Last May I learned how to make French macarons, the delicate sandwich cookies that are mostly meringue and almond flour. The first attempt, while being a fun party as our friend Pat tried to teach us, didn’t turn out all that well. The second attempt was better and I made a funny video in the process. The third attempt this past Sunday finally encountered some success.
This time I used a different recipe, one that does not involve making an Italian meringue and then folding it into the almond flour mixture. This helped a great deal because Italian meringues are a pain in the neck to make.
As you can see from the uncooked macarons on the left, they were much thicker and didn’t spread. I attribute this to having left the egg whites in the refrigerator, uncovered, for two days before using them. This allowed more water to evaporate and allowed for a more substantial whipped egg whites. This means that the batter didn’t spread and so the cookies were thicker.
The finished macarons, right, have the signature “foot” around the base, caused when they rise. This happened because I turned the air conditioning on well before starting baking, reducing the humidity in my condo. This allowed the batter surface to form a dry skin within an hour so as the cookie baked the solid surface lifted and created the foot.
The other thing that turned out right: I let the cookies cool on the parchment. That way, the bottoms of the cookies, which are very delicate, didn’t crush and expose the semi-hollow interior. That’s another key step.
They also had a nice sheen to them. I’m not sure what caused that – probably the drying before baking. This is a green tea macaron (no artificial coloring) with a passion fruit buttercream filling (a little artificial coloring). The buttercream didn’t end up as thick as I’d like, so there’s still one more thing I have to master.
Still, I’m glad I have found a less labor-intensive way to make these and have mastered them.