Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have finally mustered the courage to attempt the notoriously difficult to make macarons. As you all know I have this inferiority complex when it comes to baking cookies. I guess I wasn't gifted with such talent that I shy away from making it. Believe me, I tried quite a few times to make decent cookies and yet I always end up with ugly looking ones. Considering the fact that I can't make ordinary cookies, I must be out of my mind to even think I'd succeed in making macarons. But hey, how will I know if I won't try?
My first attempt with these cookies was as EXPECTED a FAILURE. Indeed it looks unsightly that they won't even pass as ordinary cookies. They look like foreign objects from outer space. I wasn't disheartened because I already expected the first attempt to be a failure. After a few more tries (I always use a different recipe in every attempt) I don't find it amusing anymore. I was desperate for success so I tried to do more reading on macarons. Only after that did I have a clear picture of what I was suppose to do. Sorry I couldn't discuss to you the whole process but you can read more about macaron making here, here, here and here.
This picture was taken after my fourth try. As you can see, it still doesn't look like a macaron but this is way better done my previous attempts. The surface is all cracked up ( maybe because of high oven tempt). I used aged egg whites and one noticeable difference when it comes to the outcome was, it was easier to remove hence the shells remained intact and not squashed out.
This is another attempt, this time I used powdered egg white. I also used the meringue technique wherein hot sugar syrup was added to the whipped egg whites. Although it has some resemblance to the actual macarons, I still consider these a failure since there were still no sight of the elusive feet.
I did make another batch of macarons using this recipe and at last I was able to make such lovely looking macarons with smooth shiny domed shape shells and of course very prominent feet. Unfortunately I couldn't post a picture of it because the memory card of my camera had a "fail to initialize" problem a that time. I couldn't transfer the pics to my pc and worse the macarons have already been eaten and given away so I couldn't re-do the pics. I was in a foul mood the whole day. My husband tried to appease my anger by trying all other means to salvage the photos but to no avail. I was also happy in a way because I have finally succeeded, regardless if theres a picture or not, I'm happy I've done it at last.
This are the last batch of macarons I've made. This time, I opted to use the meringue method again (I reduced the amount of powdered sugar because I find it too sweet). These time around I use aged egg whites and not powdered egg whites.
Based on my experience, I had greater success using aged egg whites (24-48 hrs). The ordinary method produces shiny domed shape tops compared when using meringue method wherein the surface appears to be dull. Also the ordinary method produces higher feet. If you want to attempt making macarons do keep in mind that sifting and measuring the ingredients are important. Oven temperature is also crucial to the success of macaron making and most importantly the method where your comfortable at. Personally, I prefer using the meringue method not because it produces better results but because I enjoy working with hot sugar. My macaron making has ended here. It's enough for me to have done it but I have no intention of mastering the art of macaron making. I'm not addicted to macarons but to the process of making it . I still prefer cakes over this :)