My Difficulty with French Macarons (First Attempt)

Good evening!

     Today’s post is a little different, because I want to share my honest experience with making French macarons. There have been plenty of recipes I have chosen not to share, as I was not content with the way the dessert came out; while appearance is not the most important feature, it is certainly important. In any case, today I’m going to be more ”raw”, because the truth is that there is a lot of work and failure behind baking.

French Macarons

  • 2/3 cup ground almonds29468733_10156434462764575_3458218361484214272_o.jpg
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Food coloring of your choice (if desired)
  • Apricot/raspberry jam or other preferred filling

    As you can see, the recipe is very basic and, at first, the baking directions seem simple.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/170°C.
  2. Place your almonds in a blender and grind them until they are super fine. Use a sifter to sieve this almond mixture into a bowl, as you need to avoid any pieces.
  3. Sift your powdered sugar into the same bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl beat your egg whites for 1-2 minutes until you have a frothy consistency.
  5. Add in the white sugar and beat, gradually increasing the speed, until you have a cloud-like white mixture. You will know it’s ready when you will have stiff peaks; all in all it will take approximately 5-6 minutes.
  6. Use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients – scrape from the side into the middle/bottom and avoid over-mixing.
  7. If desired, add some food coloring – I opted for red, as that’s the only color I have 😀
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and stick the edges so that the paper doesn’t budge; you can use some water to act as the glue.
  9. Use a piping tool or syringe to pipe out small circles onto the baking tray. I was able to pipe out 42 circles. Keep in mind that they will spread a little, so make them a bit smaller than you’d like.
  10. Rest your macarons for 20-40 minutes; I did NOT know this step, but it is important. This will develop a thin skin on top and make them less sticky on top, so when they bake, they will develop ”feet”. Here’s a photo that shows what macaron feet are.
  11. Tap the baking tray a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and then bake for about 13-14 minutes.
  12. Let your macarons cool completely before making sandwiches with any filling you’d like; I personally used my mom’s apricot jam.

Check the Martha Stewart photo slideshow for better visuals.

     I should’ve done my research before throwing myself into the kitchen, but I just found this guide and think it perfectly encompasses everything you need to know. I wish I had read it earlier! But hey, I guess practice makes perfect, right?

collage.jpg
Before and after baking – expect them to spread so make them smaller!

    As you can see, my macarons are a bit uneven as I didn’t have any macaron template, so the circles weren’t equal. Also, they came out a little crunchy as I believe I kept them in the oven for 1-2 unnecessary minutes, fearing they’d be raw. On the bright side, they were tasty and cute, even if they didn’t rise and developed no feet, as the Martha Stewart recipe did not mention the resting step. Hence, I’m not completely satisfied, but I suppose it’s reasonable for my first attempt. Ultimately, my goal with sharing this post is to show you that not everything comes out perfect from the first try. Also, there is a lot happening ”behind-the-scenes”, so although many bakers have great photos and videos, I can promise you that it takes a lot of practice and at times several failures to learn and improve. In any case, I am no professional, so thank you all for still following my journey and supporting my passion and hobby! 🙂

29473168_10156434462719575_1393858406724403200_o.jpg

Until next time!

– Zi

 

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