Caramel Banana & Chocolate Macarons

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and
When we kiss they’re perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make us into
Corresponding shapes like puzzles pieces
From the clay

True, it may seem like a stretch
But it’s thoughts like this
That catch my troubled head
When you’re away, when I am missing you to death

When you were out there on the road
For several weeks of shows
And when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

–Such Great Heights, Postal Service (but in my head, I hear the Iron & Wine version!).

I’m finally making it official. I have the world’s ugliest hands. They are wrinkly, dry and quite often, food-stained. I should probably insure them for $millions. Against ever being photographed again. Lucky you can’t see the burns on my arms though. M says I look like someone who self-harms.

Anyway, B returned yesterday from another work trip and I made him these macarons as a surprise gift. He took an impromptu picture while I was sandwiching them together, hence the unprepared hands. The macarons were banana flavoured caramel, with bitter chocolate ganache. I dusted the tops of the macarons with cocoa, to imitate that ‘ripe banana skin’ look.

As this month is shaping up to be a busy one and I might not be posting as frequently, I thought I would take the opportunity to wish everyone an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I love Christmas, but have to admit, I can’t wait for January, as we have tickets to see The Swell Season, Cinematic Orchestra and Camille. Also, I’m hoping the new year will bring new things with it, like a bit of travel or more time for me to spend in my kitchen.

Looking back, it’s been a crazy year. I started a new job – my most demanding one to date – and am amazed that I have still managed to squeeze in some blogging time. This blog has always been intended to be a bit of an outlet for me. A place to write down some thoughts, and to help me keep track of the things I have been baking at home. Through it, I have also discovered some inspiring blogs and the people behind them, such as Vera, Duncan, Aran, Lisa, Pete and Matt.

So I want to thank them, and everyone else who has continued to read and be so supportive of all this pixellated junk I’ve thrown in front of their screens over the past year. 🙂

(PS: I have been toying with the idea of making a macaron series, dedicated to some of my favourite blogs. I already have a yogurt one in mind, and a cherry ripe one. What macaron would you make for your favourite blog? Suggestions, please!)

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  1. Caitlin said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

    Wow. I had forgotten how much I loved Iron & Wine. Seriously awesome. Oh, and I think a gingerbread macaron would be fantastic, just to go with the season more than with a particular blog. Although there are plenty of blogs out there that are warm and spicy 🙂

  2. Y said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

    Hi Caitlin! A gingerbread macaron sounds like a great idea! I’ll have to look into that one.. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Christie @ fig&cherry said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Yes please cherry ripe! It’s my fav choc bar.

    I’ve got tix to Cinematic Orchestra too on the 22nd. See you there?

  4. Amanda said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    Have a great Christmas and wonderful new year! I hope this next year brings more adventures 🙂

  5. Vanille said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    I don’t have any particular suggestion, but I really like the flavours of these macarons !
    And what’s about litchi ones to stay in the tropical flavours…
    Lucky you, Camille’s concert !

  6. Y said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

    Christie : The cherry ripe one is aimed at you! Or should I make it fig & cherry ripe? Heh heh. I think we’re going on the 22nd as well (have they got more than 1 show?), so yes, see you there!

    Thanks Amanda, same to you! 🙂

    Vanille : MMmm lychee… might as well go all the way and recreate the legendary Ispahan! :-9

  7. FFichiban said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

    Merry Xmas and Happy New Yearsss!! Banana and caramel is such an awesome combination mmmmm

    But since you are asking for suggestions I just have to put it out there… how bout PB and chocolate ^^! Yaayyy :D?

  8. Y said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    Good ole PB! Are you suggesting this for yourself? 😉

    I’ve actually done a ‘peanut butter and jelly’ flavoured one before, which worked quite well.

  9. Christie @ fig&cherry said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

    Yes, yes! Fig & Cherry Ripe. That’s an awesome name and combination. (I’m modest aren’t I?). Hehe.

  10. cakebrain said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 5:58 pm

    Oooh. Gorgeous macarons! I love the flavour combination! Cherry ripe? that sounds intriguing!

  11. snookydoolde said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

    wow these look so nice and i like how you decorated them 🙂 ha my hands are in the same state right now. All chapped with cold and washing them and some fingers coloured brown and others green from food colouring. ha I wish to see some cherry macaroons. All you macaroons look great. Love them.

  12. morgana said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 6:58 pm

    Wow! The look really great. I wish I could taste one, chocolate & bannana is one of my favorites combinations.

  13. Samantha said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 7:10 pm

    That song is by The Postal Service originally.

