Where I’m from, family dinners and celebrations are not taken lightly. Thanksgiving dinners in Winnipeg were the culmination of hard work + cared cooking completed over 3 different household kitchens with mom + my aunts + my grandma at the helm; strong woman in the kitchen juggling a million tasks and never failing to deliver an eye popping belly busting dinner spread. Fortunately for me, the same holds true in my adult life…well kind of.
As much as I cling to those Winnipeg memories, my Toronto Thankgivings are a 180. The aromas vary but only slightly, the cooking banter is more sport skewed but still a buzz, the visuals, however, could not be more different. Instead, it’s 1 kitchen filled with men who may or may not be in aprons but who definitely [well at least I know mike would] have an oil splatter or 2 on their clothing. It’s a tight squeeze and there isn’t enough room or enough ovens for me and my baking.
This weekend Mike was away in Ottawa helping Vinoth move into his new place. Alone, I did what any one would do with free reign over their condo + a weekend away from their significant other: eat copious amounts of takeaway sushi, watch a back log of PVR’d TV [the usual shows involving a French Court dressed in couture and vampires], and bake macarons. I figured since there’s no room for me in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, this would be my only chance to bake in peace.
Set to the tunes of a Songza 60’s French Pop playlist, along with my tall cup of americano, I baked – but when Françoise Hardy came on, I danced. [For a mere moment in time, I felt like I was a living a scene from a Wes Anderson movie]
I baked 3 batches all of which will be served as desert for Thanksgiving dinner
burgundy: maple pecan
orange: pumpkin spice [a fan favourite and tradition]
macaron shells [makes about 30-35]
note: this is the original recipe halved which explains the weird weights
137.5g of sifted almond flour
125g icing sugar
97.5g egg whites aged* + @ room temp
105g granulated sugar
gel food colour
*aged – separate whites up to 1 week ahead of time | place whites in a bowl + cover with plastic wrap + pierce holes through the surface with a fork | store in the fridge
for the rest of the instructions click –>here<–
on the hazelnut macaron shells I sprinkled them with ground pistachios
hazelnut + maple pecan ganache
[enough to fill 35-40 macarons]
170g of white chocolate chips
1/4c + 1/8c whipping cream
hazelnut essential oil or maple essential oil + maple syrup [I used a maple pecan syrup]
gel food colour
in a sauce pan add whipping cream and 1/8 tsp of essential oil | if making the maple flavour, add 1-2 tbs syrup to taste | stir and bring to a simmer
once simmering remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes
bring cream mixture back to a simmer
add simmering cream mixture to bowl of chocolate chips
leave to sit for 30sec
begin to mix to combine until smooth
pour into shallow dish | let ganache cool to room temp
cover with plastic wrap directly touching ganache surface | place in fridge for 2hrs [until mix thickens] to overnight
when ready, whip ganache with mixer until light and fluffy
transfer to pipping bag and start filling your macarons
Since I baked these a week in advance, to ensure freshness, I froze them. Macarons keep well frozen. The freezer preserves their freshness vs having them sit around in the fridge which causes them to go stale. To freeze, store your assembled macarons in an air tight container with layers separated by parchment. To thaw, pull them out of the freezer and allow them sit in the fridge overnight.
Mike returned from Ottawa on Sunday afternoon. He proceeded to be a lump on the couch for the rest of the day into the evening. Having anticipated this, I suggested we get ramen for dinner; it didn’t take much convincing. Once the Dallas game ended we left for Kinton. As the Cowboys celebrated their 4th consecutive win, Mike enjoyed his 49th bowl of ramen…but who’s counting.
Next week is our big Thankgiving feast. Stay tuned to see gluttony at its best!