More and more over the past few months, I have been seeing more and more about macarons on the internet (Including my Instagram feed from some of the lovely ladies I follow in London!)
We all know I absolutely love to bake so I automatically googled a recipe after flicking through my stacks of cookbooks and couldn’t find one in a book anywhere. I came across How To Cook That dot Net’s “East French Macaron” recipe. I was a little bit daunted by the prospect of making meringue as the last time I made it was for a Baked Alaska for a college food photography assignment which took me a good few attempts.
My macaron baking adventure happened in two parts. I dedicated my Tuesday afternoon to part one of the baking adventure. I decided to ground my own almonds instead of buying already ground ones, and I got them to a beautiful fine powder. I followed the recipe to the letter and I remembered a tip online that I found. When adding the colouring, make it darker than you need to as the macarons lighten when being baked. I made the mixture blue because I really wanted to recreate those photographs you see of beautiful bright blue macarons with rich chocolate ganache filling. I read horror stories on the internet about how easy it is to over-mix the mixture and that they won’t go right when that happens. I was a little cocky and sadly over-worked it by accident. I decided to put them in the oven anyway, just in case! (You never know, they might have been salvageable!) I only took two photographs of my attempt at blue macarons because when I sensed disaster, I didn’t want to go crazy posting about it!
Last night I decided to take myself to tesco and buy ground almonds, a new sieve and some more icing sugar. I was determine to make them and get them right. I followed the recipe to the letter again, but I sieved the icing sugar, ground almonds and 2g of salt about 4 times out of sheer paranoia even though the recipe only calls for it to be sieved twice. From the start of folding the dry mix in with the meringue mix, I always said it would be better to be ever so slightly under-worked, than be over-worked and runny. I piped my macarons mixture onto the lined baking trays and then it got to the nerve wracking moment of rapping the trays on the worktop. I didn’t want to knock air out of them, but I had to knock them hard enough to prevent them cracking as they cooked. I had enough mix for two batches to go in the oven (two batches of two trays) and I really dropped those second lots of trays on the worktop a lot more/harder because I could see what had gone ever so slightly wrong with batch one. I’m so happy and proud that they turned out right! I took many photographs of this attempt because I had a good feeling that they were going to work.
Below is a photograph of my plate of fresh out of the oven macarons. I just need to settle on either ganache or buttercream to fill them and then I shall do another post on them.