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french macaroons

In challenge on January 24, 2015 at 6:34 pm

one friday night when i was home alone, i decided to take on a challenge i’d had my sights set on for awhile – french macaroons. mamacooks sent me a lovely card with a recipe on the back and it’s been tempting me for weeks.

macaroonsrecipe

french macaroons are notoriously tricky. getting the right texture at the end and especially that little foot (the bubbles at the bottom) takes patience and exacting precision. (that’s also my excuse for only have pictures toward the end of the process)

in any case, you beat your egg whites and then carefully fold in almond flour and sugar. these were very pale pink, so there was a drop of food coloring (if you are a real baker, you use gel food coloring, but i used the regular egg-dying kind) and lemon zest, too.

then you pipe the batter into discs using a pastry bag. the recipe didn’t detail how this was to be done, so i started the wrong way – by making coils (on the left). no no. the batter isn’t liquidy enough to smooth out. so then i started holding the bag upright and piping in one place. the batter oozed out into a disc (on the right). much better.

macaroonsdrying

some of the larger ones i made collapsed, and i think those were the coils, as well. no coils!

macaroonsbaked1

i had heard that you can use a damp finger to tap down the little point that results from piping for a super smooth top, but i also noticed that if your finger is too wet, it ruins the top of the finished product. see the ones that are broken? told you everything has to be just right for them to come out perfectly…

macaroonswettops

so then they sit and dry for over an hour before you bake them.

once they cool, fill with whatever sounds good – frosting, chocolate ganache, jam, lemon curd. i used the latter and raspberry jam, both of which i thought went well with lemon cookies.

macaroonsserved

so would i make them again? no doubt they were delicious and make quite a presentation, but they were a challenge and i think if you’re going to give them away or serve at a party, they really should be absolutely perfect, which i’d say is hard to achieve. if i did make them again, i think i’d make all minis. i’ve never seen mini macaroons before (other than the card) so that makes them unique and special, plus they seemed a little more forgiving in terms of not collapsing.

macaroonmini

 

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