chocolate macaron mice

Souris – it’s a French Mouse!

For the last few days we have had an unexpected visitor to the house – a visitor clearly with a sweet tooth and partying spirit. She has had an absolute ball testing out brioche flour, speculoos biscuits, praline pâtisserie chocolate, mini chocolate Easter eggs and – wait for it – ground almonds! With all my macaron ingredients stashed away in the basement, she came to the right house, this mouse.

I say ‘she’, as the French have given the mouse feminine status, la souris. I wonder why? Souris, or smile as the French also say (from the verb sourir, to smile.) Do you really think I’m smiling?

chocolate macaron mice

Chocolate mice macarons – a bit of fun decor with chocolate ganache from the books!

 

Well, yes; with extra ganache for chocolate macarons, somebody had to look on the bright side – especially as we spent part of our precious Easter weekend gutting out the basement stocks just looking for her. The poisonous route was out of the question, as was luring her with a bar of praline chocolate on an old-fashioned mouse-trap.  Much that she would go nuts for it, that’s good chocolate! Instead our clever Monsieur at the quincaillerie (I always loved that word for the Ironmonger in French class; say “can-cay-eree”) came up with a plug-in chaser that emits a silent human ultrasound but one that has mice racing out the door before they can say cheese.

Why is it that I have the feeling that mice are following me around? I’ve already heard someone say that just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. In Paris, I couldn’t help popping in to one of my favourite boutiques, La Vaissellerie in Rue St-Lazare (just behind Galeries Lafayette, around the corner from Gare St Lazare.) It’s a real bazaar of porcelain serving dishes and heaps of culinary knick-knacks.

Who could resist these cheeseboard accessories? I’m still debating on the little cutlery stands, a typical French dinner table accessory. Antoine will surely think it’s mouse overload for our next dinner guests.

Who would have thought that mice were such chocolate lovers? Should somebody tell the lovely people in the boutique that they should change the cheese to a chocolate set?

Next time you’re making chocolate macarons, why not play around with any leftover ganache and make silly shapes with the piping bag? Gosh, I hope the publishers are not reading this: I should be getting on with that book manuscript.  Ahem. Truth be told, I’m going blind with too much computer. Am I becoming French by exaggerating my ailments?

How did that nursery rhyme go again? Let’s give it a new look:

One blind mouse, one blind mouse,

See how she runs, see how she runs,

She poked too much and ate chocolate by the tons,

And ended up on a mac topped in crumbs,

Did you ever see such a thing in your house,

As one blind mouse?

58 replies
  1. Louisa Evans
    Louisa Evans says:

    Dear Jill
    I’ve been thoroughly enjoying making macaroons thanks to your book. The instructions are so clear – and the trouble shooting section is great too. I have a question about colours. I’ve been using the colour pastes (I’d like to use them up before trying the powder) and even when I put a fair amount of colouring in (don’t like to put too much in) they usually end up looking like a bleached out version of the colour they were before they went in the oven. I tried lowering the temperature (I had been using 160 degrees on the fan oven) and the colour remained beautiful and vibrant but they didn’t really cook very well inside. Your advice would be gratefully received.
    Kind regards,
    Louisa

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Louisa,
      Glad you find the recipe clear – thanks for your kind words. Ah, pastes! I’ve found that black pastes are best for black liquorice colours, but I have to use a LOT for it to really work. From my experience, pastes need a good dose to be beautiful. I would just say use more and keep to the recipe method (incl temps) but I still stick by the powders.

      Reply
  2. Ivy
    Ivy says:

    These ultra sound pest repellers are life savers and they don’t cost much. You reminded me of some old fashioned mouse shaped chocolate cake we used to buy ages ago. When we lived in England the first song I learned to play on the flute was: “Three blind mice, (repeat) see how they run (repeat) they all ran after the farmers’ wife etc.,” (lol)

    Reply
  3. Parsley Sage
    Parsley Sage says:

    Ha! The mouse has made you charmingly silly 🙂 What an appropriate rhyme. Your little mouse macaron is fantastic! I’d have a hard time snarfing that out, out of sheer pretty factor!

    Reply
  4. Thomasina
    Thomasina says:

    There was a song written in the dim and distant past called “There’s a moose loose aboot the hoose” which was really very catchy. Hope your mouse is very catchy too.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Catchy, I don’t know but she hasn’t been caught. Hopefully she did run away otherwise she’s destined for a real party while we’re on holiday this week!

      Reply
  5. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time
    The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    Those cheeseboard accessories look like implements used by my dentist. Are you sure you were in the correct shop? I’m sorry about the damage that la souris did to your stash of goods and hope the damages aren’t too expensive. The plug-in mousers are excellent. We have to use them because we live in the woods and every fall the mice seek warmer quarters.

