2nd Time is Not the Charm…

Sadly Aly’s 2nd attempt at macarons was a complete fail. She used the same recipe but made a few minor adjustments.

1. She used a food processor to grind the almond meal and powdered sugar instead of using a strainer in hopes that would result in a lighter, more smooth batter.

2. She let her egg whites sit out longer than last time (about 40 mins) to ensure they were at room temperature.

3. After she added in the granulated sugar she only used a spatula to fold and mix rather than going back to the electric mixer to prevent over mixing.

All of these changes resulted in the SAME exact macaron as last time. No shell, no rise, and no feet. Will the 3rd time be the charm?

NOT the Fairest of Them All…

Remember how Princess Aly made a New Year’s resolution to try making the fairest cookie in all the land? Well her and Emmy the fairy tried one night in March. They knew what they had to do was no small accomplishment. They were hoping to make the perfect macaron with the following elements:

So what was the result?? Feetless macarons with no egg shell-like crust. They looked and tasted like a whoopie pie/sugar cookie hybrid. Where did it all go wrong? They had no idea. They knew the batter did not come out very smooth and the macarons never finished “resting” but they weren’t sure how to pinpoint their mistake. They were glad they anticipated the disappointment though and purchased macarons from Whole Foods in advance. Below is a side by side comparison of a Whole Foods salted caramel macaron with Aly and Emmy’s lavendar macaron. The odds were obviously not in their favor… but that is a story for next time.

Ingredients

130 grams almond meal

30 grams of powdered sugar

100 grams of egg whites (about 3 eggs room temperature)

70 grams granulated sugar

Baking scale

Sifter

Piping bag with round tip

Gel food coloring (optional)

A couple store bought macarons (a must!)

Directions

1. Sift almond meal until you reach 130 grams on a baking scale. Then add 30 grams of sifted powdered sugar to the same bowl; total will be 160 grams, and set aside.

2. In a small bowl measure 70 grams of granulated sugar, and set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl separate egg whites to reach 100 grams (about 3 eggs). Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on low speed. When the egg whites start to rise, increase speed and add in the 70 grams of granulated sugar that you previously measured and food coloring if desired. Only use gel or powdered food coloring because liquid ones can create too much moisture in your batter. Continue beating egg whites until you form stiff peaks.

4. Using a spatula, fold in half the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture. Then add the other half and use the electric mixer on low speed until batter fall in wide ribbons.

5. Fill batter in piping bag and use a round tip to make small discs on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc freezer bag. Leave about 1 inch between each disc. When finished, bang the cookie sheets on a surface to prevent air bubbles.

6. Let rest for about 20-25 minutes. While they rest you can preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

7. When macarons are done resting, the outside should become hard enough to touch and the color of the macarons should have dulled.

8. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Then let macarons cool on a rack before removing from parchment paper.

9. When cooled, you can fill macarons with buttercream, nutella, chocolate ganache, etc.

If your macarons didn’t come out right, now you can consume the store bought ones and try again another day! The salted caramel was better than the chocolate. However if you live in or near SF, just go see Chantel! You won’t be disappointed.