First I would like to warn all the sweet toothies out there! This will make your mouth water like a waterfall :)
Macarons are one of my favorite treats. They are delicious little pieces of art that come in a huge variety of flavors. One of my favorite is the pistachio. I love everything pistachio.
I have tasted many different macarons, Laduree, Pierre Herme, Breuniger, unknown brands that were gifted to me by fellow sweet tooth/teeth fans. I've tasted good and bad ones. I decided that it was time to try to make some of my own. Little did I know that it was quite the challenge that I gave myself. After failing a couple of times, I am proud to present you my perfect macaron!
My Macaron Story:
Where shall I begin? First thing that I did was enter the digital video world: YouTube. When you search for macarons, a lot of videos are shown. I clicked on: Beth's Foolproof French Macaron Recipe and gathered all the ingredients that I could find. She describes the making process very accurately and warns you for all the things that can go wrong. And boy they do! Very few people can get it right from the first try. My macarons looked like burger buns. They were huge! The butter cream (of which I am not a fan) was a mess, because I used frozen raspberries. My bad. I ended up making chocolate butter cream. They were like the stones that sunk the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.
Onto Try Number Two:
For this funny episode I chose: Byron Talbott Candy Cane Macaron. These where probably the messiest of all. I totally messed these up. They looked like they had the measles or some other irritating infection. What went wrong? I kind of got the measurements wrong after fighting with myself to get the egg whites right.
I own a beautiful Kitchen Aid which is normally one of my best friends. For this recipe not so much. When you have the egg white of one egg, the whisk doesn't reach down far enough to make the egg white stiff. I then refilled it in a different bowl and had an electric whisk try to beat the crap out of my whites. Can you catch my drift? The ganache turned out horrible because I didn't put it in the fridge to solidify a bit. Then the coloring is where it all went even more wrong. I bought the coloring liquid instead of the paste. It was way to watery and got everywhere and my macarons looked horrible I also undercooked them so they were still soft on the inside and broke once I tried to take them off the backing sheets. Boy was I frustrated! Ask Oli, he knows.
Try Number Three:
The YouTube chef that has actually made me laugh out loud (don't like lol) is: Dulce Delight and her version of the Perfect Macaron. She is an entertainer I tell you. We also share our love for the color yellow. She has the same Kitchen Aid as me. I need that yellow pan as well!
I used her technique to make the shells of the chocolate macarons and then I made a white chocolate ganache with pistachios. They were close to perfect. I beat the sweat out of my pores by whisking the egg whites by hand. I need to work out more. This is heavy duty elbow grease kind of work.
For this third try I bought a silicon mat. I used that and also parchment paper. The ones on the PP turned out better because the silicon mat was too thick and didn't let the heat cook the shells. They turned out undercooked... Luckily the parchment paper saved some of the batch.
I learned enough from YT and my mistakes. I turned to Amazon to buy a book and the original silpat macarons mat. The book that I got is from Aurelie Bastian, one of the most popular books about macarons. She finished the job for me in my quest to make the perfect macaron.
I separated the egg white, measured it perfectly and let it ripen in the fridge for a couple of days.
I ignored my beautiful kitchen aid and took my good old mixer that I almost threw out of the kitchen. We have quite some kitchen appliances and they are piling up as we speak. What can I say, I am a kitchen crazy.
I sued the silpat to create the perfect shape of macaron. The pictures below are the result of some hard work. I didn't give up and am glad of it. They are coffee macarons with milk chocolate ganache, topped off with some cacao powder.
My Tips to You:
- Measure all the ingredients to the last gram
- Make sure that the almond flour and confectionery sugar are finely ground
- Use 'old' egg whites
- Always let the ganache cool down in the fridge
- Let the macarons sit for more than 30 min before putting them in the oven
- To check if you over or underbeat the egg whites, try the spoon trick on a plate
- If you use recipes that require one egg white, try to beat it by hand Do not buy that brown silicon mat, it simply sucks!
- Send me pics with #smoonstylemacarons if you give them a go
- Don't eat them all at once ;)
I want to thank all the foodies on YouTube/Blogger sphere for sharing their knowledge to everyone. Not only can I make the perfect macaron, but so much more. My cooking has improved ten fold. Oliver and Vincent will enjoy healthy, delicious meals for as long as I can hold the pots and pans.
Pictures were made with a Canon EOS 700D 40mm f 2.8 Pancake Lens