Lemon Party!

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    Story and recipe on my blog.

    To be honest, I'm a bit tired of photographing macarons, was feeling very blah when taking this, and ended up hating the color and cup I picked for the background... But I'm still trying to perfect my method and figure I might as well photograph new flavors as I make them. These are lemon macarons with zest in the cookie and a white chocolate lemon ganache made very tart with the addition of citric acid. Got the cute idea to make them lemon shaped from another blog.

    Entisar, hirame8148, Laksmi W, and 21 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. Xiaolu // 6 Bittersweets 47 months ago | reply

      thanks you guys! Tika you are too sweet! The cookies themselves are not too sweet and I made the white chocolate ganache very tart, but the white chocolate is still a bit too sweet for my taste. Think I'll do a swiss meringue buttercream or lemon curd next time.

    2. bells-desu 47 months ago | reply

      After I discovered your blog, I keep wanting to try and make my own macarons, but I never find the time to try it ):
      Was it too hard for you when you tried to make them for the first time?

    3. Smoky Wok (Jasmine) 47 months ago | reply

      Beautiful photos as always Xiaolu and I still love your macs shots no matter how many lol the lemon shape is so cute too :)

    4. Tika Hapsari Nilmada 47 months ago | reply

      I'm not a sweet tooth too, the original macs were too sweet to me. I think sour filling would be perfect ! I ate my "almost success" macs with nutella filling, and I found them too sweet for my taste. Can't wait to see your innovation again Xiaolu :)

    5. Laksmi W 47 months ago | reply

      I once saw (maybe on your blog) that you make sketches and notes about settings before shooting. It shows admirable dedication and is visible in your images. It is like thinking before talking. It is nice to listen to such speech. It is logical and deliberate. It gives a sense of sustainability (consistency) and, rest assured, the speaker will deliver. The storyline will build up and reach its' potential.

      Such quality of stability is seen in this image, too. Maybe it is not an aah-uuh-ooh-wow in the department of making your socks roll down, but it is solid and you know what you get, as a viewer, and will get it in the future, too. There are markers of good standard, intelligence and wit that are enjoyable. There is also an emotional involvement that tells me you have departed the base (theory and maybe if) and entered into the process of photography without a return ticket.

      I like the shape. It gives personality to the macarons. It's a nice twist. The composition is dynamic and conversational.

    6. StuderV 47 months ago | reply

      I think they are lovely and I don't mind your macarons either, since I have huge problems making them. The yellow brown goes well together. I would say it is a quite image, soft. I don't know why but I have the feeling something is missing. Maybe a sprinkle of lemon zest on tops, some on the wood? Anyway, nice composition.

    7. Gourmande in the Kitchen 47 months ago | reply

      I think the shape is really cute and playful. Now I'm wondering how you got those points to stay on the macs before they went in the oven to make the shape.

    8. photo-copy 47 months ago | reply

      Even without seeing your name, you instantly know it's a picture by Xiaolu. You really have developed your own style the last year or so. I really love the shape of the macarons, they make me smile. And I agree that the colors work great together. Love it!

    9. Un dejeuner de soleil 47 months ago | reply

      Lovely shape and good choice of background, very accurate. You have a great feeling with macarons and a joyful style :-)
      Concerning the white chocolate, I can recommend using professional one (chocolat de couverture ivoire). It is not too sweet and gives a wonderful texture. You can find it on line.

    10. Xiaolu // 6 Bittersweets 47 months ago | reply

      Thanks everyone for your feedback/support!

      Laksmi, I did mention and show sketches I made in a blog post =). Thanks for your in-depth analysis -- I really appreciate it! The funny thing is that, since I have a hard time imagining scenes on my mind, my set-ups actually come out more creative (and possibly spontaneous LOOKING) when I sketch them as opposed to when I wing it. I actually was too busy/lazy to sketch this one and thus resulted in something more simplistic than I would've liked in the end, but it's nice that I've reached a level of comfort with photography that even at the worst I usually don't hate a photograph I'm made, just feel ambivalent toward it :).

      Vera, don't worry I know exactly what you mean and I feel the same way! I both wish that I'd added some additional detail(s) and that I'd gone with a less centered composition. I think I jump to the center and also neutral backgrounds. I think what I don't like about this composition is that I originally had a bright background in mind and picked the cup according to that expectation. With the more rustic, natural background I should have removed/replaced the cute cute with something more gritty and also added some details like you said like a messy scattering of zest. Lesson learned for next time! See I do need styling help ;p

      Sylvia, thanks I'm glad you liked the shape! I pulled the tips out with a toothpick and then let them dry to form a shell as usual. By that point the shape is pretty stable and you bake them as usual. The main problem I had was that the tips have trouble getting feet and tend to stick to the pan, but it actually adds to the lemon-like shape in a way so it's not a huge deal.

      Ann, aw thanks a lot! I hope most of my photos are a bit higher quality than this but it's nice to know I do have some type of style. Glad the shape made you smile =D

      Edda, thank you! Especially like to hear that you find my photos "joyful." Thanks a lot for the tip about professional white chocolate!

    11. Panpepato senza pepe 47 months ago | reply

      Xiaolu, are you kidding? You are too clever and original, you could open a shop where you sell your beautiful macarons! And then, I had never seen lemon-shaped cutter. Now I am wondering what cutter are you going to use to make the next macarons!

    12. Xiaolu // 6 Bittersweets 47 months ago | reply

      Thanks ! Macarons actually have to be piped as the batter is quite liquid and so you can't really use cutters. I created the lemon shape by pulling out opposite sides with a toothpick right after I piped circles. You want to do the shaping quickly before the shells start to dry out and form a "skin" on top. You can, however, pipe into specific shapes (usually nothing too detailed). I've seen candy cane, heart, and other very creative shapes!

    13. aprna 47 months ago | reply

      These are the cutest macarons I've seen in a while.
      I don't think there's much wrong with your composition as such. I'm thinking maybe the wooden brown isn't doing anything for yellow macs. Perhaps a black background (and lower exposure) would provide some contrast? And I agree another coloured cup might have been a better choice.

    14. sunshinemomsblog 47 months ago | reply

      These are so, so cute! They are actually playful macarons:). I too felt when I saw the image - "This is not Xiaolu's style!" They are beautiful but I know it is not styled with all your heart, probably because I have got used to such good work from you:).

    15. Xiaolu // 6 Bittersweets 47 months ago | reply

      Thanks for your honest input, everyone! I'll take it to improve upon my work in the future and thanks for holding me to a high standard of quality ^_^

    16. aisha.yusaf 47 months ago | reply

      I know what you mean, Xiaolu. There are days when I feel totally uninspired and my mind's blank. As you said, this shot looks spontaneous which is not a bad thing! I like it, it's simple and shows off the cute little macarons which are beautifully shaped. But it does look a bit naked! As Vera's suggested, some lemon zest would have perked it up. It's a lovely shot as is though!

    17. c_fluffy 46 months ago | reply

      ah ha ha, these macarons are totally precious!

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