    I can very well see why she is called ‘the smile,’ because that cute little ganache version brought one to my face.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Too funny. I love my dentist so wouldn’t have a problem taking these cheese accessories to ask him if I was in the right shop 😉
      Good to hear that the plug-ins are worth it. Cost me a fortune!

      Reply
  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Hi Jill! >_< I can't stand the thought of some animal living in the house. I go crazy with even ants problem. Your macarons mouse looks so cute – I don't mind having these guests in my house anytime. I'd even dream about the macaron mouse coming to my house!! 😉

    Reply
  7. Liz
    Liz says:

    You even make a visit by a mouse entertaining 🙂 We had a critter a couple years ago and he found our old Easter candy…I guess that they even enjoy cheap American chocolate! Your sweet chocolate mouse is certainly more appealing than the furry version….mmmmmmmm.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Too funny. He ate the top of the packet of Oreos. Only found these biscuits recently and have to say, it’s the only thing I’m happy he ate. It’s the fancy chocolate she took that makes me laugh.

      Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Suppose you have to laugh at things like this, Amy, otherwise I’d imagine our house was taken over by beings from Jurassic Park.

      Reply
  8. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee says:

    I love this. I play one game on facebook and it’s called Mousehunt so this thrilled me. Of course he’s smiling, he’s made of chocolate. We had one in our last home. I made hubs catch it and release it. It was hilarious seeing him trying to get it to go into a jar to take outside.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      You play games on Facebook? I’m impressed. I can’t even work out my new Mad About Macarons Facebook page with this Timeline thing. I’m missing comments! So frustrating. Mouse in a jar. Now that’s wicked!

      Reply
  9. Kiri W.
    Kiri W. says:

    In German, mice are female too.
    I hope you don’t get too much souris-induced damage, but your ganache mouse on a macaron bottom is just too adorable 🙂

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Well that’s a relief, Kiri. German is so difficult with neuter added to the list as well, so just as well she stays feminine!

      Reply
  10. danielle
    danielle says:

    I recently spent far too much time setting up a blockade I made to catch a mouse to set him free outside. After 30 minutes of thinking it was set..I lifted up what he was hiding under..and he found possibly the only gap in my random-object-wall. Poor little guy should have just gone with it! Instead..cats found him 🙁

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Oh dear. But you had such a great idea, Danielle! Can just imagine the proud look on the cat’s face going back to his owner with the new treasure…

      Reply
  11. Cucina49
    Cucina49 says:

    That pastry mouse is gorgeous! I had to laugh a little at your story, but I understand what a pain mice can be. I’m glad you were able to get rid of your house mouse without reverting to poison (or giving it good chocolate).

    Reply
  12. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says:

    Jill, you are so funny. Glad you got rid of your souris humanely. As words go, “Quincaillerie” is right up there with “serendipity” and “picturesque”. What a wonderful mouse-aron, creative lady!

    (p.s. love the reworking of the nursery rhyme too!)

    Reply
  13. parisbreakfast
    parisbreakfast says:

    Only you would get a mouse with such refined tastes Jill.
    This mouse has an M.O.F. I bet if she showed up on your doorstep.
    Like you need another recipe tester with all of us lining up!

    Reply
  14. Vicki Bensinger
    Vicki Bensinger says:

    How adorable and now you’re a poet too! You’re a woman of many talents!

    Like you on any given day I feel blind as well but mostly from looking at the messages and emails on my iPhone.

    Reply
  15. Sissi
    Sissi says:

    The macaron mouse is beautiful! Probably the only mouse I have ever liked 😉 I also like visiting Vaissellerie shops whenever I go to Paris. They are so small, I’m always scared of breaking something.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Aha – me too. Although last time I was in, one of the salesgirls kicked a pile of porcelain plates so it made the whole experience a bit more homely!

      Reply
  16. REEM | SIMPLY REEM
    REEM | SIMPLY REEM says:

    LOL….
    I know what u are feeling….. We too once had a crazy mouse episode, God I went crazy sleepless lady!!!
    But I have to say the mouse you made is incredibly delicious and cute looking…
    Enjoy ur weekend and I hope that mouse stops troubling you

    Reply
  17. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef says:

    LOL you crack me up. I’m not sure that’s how the story goes but for you I’m willing to change it. officially.

    We have a cat so mice stay clear. I still think I could make one of those macaron mice one day soon. It’s really cute and Tallulah wouldn’t touch it.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      No cat in our house and not even sure if the wee pest has packed her bags yet or not. Wondering if I should put out some chocolate just to check…?

      Reply
  18. Tina@flourtrader
    Tina@flourtrader says:

    I must say a little mouse is not so bad running out of the house. However, I recently lost a good pair of shoes to one. The thing about them is you cannot rest after you discover them, for your mind is wondering more?? how many more??
    However the mouse you made here does put a sweet spin on the invaders. Cute as well as delicious. Enjoy the weekend and tell those mice they need to play outside or they will have to suffer the ultrasound!

    Reply

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