Making Macarons – Kitchen Challenge #1

For my first Personal Kitchen Challenge, I decided to make macarons. Starting big, I know!

To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever actually eaten a macaron.  I was browsing Pinterest one day and found a wonderful step by step tutorial on making them, so I thought I’d try it.  As an added bonus, I kept seeing lemon curd in the store, and I was determined to find a recipe to use it in.  Complete serendipity that I could use it in this recipe!

Issue number 1:  Finding almond meal.  The Finnish translation is manteli aterian, but I couldn’t find it in the store.  I found manteli jauhot, which is almond flour, and after checking the faq I found that they’re the same thing.

Issue number 2: Sifting.  First, I don’t have a true sifter here, I have a sieve, and a very small one at that (I think it’s about Tablespoon size).  So sifting the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture took…a while.  And then, although she said there would be some meal left, I had a bit more than “some.”  I measured it – 35 grams.  I started with 125g.  So, more than some.  I ground it up again, sifted.  Ground again, sifted.  And got down to 13g left.  And then I was bad.  I gave up.  I took about half of the unground almond meal and dumped it into the mixture.  We’ll see what happens.

Issue #3:  I haven’t quite mastered the art of using a pastry bag without making a complete mess.  I just have to resign myself to having gooey hands as I pipe out the dough.  Whatever works, right?

As I wait for the macarons to “set” before baking, I lick the bowl.  I will say, it tastes good.  🙂

The macarons baking

The first batch came out a little gooey, and I ruined several caps trying to pull them off the paper.

Definitely no “feet” on my macarons

The second batch turned out much better, the caps coming off the paper a bit easier.  I think it still could have used another minute, but I was scared to leave them in.  The recipe said to leave them in for 12-18 minutes – that’s quite a time span.  The first batch I took out at 16 minutes.  The second batch I took out at the full 18 minutes.

I made them a bit too big, I think.  Also, I may have thin shells, which according to the FAQ, this is a result of overmixing, which I was afraid I had done anyway.  I also may have added the sugar to the eggs a bit too soon.

Bad on me, I didn’t watch the video until after I was done, and now I can see more that I did wrong, or actually, more that didn’t turn out right.  The eggs weren’t stiff enough, I can see now.  When I piped mine out, they were never fluffy, and in fact, they never even had a point from lifting the tip.  They smoothed right out.  They definitely did NOT come off the paper that easily, even on the second batch, and they didn’t really have feet, just innards.  And they were *definitely* not puffy enough.

So, next time – beat eggs longer, add sugar at the right time, make the caps smaller, and bake longer (maybe?).

I’ll try again soon.  In the meantime, they turned out pretty well, passed the approval of several people who have had macarons, and they tasted great!

The final product – Lemon Macarons

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Categories: Food, Personal Kitchen Challenge | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Making Macarons – Kitchen Challenge #1

  1. i like to eat lemon curd by the spoonful, from the jar. SO good. these look amazing and i’m told that if i develop a taste for macaroons, i will easily gain 5 lbs just from eating them the next time i go to paris. it’s a risk i’m willing to take!

    • I love lemon desserts – so refreshing, and usually not very heavy. I must use lemon curd more!

  2. These look delicious! Regardless of your self-criticism, I think they look amazing.
    By the way, “aterian” means literally “a meal” (as in “Happy Meal”) which is why you had no luck finding “manteli aterian”. Kudos to you for figuring out that “manteli jauhot” was the better translation!

    • Ah, the Finnish language. Although, you could really say that about just about any language, especially the English language! The main reason I have a phone with data is so I can translate things in the grocery store…and when all else fails, find a nice-looking person and see if they can help! 🙂

  3. Steffi

    Meal=ateria. It means only the meal you eat as in including everything on the table. Ateria in Finnish language has no other meaning. The meal you are looking for is indeed jauhot. 🙂 I bet average dictionaries or online translation aids do not include all the variations. Valitut Palat publishes the largest dictionaries for English-Finnish and Finnish-English, and probably would have had that one, too. But it is an innocent blunder! Finnish is a very difficult language!

    • Difficult, indeed – and one of the reasons even the most basic of meals makes it into a Kitchen Challenge! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Fortune Cookies – Personal Kitchen Challenge #16 | Embrace Life. Be Inspired.

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