One Night in Bangkok: Back to the 80s Disco Macarons

A few days ago, I fell in love with some dazzling upbeat music on the car radio. I had never heard it before. For a few seconds, I felt the trendiest Mum: the car speakers were put to the test and down zipped the car windows as I casually picked up my daughter from collège. Dude. As Julie approached the car she shuddered, begging for a speedy getaway.  Mum? ‘One Night in Bangkok’?  But that’s ancient!  Where was I?

Could we be Sandy and Travolta look-a-likes?

Granted, I was not a trendy teenager in the 80s; playing in orchestras and excited by Stravinsky, Brahms or Dvorak rather than discovering Murray Head from Chess in the Charts could be considered downright nerdish. Then again, when Shirley Manson‘s sister (that was cool) asked at choir practice if I’d been to see ‘Grease’, I remember the cringing confusion as I said I’d never been – which was a pity, especially since I adored moussaka.

Boom. That was it!  After my daughter’s ‘boum‘ before Christmas, it was our turn. It may have been the end of the festivities of Christmas and New Year but last weekend we discoed back to the 80s. It was time catch up with friends, put on our red shoes and dance away the January blues. One girlfriend took it literally: I’m still in awe how she managed to wear her 20cm-heeled red sparkling Bowie shoes without keeling over. Another friend simply wrapped aluminium foil around his training shoes: great idea! My favourite gear in the 80s was the all-in-one jumpsuit but as it was difficult to pin down again (just as well), I found one quickly on the internet.

Jill Colonna

My John Travolta. Or was it a snazzy barman for the evening?

When my brother saw the party wig on Facebook, he thought I’d bought a dog. It wasn’t a dog but whatever it was, it was on top of my head most of the evening and I can tell you that it was sizzling underneath. So sweltering, that I dared take it off later and reveal the soggy dishwater blonde mop underneath. By that time, with the dancing and sweet (why did I want to write that with an ‘a’?) macarons served, who cared?

pannacottas, choux, hot macs & a sizzling wig

On the 80s food front, apparently microwave popcorn appeared in the USA but hey, we also wanted to serve up chic stuff.  So out came my good old favourites with easy recipes to prepare in advance: macarons and mini chocolate-beetroot fondants. On the day: ginger & cardamom panna cottas with rhubarb compôte, plus a huge batch of caramel-orange knitted-looking chouquettes (mini sugared choux buns).  We did serve up savouries, though. Try garlic snail toasts for starters, smoked duck and raspberry mini salads, Crab, Ginger & Coriander gluten-free quiches, Macsweens’ Haggis balls with whisky diane sauce … and mini mad macs.

Some like their macarons hot!

In the 80s, Mum and Dad went exotic with the latest Vespa curry mixes. So, some mini tikka mac’salas were a must to add some 80s pizzazz to hand around with drinks.  In making the curry macs (recipe on p.100), I should practise what I preach and done what I suggest in the book: use a disposable piping bag for piping out the curry filling. Now just look what I did: here’s what can happen with a potent curry filling mixing with a not-so-hot piping bag hooked up on the kitchen window (mac hook – it’s handy for drying it quickly.) I completely forgot the fresh coriander for the curry macs, so instead augmented the chili dose; don’t ask me why, but just as well they were tiny since they were hot, man!

My camera is not great. Unless you’re a static macaron and taken in the daylight, a Canon G10 is no use for night time and parties. It’s a crying shame there are no decent photos, since all 30 of us had so much fun dressing up and dancing. Then again, it’s probably for the best that they’re censored! If anyone knows me, I never have any New Year Resolutions but I’m putting in a quest for a new camera, just in case hubby ever reads this. I never bought these shoes near Place Vendôme – just gazed at them – if that helps my case.

Paris-Bangkok tea infused chocolate macarons

One Night in Bangkok macarons

This post is dedicated to MacTweets – as this month the MacAttack #26 Challenge was for Razzle Dazzle Macarons: featuring the Ostentatious with glitzy, dazzling and starry macarons. And being MacPassionate (love it, Deeba and Jamie), the party included One Night in Bangkok with some classic Madagascan Vanilla macarons – dusted with gold edible lustre to give it the in every golden cluster look from the Chess 80s musical.

Paris-Bangkok infused chocolate macarons

For an unexpected twist to dark chocolate macarons, I infused some Paris-Bangkok tea from Mariages Frères in the chocolate. The colour was purely to match the packaging, but I’m sure that it had something to do with the tea’s dazzling hints of red fruits, steamed pudding fragrances, and slight bubble gum tinges.

chocolate macarons infused with Mariage Freres tea Paris-Bangkok

It perhaps wasn’t Bangkok but it was One Night Near Paris and it rocked. I’m already planning the next one. We need more parties to chase away the winter blues, don’t you think? Vive starry nights, great friendships, laughter and loads of fun!

Saturday Night Disco Macaron Fever

Now I just need to keep a lower profile when picking up my daughter from school – unless you can give me some clues to the latest trendy numbers before the next move…

59 replies
  1. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina says:

    Too bloody funny! I think you look like a cross between Princess Diana and Julie Andrews in that first photo!

    What a fun idea for a party and great menu! Have you had one of these galas since then? I assume the girls were over at friends’ houses when this happened? 🙂

    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Since then, we’re still recovering Christina 😀
      No, it’s high time we threw another one. 20th wedding anniv and my 50th – but not for another 3 years so perhaps we can start taking the vitamins, lol!