  14. Y said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

    Thanks Samantha! I’ve been meaning to look for the original song, actually. I love the I&W version 🙂

  15. Lorraine E said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

    Hehe I was wondering about the hands! 😛 I get that from kneading coloured fondant. The “ripe banana” sprinkle is cute. If you did think of doing an NQN macaron I’d love an Ispahan 😉

  16. Aran said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

    Thank you Y! You have also been an inspiration to all of us and I hope you have a great end of the year as well. Lovely macarons! (PS… will you be upset if I correct you that Such Great Heights is not by Iron & WIne but by The Postal Service?… :))

  17. Y said,

    December 11, 2008 @ 11:37 pm

    Hehe OK you’re not the first person to point it out! I’m making the edit now! 🙂

  18. Rosa said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 12:09 am

    Those Macarons look perfect! A delightful treat!



  19. Piggy said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 1:25 am

    I can’t resist anything with banana-chocolate combi, and I’m now drooling over your macarons!

  20. Eileen said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 1:29 am

    Every time I see a macaron I swear I’m going to attempt to make them. Chocolate, coffee and fleur de sel??

  21. Mandy said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 2:01 am

    Gorgeous macarons! And I love the flavor combination. To answer the last question, I wish I know how to bake a macaron. :p

  22. celine said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 2:41 am

    what an awesome idea, the macaron-per-blog one!
    and I don’t think your hands are ugly at all.

  23. Pearl said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 4:00 am

    You have really pretty hands! and the macaroons are adorable!

  24. Marysol said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 5:38 am

    I also have a few scars on my arms from cooking and baking as well, and I wear them with pride.
    Your macs look so wonderfully light and delicious.
    Merry Christmas Y!

  25. Samantha said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 6:14 am

    I like it to buuuut that’s a pet peeve of mine!

    btw the macaroons look great! I’ve never had the guts to make some but these make me want to!

  26. belle said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

    Lychee is my favourite flavour, and Lorraine beat me to it in recommending Ispahan!
    And have a happy Christmas, not too busy for you, hopefully.

  27. mengni said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the comment:) Your macaroons look gorgeous! I’ll vote for green tea flavoured macaroons. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

  28. Mochene said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 5:37 pm

    Happy holidays to you as well. Thanks for the memory: I saw some banana chocolate macs in Paris and made a version for the restaurant I worked at. I hand painted brown “stripes” across yellow macs and filled them with a nice banana ganache. I do like the idea of two fillings though.

    Don’t worry about your hands. They’re lovely, they create.

  29. the projectivist said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

    what a wonderful combination you and M make.
    you, Y with your macaron that seems to be made of GOLD LEAF!
    (look at the way it seems to glow)
    and B, with his fabulous photographic skills
    there’s such warmth to that picture.

    i hope that you both have a lovely Christmas and New Year’s.

    as for suggesting something for the Macaron Series?
    i’d have to go with something lemon-y
    remember Lemon Sherbets?
    or lemon meringue pie

  30. Thip said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

    Lovely macaroons, Y.
    I’m thinking about making coconut flavor macaroon with pineapple ganache for my sister.
    p.s. My hands start to get rough too. 🙁

  31. Christy said,

    December 12, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

    Oh my god!!! What a coincidence!! I was just looking down while waiting for the tram to take me home after work today when I realise how grotty my nails looked!! They seriously looked like I had very poor personal hygiene, when in fact it was the cocoa powder and cake mix that I was working with. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could scrub them!!

    Yes, I sometimes wonder how you find time to blog too. I mean. Pier is THE restaurant in Australia, and Katrina is one of the most respected pastry chefs in this country down under. But I’d still almost kill to work with her. As to the burns on the arms, I have a naughty secret. I invest in a pair of long industrial heavy duty oven mitts, long being the key word here. And I take them with me to every job, as I really mind getting burnt. Yes, I’m a wuss.

    As raisins and walnuts are my current obsession, I’d venture towards the uncharted territory of walnut macarons with raisin and brandy ganache. Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you too! I bet B enjoyed those macarons! I know I would!!

  32. Shari said,

    December 13, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

    I definitely prefer the Iron & Wine version of the song. Love the lyrics. Your macarons look great and have a lot of my favorite flavors in them.

    Although I’ve never made macarons, they’re on my list of things to try. For Cannelle & Vanille, an all-white version with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla would be perfect! What would yours be? Lemon and spice?

  33. Vera said,

    December 13, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    Y, dear, I’m so touched! Thank you very much! As for the hands… You should have seen mine!
    Very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year to you! Your macaroons are fantastic! I would like to dedicate a macaroon to you 🙂 It would be a chocolate macaroon with cocoa gelee center and nib buttercream. How does it sound? I haven’t made them yet though… But I will.

  34. Y said,

    December 13, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    celine: I’d love to make a “have cake, will travel” inspired macaron, but it’d have to be vegan! I wonder if that’s possible..!?

    theprojectivist : Yeah, the photo turned out really well! Just goes to show, I shouldn’t be the one taking the pictures for my blog 😛 Sherbety lemon meringue mac sounds like a possibility.

