roast beef sandwich for me at his stand, Circle City Soups, a few feet away, I chose five macarons -- two chocolate, two raspberry and one white chocolate. With my macarons carefully packed in my tote and my beautiful sandwich in hand, I stopped at Cath, Inc. for some coffee then headed for the mezzanine to eat my lunch. And to taste my first macaron.
Damn, that sandwich was good! When asked my preferences (wet or dry; hot or cold; spicy, sweet or plain), I chose hot, spicy and wet. I don't eat much meat anymore and this sandwich was a very nice break. Then the macarons, which were not cloying at all. I ate two of them then saved the rest for later. They seemed a little chewy on the inside, which I think was due to their having been in the freezer.
I brought them home, let them set out and had them with coffee after dinner. They were no longer chewy, having turned into the delicate treat I'd expected, sort of crispy and melty at the same time. I just wish the raspberry ones were colored something other than that evil merthiolate pink. Why can't they be a pretty mauve, more in keeping with the pretty raspberry jam inside?