Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tips and Tricks for Making French Macarons

Macarons the Third

Third time is the charm? Well, semi charm for me.

My Macaron the Third turned out quite alright - compared to my two first disastrous tries. (You can see my flapjack second attempt if you click here!) Being the stubborn mule that I am, I went ahead with the French meringue, even though I've been told many times that the Italian meringue is more fool-proof. I didn't want to be deterred by the scary French white eggs because I also knew that they would make taller plumper Macarons.

This time, armed with plenty of tips, tricks and a little more experience, I dove straight into the alchemy of making French Macarons.

Teeny tiny feet

What I did different this time:

  • I bought almond flour instead of grinding almond slivers. It's finer and lighter - I suppose this won't weigh down the light meringue
  • I pulsed the icing sugar with the almond flour, then sifted it. This makes it lighter.
  • I added a pinch of cream of tartar to my egg whites. Strengthens the meringue.
  • I suppose this is an important one. I added the egg whites TO the almond meal mixture. I think this is a mistake lots of people make. I don't know why, but I think this is the key... mix the wet to the dry.
  • DON'T fold the mixture too much. It was stiff and coarse, but I was afraid to over-do it. 
  • Play with the temperature. I baked a few batches and found the right one for my oven - 150 degrees Celsius

My mistake I suppose that I mixed it too little. Empty Macaron caps formed (meaning under the hard shells, it was empty inside) :( And cracks appeared on the caps too. How sad.

The meringue was too stiff because it wasn't flowing enough, and resulted in queer little shapes. I had effectively made French Macarons with tiny feet and nipples! Yes nipples! (When they were baking it looked like a row of boobs! Didn't take a picture because it was too embarrassing...I made booby Macarons!) I guess I should have smoothen down the peaks before baking them. Well, I graduated from flap-jack Macarons to plump booby Macarons with nipples.. I should be proud!

You see what I mean by nipples? 
On the bright side, now MEN can enjoy dainty little French Macarons without feeling too girly...
"Yes, I'm eating a little Purple Macaron - but they are BOOBY Macarons! See the nipples?"

Well.... might take some time, but I'm definitely more confident that my fourth attempt will be perfect! :D


Anonymous said...

Such an interesting story to read and I enjoyed reading it as well. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hi !!! Good job!