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This week’s obsession: Chocolate Raspberry Macarons

No but seriously. I know that cauliflower is having its moment, but nobody wants that for Valentine’s Day. I can tell you what they do want though…

Literally anything else.

Or maybe something sweet? Like candy? Cookies? Macarons?

Back in the day when I was getting really good at making macarons, I was so focused on them coming out absolutely perfect that I never entertained the idea of getting creative with the shape of the cookie. I wanted flawlessness - perfect feet, completely smooth tops, full centers.

Much like with everything I was taught how to do in pastry school (read: the absolute most complicated way EVER), I had to take a step back, take a deep breath, and let “really good” be good enough.

With my first attempt at shaped macarons, I can’t say that I’m totally in love with how they turned out, but they are definitely good enough.

And they taste really dang good.

Part of that has to do with this delicious raspberry dark chocolate ganache that I made as my macaron filling. #drool I learned this technique when I was second in command at this very hip doughnut shop in New Orleans. The woman who came up with every single recipe in that shop also taught me a thing or two about chocolate ganache. She loved using spices, freeze dried fruits, and even ancho chiles to add deep flavors to any ganache. She was a genius!

So this is what my tip of the week is about - get some flavor into your ganaches! Plain old ganache is always tasty, but sometimes it could use a little pizzazz. For today’s ganache, which is meant to evoke a lovely, romantic flavor combo for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, I chose to use freeze dried raspberries. I poured them into my spice grinder and made a powder out of them that I folded directly into my ganache. (Pro-tip: we did the same thing for the ancho chiles - they came directly out of the can and went straight into the grinder. The sauce from the can was helpful in flavoring the ganache, too.) For your ganache, you can choose any additives that you want. I used about half the bag of freeze dried raspberries, but you should use whatever amount tastes good to you, too. This method is very much about your tastes and preferences.

You’ll also see in my video that I was feeling festive and wore my most Valentines-y shirt (it actually promotes a different holiday, but it’s red, so who’s counting?). So here it is, this week's video detailing everything I did from start to finish - including sipping wine while I wait. I hope you enjoy!

Happy eating, y'all!

If you tried this dessert, or any other desserts in my blog, please share my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts about them and let people know what you think! Mahalo!

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