The ever elusive macaron

So I saved my first real recipe post for the macaron. The first time I made these, my friend coached me through the process, and when they came out perfectly, I felt like it was serious stroke of luck. I'm pretty sure I held my breath the whole time while making them... I'd heard nothing but horror stories about how difficult they are to do successfully. So much so, when I was going to make them the other day for work, I felt like throwing in the towel and ordering them instead from a local baker. Then I read this post on the BraveTart blog (whom I now absolutely love by the way) about the ten macaron myths, and regained the confidence to try to make them myself.

Macaron Recipe: Taken and messed with from the I <3 Macarons book

1 cup Almond Flour
3/4 cup Icing Sugar
3 Egg Whites
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
(Food colouring and flavours - such as raspberry, are extras and totally not necessary. You can fill these suckers with anything you like)

As noted in the Macaron Myth post, this book, and most recipes, tell you to age your egg whites by leaving them out overnight, which I did in this case - but I'm thinking you don't have to, I can't see why it would matter in the long run.

Turn on your oven to 375F. Put the almond flour and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until it becomes evenly combined. Put the egg whites and the normal sugar into a stand mixer (or into a bowl and use a hand mixer, doesn't matter). Whip both ingredients at a fairly fast speed until the white are glossy and make a stiff peak - which is when you remove the whisking device, the eggs whites stick to whisk in a soft peak that only gently folds over when you turn it right-side up.

If you want to use food colouring for the macarons, gently stir it into the egg whites now. Use more food colouring than you think you need, since they will turn darker in the oven (mine turned from blue to brown, embarrassing). Dump the almond flour mixture into the bowl with the egg whites, and stir together gently with a spatula, just to combine.

Now you have to do the macaronage, which is basically scooping up as much of the macaron batter with a spatula as you can, and mushing it against the side of the bowl in a sweeping motion, repeating this about fifteen times. If you don't know what I mean, google it. I'm sure there's a video that explains it a bit more clearly. Once you're done, the batter should gently fall off your spatula in clumps, which is the way you know you're done.

Put the batter into a piping bag, and pipe 2.5cm round circles on a baking sheet covered in a silpat or wax paper. Tap the baking sheet gently on the counter to remove the bubbles. As soon as the oven is ready, put the macarons in, sit down in front of your oven and hope like heck they rise properly. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

And to be honest, these puppies weren't perfect - a little too crunchy, possibly caused by a too hot oven. However, this was easy enough to do that I will try it again, and I hope you do too!

*** I apologize for not having pictures in this post, and for not posting for awhile. Our laptop is completed infected by a virus, and we're looking into replacing it or something... we will be back in full form soon, I hope! ***


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