So remember how I said I was going to give in to peer pressure and make something green for St. Patrick’s Day? I decided on the French macaron. Having made these before (it was my first time back then) with success, I figured it wouldn’t be any harder the second time around. But just to be sure, I spent a few hours reading, and studying recipes, methods, pictures, and watching videos, just to be sure I wouldn’t mess up.
Bear with me, there are a lot of photos. Mainly because I like showing my fails, to give you an idea of what a fail looks like, so you can try and avoid it.
And you may be wondering why this is under the “Blog” section, and not the “Recipe” section. Well, this ended up being more about the journey, than the finished product. But no worries! I’ll be sure to post the recipes in here as we go along.
For reference, I decided on using Brave Tart’s lovely how-to and recipe on macarons, here.
Attempt #1: This fail was totally my fault. I over-mixed and the result was a thin, pancake-like batter.
Ok, no problem. I separated a few more eggs, and left them out on the counter to try again the next day. I was cool, calm, and understanding. The next day, I go at it again, this time, making sure not to over-mix.
Attempt #2: I took my time mixing. It was fluffy and thick, so I kept going, and then I hit the sweet spot of “lava” (which, by the way, I hate this description.). I felt a lot better this time, I knew I hadn’t over-mixed, and I even let them out on the counter for a whole hour this time (to create a skin). This fail made me mad. I didn’t take an “after” picture because they went straight in the trash. Wasteful? Shamefully. But they turned out E.X.A.C.T.L.Y. like Attempt #1. Cracked tops, and no feet/lace.
Ok, gloves are coming off. I went stomping off and sat down and pondered. I was out of “aged” egg whites, and patience. “Screw it,” I said, “I’m going to go buy more egg whites.” So I went to the store, and this time, I bought a carton of regular, 100% real egg whites. COLD, and FRESH.
I like breaking rules… and really ugly glass-top coffee tables (but we’ll save that story for another day.).
Attempt #3: So I started, yet again, for the third time. Just to be spiteful toward the batter, I under-mixed, put some in a bag and piped a few.
(Attempt 3, under-mixed batter, before)
Then I continued mixing about 6 more times, until I reached the same “lava” consistency as before, and put that in a bag, and piped the rest.
So what was different this time? Nothing. Absolutely nothing aside from my cold, fresh egg whites. And my attitude. I’d like to mention, this is also how I passed my drivers test when I was 16. I started off really polite to my tester, and in a good mood, but the guy was a total jerk and started (literally) screaming at me. So I put on my bitch gloves, and got down to business. I did a perfect 3-point-turn, and nearly perfect parallel parking. Nailed it!
I have nothing to add as far as “technique” for making macarons that someone else hasn’t already said. Take your time, read through the instructions, and check and double-check your measurements. Again, the recipe I used for my macaron shells came from Brave Tart, seen here.
For the filling, I decided on a tart and gooey lime curd; and just to be cheeky, I painted the tops of the macarons with gold lustre dust
There you have it. My long journey of the French macaron. I’m going to take a nap now. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!