Recipe | French Macaron | #2

THEY WORKED! RY – RY – I think THEY WORKED!!! That was me about 18 hours ago, when I saw my first batch of macarons sitting in the oven with two minutes remaining on the timer!

I took the lessons learned from my first attempt documented here and started off the process with the proper equipment — a food scale which was so kindly loaned to me and a newly purchased sifter!

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I started by sifting the powered sugar and almond flour twice – Ryan even got in a little of the sifting action! Ryan decided to come photograph a few “action” shots. I really like the one of the left of me in action sifting! As for the picture on the right, my batter was rather runny and when I filled the bag it leaked out the bottom and created……well, you can see….it created quite messy hands! (When I watch Barefoot Contessa use a pastry bag, I marvel at her ability to maintain hands so clean even the Queen would approve!)

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This is me peaking at them through the glass door getting soooo excited because they resemble something like a macaron I would actually buy!!!! This was a far cry from last week’s! It turns out that they may have looked perfect, but those at Ladurée, one of the elite places to purcahse macaron in Paris, would not have been proud! My macarons had a air between the shell and the cookie. I believe this was caused by my poor meringue or over mixing. BUT, I had a cookie that I could fill!!!

Now that I had a cookie I could actually fill, it was off to the store to pick up heavy whipping cream and white chocolate. I attempted three different white chocolate ganache recipes: vanilla, amaretto, and strawberry. After spending $8 for chocolate and heavy cream, I was disappointed when all three turned out way to runny. I guess I didn’t use enough chocolate, so the ganache never truly firmed up.

Feeling disappointed, I tried one more mini ganache recipe this time it called for butter and less heavy cream. Again, thinking the filling was too runny, I let it sit in the pot as I began cleaning up. I decided to fill a few cookies with Nutella that I had on hand. As I was cleaning up, I went to clean the pot thinking the ganache was ruined, but really it had set to a consistency that wouldn’t spill over the sides – it was perfect!!

Finally, the macarons sitting in their new home!!! And the picture on the right is of the too runny vanilla ganache! I am so excited these things turned out (relatively well) and I can’t wait to start experimenting more with colors and flavors!!!!

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Recipe | French Macaron | Trial #1

As I mentioned previously, one of my goals this year is to learn how to make a french macaron!!!!  Notice I did not say macaroon, those would be the toasted sugar and coconut mounds – a far cry from the delicate french macaron.

I will start by letting you know that this baking attempt was a total failure, but not to fret, I was not expecting to succeed.  I have read that you often have to make these finicky little devils 4-5 times before you get something resembling a macaron, so I had to go forth with my first attempt!

I used the recipe from the macaron tutorial found on  Tartlette’s blog, which appeared to be a pretty standard macaron recipe consisting of aged egg whites, sugar, powdered sugar, and almond flour.

I should have known this was going to be a failure when this happened on Step 1:

Shan: Hey Ry, can you please open this vanilla bean?
Ryan: What? Open this? Yeah.
5 seconds later – vanilla bean container shattered in Ryan’s hand (I promise he can break just about anything – thanks though honey)

Thankfully, the glass did not cut Ry, so after I cleaned up the glass and removed the vanilla bean, I laid out my ingredients.

I was too worried during the mixing processes to take any pictures, so here is one of the cookies right before they went into the oven – yes, I can still use a little work on piping the batter onto the sheet in a more precise manner. You can see I tried making a few pink, thinking it would bump up their appeal in the beauty category – but I think it just made it worse!

I put them in the oven at 280 degrees and watched them through the oven door.  20 minutes later, I see this:

Hmmmmmm……this looks NOTHING like the perfectly shaped cookie I eat at Bottega Louie.  So what happened???

Problem: Macaron mixture was too dry which may have caused the extreme puffyness and sliding effect. The recipe called for 100 grams (or 3) aged egg whites. I set my three egg whites out, but during the aging process I believe too much evaporated and left me with less than 100 grams.
Solution: I plan to buy a food scale so I can accurately measure the proper amounts before making.
SPACE
Problem: Lumps in the top shell of the cookie. This was caused because I did not sift my dry ingredients (almond flour and sugar).
Solution: I will buy a sifter before I make these again.

Once I buy the new kitchen tools, scale and sifter, I will attempt to make these again! The next time I try making I am not counting on them being perfect, I am just hoping for something that looks a little bit more like a cookie so I can attempt to layer them with a buttercream or ganache filling!  Until then, I will be relying on Bottega Louie!