Macaron

Macarons are a true French delicacy and our taking us by storm. Not to be confused with macaroons (coconut), these are meringue based with almond meal folded in sandwich between flavored buttercream. They are dainty, playful and make for inspired canvases of interesting flavors and shades not yet categorized by Pantone. They are also very challenging and take a skilled hand and patience to create the perfect texture and “pied” (the foot that elevates the shells.) Thanks to the likes of Laudree and Piere Herme, we have plenty of inspiration.

At Sweet Heather Anne, we keep experimenting with these cuties. One of my favorite flavors is chai ( with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and black pepper.) And then there’s pistachio and citrus praline and oh the list goes on. We are hoping to make a lavender macaron with lavender that Claudia grew.  But we also love playing with their presentation.  Whether boxed up and tied with ribbon, our infamous ombre macaron tower, apothecary jars and vintage cake stands, macarons deserve special treatment. We always have in rotation two flavors of macarons at the dessert counter, so passer-byes can come in and sample these delectable confections. We love making them, maybe just as much as we love eating them!

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REMINDER: we still have a few spots left for our July 2nd Cookies Decorating Class ( Independence Day themed.) Please contact us to reserve a spot. We would love to decorate with you.

Buttercream vs Fondant

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, or even thinks about it much, but fondant has gotten a pretty bad rap for itself.  It’s not that I don’t understand why, I do.  At its worst it can be a thick gummy paste with a strangely chemical after taste, at its best it is what I call marshmallow-flavored  Play-Doh.  And this is how the buttercream versus fondant debate usually starts.

There are a few points that I always like to make.

The first is that you’re not losing buttercream but gaining fondant.  Every fondant cake has a layer of buttercream underneath the fondant.  We try to make the layer of fondant as thin as possible (typically about an eighth of an inch) that way guests who don’t prefer fondant are easily able to remove their fondant and push it to the side. .

Secondly, because event cakes are typically large, and are serving lots of guests, they are cut differently from your typical home cake.  Instead of the typical pie wedge the cake is cut in concentric circles and then thin slices.  What this means is that most guests will be served interior slices of cakes, which will have only a thin layer on the top.  And in case my description made no sense, perhaps this diagram will help.

How to cut a wedding cake

What the decision really comes down to is a decorating decision.  Buttercream is delicious.  Here at Sweet Heather Anne all busttercream is Swiss buttercream, made with brown sugar and vanilla bean paste.  It makes for a lovely ivory tone with flecks of bean.  Not ideal for a white on white ultra modern affair, but definitely wonderful.  Fondant also receives color better than buttercream, and allows us to make that perfect color match more so than buttercream.   Fondant in all its sugary glory is a tool that allows us to achieve a desired aesthetic.

Buttercream cakes are delicious and stunning in their simplicity.  Check out some of our most recent…

Buttercream Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

photo by Abby Rose Photo

Buttercream Wedding Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

photo by Adrienne Fletcher Photography

Wedding Cake by Sweet Heather Anne

photo by Abby Rose Photo

Buttercream Wedding Cake

photo by Jess + Nate Studios