6.19.2012

De-Mystifying the Macaron

I feel that I must preface this post by saying I am not a trained pastry chef... [the crowd gasps]
In fact, before our brief stint in North Dakota, I never really cooked at all. But since then, I've gained a lot of confidence in the kitchen, experimenting with different flavors, dishes and desserts.

But today I attempted to bake a new treat based almost solely on how 'cute' they are: classic French macarons.


I hadn't eaten a macaron since visiting Paris years ago, and lately I've been mildly obsessed with them on my Pinterest. So I thought, What the heck. How hard can these little dudes be to bake?...

This is not a How-to post, so I won't waste time copying the recipe I used. But I did consult two sources: 1) THIS site for the ingredients and instructions, and 2) THIS site for a visual tutorial. Plus BONUS - the chefs are British.

Here is how the macaron hullabaloo went down:

After mixing together all the ingredients, my batter really looked nothing like the one in the tutorial video. So naturally, I decided to not only press on with the baking, but to get fancy and make 2 different colored batches. The raw batter tasted pretty swell.


Made my own piping bag (surprisingly easy to do) by pushing a plastic icing tip through the bottom corner of a freezer bag. I filled the bags with both batters, then piped them into circles on my baking sheets. At this point, there was no turning back.



Then the pink batch turned on me... I couldn't get any of the cookies off of the baking sheet. Had to throw them out.

But the blue batch came through for me. After they cooled, I matched two cookies together at a time and traded off filling each sandwich with lemon curd filling or the always-popular Nutella.



And here we have it, folks. My blue macarons. Certainly not the prettiest, but they tasted mighty fine.




Don't even think about scrolling back to compare my macarons to the flawless stock photo up top... Anyway, it was time well spent trying something new today!

To the bakers out there, do you know why my macarons came out cracked and un-fluffy?
Any tips are welcomed.   :)


3 comments:

  1. mama hill6/19/2012

    There better be some of these suckers left when big mama gets home

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lizz, are baking them on wax paper?

    Cracks - The temperature may be a bit too high for your oven. The outside of baked goodies always cook first and for it to stay smooth, the internal batter needs to cook gradually. If the internal temperature causes the batter to rise too quickly the shell will crack. Perfect for crinkle cookies (http://bit.ly/QMwy95), but not macarons. I'd adjust to about 10 degrees lower.

    Flat - Over mixing the batter compromises the stability of the egg whites (my biggest problem when making meringues), so although the cookies will rise, they are not able stay that way out of the oven.

    Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol! This first time I tried to bake them, yes - wax paper. The second time I used parchment paper, but the same thing happened. I also may not be mixing the egg whites correctly. Im not seeing any 'soft peaks' like the recipes say... poo!

      Delete

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