  2. Liz
    Liz says:

    You are so much fun! I’m so glad you at least included a snap of you with the wig…fabulous!!! And, as always, another wonderful macaron 🙂

    PS…thanks for the sweet words of condolence. xo

  3. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    Oh Jill another triumph “One night in Bangkok” theme night sounded wonderful and the party food (especially the macarons) well what can one say. I think your friends are very lucky to have such a perfect host and hostess who are so fun loving. Hang on to the wig and catsuit Jill you never know when you might need it again.
    Keep up the good work Jill.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thanks so much, Shirley. It was fun but I’m far from the perfect hostess. Still learning! As for the wig, I was thinking of taking it out for a walk now and again just to keep the party animal in me alive… :-))

  4. Kim - Liv Life
    Kim - Liv Life says:

    Jill… you are SO cool!!! Well, except for the not knowing that the Bangkok song was “ancient”!! 😉
    My neighbor had a similar 80’s party, and I have to say I was a bit of a party pooper, one of those evenings where I just didn’t want to get dressed up and I ended up coming home early (I’ll blame it on having a cold!), but some of the people really went all out like you guys did. You would make Olivia NJ jealous with your figure!
    Wonderful combos with those macs as well… I haven’t made any for a while, I think I need to crack some eggs!!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Get cracking on these eggs, Kim. What – you a party pooper? Never. Colds have a lot to answer for but my guess is that you’re too trendy to have any 80s clothes in your closet, hehee.

  5. parsley sage
    parsley sage says:

    How appropriate! As I strolled the streets of patpong last Saturday, I was saddened to discover my travel companions weren’t familiar with the song! God bless YouTube. Now, if I could only have had some of these macarons, my Thailand trip would be perfect 🙂

  6. Marsha @ The Harried Cook
    Marsha @ The Harried Cook says:

    Jill, you gorgeous thing, you! You look stunning… love the pantsuit! 🙂 and that party looks so much fun! I have a friend who is sucker for anything 80’s. Maybe we should throw our own 80s party here! Do you deliver your fabulous macarons to India 🙂 🙂 They sound phenomenal! Awesomely fun post! 🙂

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    OMG Jill! When I heard about disco party from you I imagined a pretty fun party, but now after the pictures and details, it sounds like you had CRAZY fun partayyyy! Oh you look gorgeous too! Your arm x 2 is my one arm. LOL. You prepared such beautiful desserts and food. You now officially have a party house in town!

  8. Mum
    Mum says:

    Loved the blog Jill but sorry about the lack of education of pop songs. You were so good playing flute and piano in competitions and in various orchestras which we as parents thoroughly enjoyed that you had no time for anything else. Also maybe having the Vesta curries (we only needed to add water) in the 80s gave you the incentive to cook the scrumptious meals you cook now. Must come over soon. Love Mum

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Awe, Mum – we loved the curries, especially at that age because they didn’t bite. So tame, just like the music! See, I was a good teenager, albeit never set the table as was practising scales. Great excuse, eh? Hugs, J xo

  9. Amy
    Amy says:

    Haha, love it Jill! Sounds like you had a wonderful time at the party even if the wig ended up being removed. The macaroons you made for the occasion sound amazing as usual, and were beautiful judging by the photos!

  10. Beth
    Beth says:

    Great post! I loved Grease (and I was as nerdy as can be). And I loved One Night in Bangkok, not when it first came out, but when I saw Chess in London. I loved it!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Aha – you’re magic and this is hot, spice girl. Speaking of which, Victoria opted out of being our new neighbours in the end, with David Beckham preferring life in LA over Paris St Germain. We’re not complaining. If they had turned up at the party, it wouldn’t have been the same. I mean, I would have had to have found a better wig and not eaten anything for a few weeks…

  11. Maia
    Maia says:

    This post made me smile! The macs sound exotic and fun, and the opportunity to dress in costume for a party is always a great time!

    I also laughed out loud when you mentioned your limited knowledge of 80s music due to being a classical music person. I’m the same way! I’m always baffled when my non-musician friends can recognize thousands of pop songs after only 1 or 2 seconds of hearing the intro; they even know all the words! And yet somehow *I* am the musical one? :-/ Never understood that!

  12. kitchenarian
    kitchenarian says:

    Love, love this! I am always amazed at how you can come up with a macaron for every occasion and every decade! I remember the 80’s quite well. Not a great decade for clothes and haircuts, but I lived it up! Great post.

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Too right – clothes not an easy one, apart from leg warmers, leggings, pantsuits etc. Boy, was it fun – the music keeps coming back (as the kids say, though – coming back on us – lol)

  13. Kiri W.
    Kiri W. says:

    Haha, this is the coolest idea ever 🙂 Love the outfits!
    And those are some sparkly, sparkly macarons! Sounds like you had a blast, I would have loved to be there!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Kiri, it was a blast – but need to do another one as we still need practise: we discovered a whole load of the clean glasses everyone was hunting for in the corner of the living room next day. That barman needs more training 😉

  14. Tina@flourtrader
    Tina@flourtrader says:

    That 80’s party sure does sound like a lot of fun, except for your suffering through wearing that wig! There were some great choices of food as well as your creative macaroons-I especially liked the tea infused ones. Wish I could sample those!
    Yes, parties are a great way to perk up those dreary winter days when everyone dreads going outside-and it looks like you do have some talent in hosting them. Enjoy the weekend!

  15. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    I LOVE IT!!! Oh man, stunning, the whole thing! I love the wig and the gorgeous jumpsuit and you brought me back to my own teen years (or so). Absolutely brilliant! Always so thrilled to have your creativity as part of our Mactweets party! Keep baking, baby, and let’s boogie (ouch, yeah I had to say that!)!!



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