Jeanette and I tried to make macarons (not to be mistaken with the coconut macaroons I am now infamous for) recently, and it turned out to be quite a mind boggler. Macarons are meringues, sometimes sandwiched together and filled with creams, jams or ganaches. The filling is the easy part, I’m sure of it. The actual macarons are the parts that are making my brain hurt.
Our first experiment involved making our own almond flour which is basically ground almonds. I think, I’m a bit too impatient for these baked delicacies, but anyhow. The first trial came out looking like certain female body parts and they were very cake-like. Almond cookie-cakes are what we made. The mystery was solved when we realised an extra egg white was used! But still…
This afternoon, I was thinking about the macarons again. I watched videos on YouTube and tried my hardest to translate the French being spoken. Sans sous-titres! I have to say, I wasn’t completely lost. But, after pondering for a few hours, I decided I was just going to wing it.
After reading about 8 different recipes online, I decided to add and subtract until I came up with something I actually wanted to try. Chocolate macarons sounded most appealing since they’d have a flavour other than almond. All of the necessary ingredients were in my pantry: blanched almond slices, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and sugar. Eggs of course are always on hand in this household. I was determined to make some macarons!
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 5 tbs of cocoa powder
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- mixer or beater
- pastry bag
- parchment paper (stupid me, I only have wax paper)
- 2 baking sheets
- flexible spatula
- food processor
- separate egg whites and leave out until they’re at room temperature
- line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
- preheat oven to 375°
- ground almonds in food processor
- add cup of powdered sugar and cocoa powder to ground almonds, process again until mixed
- sift almond mixture into a bowl making sure to dump any pieces that don’t fit through your sifter
- beat eggs until they become stiff – I wasn’t sure about this, I beat the eggs for about a minute, they were super frothy, and then a few more hearty beats later, they turned white and reminded me of marshmallow creme
- slowly beat in 1/4 cup of sugar and vanilla extract – keep beating until the mixture is very stiff – this never happened for me and well.. you’ll see my results
- separate dry mixture into two batches – stir in first batch to the egg mix, fold in and then add the rest of the dry mix
- fold and mix ingredients together smoothly and with finesse (apparently this is the secret of making good macarons)
- the mixture should be shiny – almost pearlescent, as far as I could see
- put mixture into a pastry bag (I had to use a Ziploc, so sad)
- pipe mix onto parchment paper lined sheets – my mix was so thin that they became huge discs, if your mix is correct, you should pipe pillows about 1.5″ in diameter and about 2″ apart
- bake for 9-10 minutes
- allow to cool, remove from parchment paper, and let them sit for at least 24 hours before serving
As you can see, my macarons are flat as well.. pancakes. BUT! The characteristic crunchy shells and chewy insides were THERE!! THEY WERE THERE! Oh thank heavens. I just have to figure out why my egg mixture fell flat. Might I have beat the eggs too much? Did I release too much of the air? I will master this and conquer the macaron!