THE OFF SEASON: macaron experiment #1

macaron_PH_02When I began my macaron baking adventures, one of the first books Mike gave me for reference was ‘Macarons by Pierre Herme’.  As I flipped through its glossy pages, I was in awe by the bold bright macaron colours and intrigued by the interesting flavour combos.  Since, indulging in a Pierrre Herme macaron has etched a place on my culinary bucket list.

laduree_02[Ladurée | Covent Garden]

laduree_01I am a customer and a fan of Toronto’s Nadege and have been treated to both Ladurée + Bouchon; however, still no Pierre Herme.  That all changed on this past trip to London.  Yes, another London life moment – Wedgwood and Pierre Herme.  It was an action packed couple days in the UK.

macaron_PH_01[Pierre Herme | London -SOHO]

After crossing off all macaron related items on my culinary bucket list, though all were delicious, I have decided that Pierre Herme’s macaron’s were my favourite.  They were rich in flavour and melted in your mouth.

Inspired by this last macaron experience, I decided that I would try my hand at a new flavour; something not chocolate, strawberry, vanilla etc. I went back to my cultural roots.  One of my favourite Filipino flavours is ube [pronounced: ooo-beh] aka taro aka purple yam.  Mike hates it, but I LOVE it; a flavour that instantly takes me back to my childhood.

Purple Yams

macaron_ube_08If it weren’t for yam fries, I’m sure this root flavour of choice would appear a little more obscure.  Besides its amazingly regal colour, this yam’s sweet flavour is mellow and its cooked texture is smooth.  To make these purple yam macarons, I continued with my usual cookie recipe but decided to use a traditional Filipino ube desert [ube halaya] as my filling vs my usual ganache.

yams_peeledU B E  H A L A Y A | recipe from


.1 med to large purple yam
. 7oz evaporated milk
. 6oz condensed milk
. 1/4c butter

boil the unpeeled yam and let simmer for 30 minutes
drain + let cool
peel + finely grate
over medium heat melt butter | add condensed milk + mix well
add the grated purple yam
turn heat to low mix + mix + mix [about 30mins] until sticky and a bit dry but still moist
add evaporated milk | continue to mix for another 15mins
place in a bowl/dish | let cool
scoop in to a pastry bag and pipe onto your macaron halves

macaron_ube_02The combined flavours of the cookies + filling were delicious; not too sweet, and surprisingly floral.  However, as the ube filling does not dry like ganache and remains quite moist from the yams, as i left my assembled macarons to mature in the fridge overnight, their centres started to soften and the cookies caved into the filling.

ubemacaron[a shot I snapped right after the macarons were assembled + the day before they caved in]

macaron_ube_06 Though my macarons appeared a little more deflated than normal, according to my panel of self appointed taste testers, the flavour was a win!  This flavour remains a work in progress.  Perhaps I will go back to a ganache base for trial #2.

macaron_ube_01I would say that, besides the overly soft results, these macarons were still a mini success.  However, I recommend that if using the ube filling, the cookie is best served +eaten on the same day.

Once I get this flavour down, I have a whole list of others that I would like to try out.



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