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