    Hi Mochene! What did you paint the brown stripes with? Melted chocolate?

    Christy: I know what you mean! I still remember the time I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work and discovered as I was getting my wallet out, that I still had bits of liver on my arm! Oh, and I actually DO want to make walnut macarons, because I had an idea for carrot cake-flavoured macarons.

    Shari: Great suggestion. I was thinking of something pretty close to what you said, with regards to a Cannelle et Vanille inspired macaron. Guess Lemonpi would definitely have to incorporate something lemony as well.

    Vera: Aww that sounds rather good! 😀

  35. grace said,

    December 14, 2008 @ 1:08 am

    i have burns all over my hands too, and i’m sure some people think i have problems. i guess i do have a problem–i can’t get something out of the oven without searing my skin. meh, it’s worth it for the cookies and cake and bread. 🙂

  36. cathy x. said,

    December 14, 2008 @ 2:04 am

    lychee and garlic! apple and lime! triple-layered BIG MACarons! macaron with pear foam filling encased in a spun sugar bauble! green macaron croquembuche a la christmas tree! 😛

  37. cathy x. said,

    December 14, 2008 @ 10:28 am

    i just woke up detecting brainwave activity!

    thursday night smackdown VANILLA & BACON MACARONS!


  38. ygardin said,

    December 14, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

    I would make a cocoa nib macaron, a black forest macaron-with sour cherry, chocolate, and white chocolate filling; hazelnut praline macaron, pistachio and rosewater or orange blossom macaron; coffee macaron; and caramel macaron. I admit, I have never made any macarons before in my life. They seem very popular, though.

  39. Duncan | Syrup&Tang said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 12:33 am

    Ain’t no junk on Lemonpi, m’dear! Never.

    We’ve both been thinking macarons again, by the looks of it. I have no suggestion for how to characterise *me* in a macaron, but had a giggle at the thought. But if you were closer, I’d happily give you a bunch of my Christmas macs as thanks for your great baking and friendly blog visits:)

  40. lee said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 3:04 am

    I was going to ask why you took a photo of a bricklayer holding one of your delicate creations…

    If it wasn’t so late and I wasn’t so lazy I’d post a link I think you would find amusing, but instead if you go to my blog, click on the Girl Clumsy blog link and read her cake post I think you will be very amused.

    Happy Christmas, Y, if we are not in contact before whenever the Baby Jesus thing happens.

  41. Sophie said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 8:45 am

    You just have the hands of a hardworker, that isn’t a bad thing at all :). Enjoy the Christmas season, those concerts sound like they’ll be tons of fun.

    As for the macarons…gosh, it’s hard to say! I think chocolate and cherry :).

  42. arfi said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

    I tried out the fleur de sel macarons last time. I should try to change the filling and I should remember this post to come back for it. Love the first photo, Y!

  43. the caked crusader said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

    I am loving those macaron! Yum

  44. Hannah said,

    December 16, 2008 @ 7:45 am

    Wow, now that sounds like a killer flavor combination…! I’m dying to work on making a vegan macaron, they sound incredible to begin with.

  45. Mochene said,

    December 16, 2008 @ 11:52 am

    Y-I just used trablit since we didn’t have any brown coloring in the kitchen. I added a little water to thin it out and used a really thin delicate brush. They just had to dry longer. Also, between myself and another cook, we made browned butter macs, salted caramel, Opera inspired, and my fave, a pink peppercorn with a lemon filling. I have a notebook full of ideas sketched out. I can’t get enough macs!

  46. Jude said,

    December 16, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

    You should see my hands… Let’s just say my palms can wipe varnish off of tables. A macaron series would be great!

  47. lisa (dandysugar) said,

    December 16, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

    I love these macarons- the flavor combination sounds amazing! How about a little tropical coconut and mango macaron? You always have such beautiful photos.

    Oh yeah, I saw the Swell Season a few months ago and I think it was the best show I’ve been to in a long time.

  48. Y said,

    December 16, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

    Cathy: Vanilla and bacon! NOW you’re talkin’!

    Duncan : We should do a swap some time 😀

    Hannah: If you do go ahead, keep me posted, as I’d love to see what you come up with!

    Lisa: Good to hear! The Frames are always amazing live, so I’m sure Swell Season won’t disappoint either. They’re the one I’m most looking forward to, out of the three.

  49. Manggy said,

    December 18, 2008 @ 5:07 am

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you as well! Huh, anyone up for blood sugar macarons? Lol. (though that probably means blood oranges.) Butter macarons with buttercream? Syrup on tangerine macs? Kumquat macs? Ah, the list goes on and on!

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