Third Attempt at Macarons

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.

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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.

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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.

 

0 thoughts on “Third Attempt at Macarons

  1. I love it when a “dish” finally comes together after multiple attempts. I think it’s the most satisfying thing; far more satisfying than one-shotting dishes. These look good. I think for attempt #4, you’ll have nearly perfected it.I’m curious — your oven, is it gas or electric?

  2. @murisopsis – Oh, that’s the same conclusion I’ve reached but I have a large container of almond flour in the fridge that needs to be used up!@CurryPuffy – Good idea.  That is this Saturday, right?@osmundaregalis – Oh, I’m sure you of all people would be fantastic with this!@TheCheshireGrins – It was a good combination.@arenadi – Fourth, fifty, sixth, sevent attempt…  LOL  Electric from SMEG.  For a convection oven it seems to have hot spots.@ungrandvoyage – Give it a shot!@WilldrawsRainbows – This recipe was a lot more user-friendly than ones I’ve used before.@yang1815 – They were pretty cool.

  3. Good job! I recently learned to make these again. My grandmother taught me when I was barely old enough to remember the recipe, and then I found it the other day when I was looking for a recipe I’m posting tomorrow. My grandmother and a wood stove/oven so I’ve had to play around with temperatures, trying to match it. Convection ovens have their moments. I was playing with the one at work the other day (I ❤ pastry chefs from France) and we noticed that the cookies in the very middle were toast. Had to make a quick call to the repare guys. :S

  4. They look delicious! You make it seem relatively simple to make macarons. I fear that if I do make them, I will eat them ALL! So I stick to buying only 6 macarons at a time.

  5. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything quitelike that here in the UK. What other flavours dothey come in when shop bought ? I don’t think Green Tea would be to my liking but I’d try anyfruit variety’s.

  6. wow they look so nice, and passion fruit butter cream sounds heavenly!! we made macarons at school two weeks ago.. we didn’t get to do flavoring though t_t must experiment some time 😀

  7. @Wangium – Yes, or a little like Astro Boy’s hair.@iskrak – Did you make an Italian meringue and mix it into the dry ingredients or did you use just regular whipped egg whites?@kunhuo42 – Meringues are tempermental.  Tools have to be completely clean and free of any fat or oil residues.@Chatamanda – They come in a zillion flavors and many colors.  Check our La Duree’s website as they are considered the master of these confections: http://www.laduree.fr/public_fr/produits/macarons_accueil.htm@bejewel07 – Truly, not eating them all at once has been the hardest part.  This recipe was pretty easy to make actually.  I was surprised.  It has many fewer steps than the one I used previously.@piyapong – Hear, hear!@TheLatinObserver – Lucky son of a gun!@Cookie_A_Day@ireallylikefood – Wow, wood stove.  I’ve always wanted to try cooking with one of those.  Control of heat must be a challenge!@Roadlesstaken – I’d express some to you but the FedEx guy might get stuck in the snow!  LOL

  8. I could use a bit of sugar right now… just before bedtime! Seriously, I think it’s great that you kept at it. Do you make notes on each attempt so you know what to tweak or change for the next attempt? Or maybe you have a great memory.

  9. Even though it looks extremely intricate… it also looks delicious and probably more tasty than the only time I had macarons. I’m always jealous at people who are skilled… especially when it comes to food :]

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