Saturday, 26 January 2013

Magical Macarons

I am so happy! Like, seriously!

If you’ve read any of my posts from when I started this blog, you may remember that I made the dramatic decision to cut macarons out of my life FOREVER!!  Yes, I was no longer going to have sleepless nights over footless bases or cracked shells, and I was very dramatic about the whole thing.

Well, I changed my mind.

This change of mind was a prompted a little by my stubborn nature and my need to win at everything, a little by my Mum’s colleagues love for macarons, but mostly by the pretty, shiny Kitchen Aid that Santa brought me!

Look at her…. *sigh*

I was convinced that the Kitchen Aid would be the key to successful macarons and I may have been right...

After trying my hardest with Hisako Ogita’s recipe for macarons and not having much luck, I decided to put my Kitchen Aid to use on a different one. This one was in a book I got for Christmas which took all the fear out of making macarons. Much like the posts by (that I also tried,) it treats the macaron recipe like any other, and, it sounds strange, but it really helped me relax into the process. I still used some of the other tips I have picked up along the way, namely bashing the tray after piping the macarons to knock the air out, as I think this seems to be such a fundamental part of the process I couldn’t not do it. This recipe also called for the macarons to rest for 30 minutes before putting them in the oven; this allows the macarons to form a skin, and helps make the crispy outer shell when baking.

It hurts me a little to think that the key to my macaron success is solely based on my mixer so I am going to sy that my recipe and less faffing also played a role. It cannot be denied, however, that the mixer helped whisk my egg whites like never before! Oh they were beautiful! Beautifully stiff and glossy, and full of lovely air. Wonderful.

But even after all of this I was still doubtful. But then something amazing happened...!

I opened the oven door to turn my trays midway through baking and I couldn’t believe my eyes: there they were all raised with that beautiful foot right round the bottom! I could have cried! It was a beautiful moment.

They weren’t, however, totally perfect. In my fear of not wanting to knock out the air provided to my egg whites by my beautiful Kitchen Aid, I was a bit too gentle when mixing in my almond/icing sugar mix. This meant that my end batter was still quite stiff and when I piped out my circles, I was left with little blobbies on the top that didn’t quite settle in, and remained even after baking. But after my pied success, I wasn’t going to let this bother me!

I may have mentioned previously that my Mum’s work friends love macarons: they fight over them at work. So after giving them macaron cast-offs for a while now, I was so excited to be able to give them something that actually looked AND tasted like a macaron! :D They had a crispy outer shell and a chewy centre, with a sweet vanilla flavor. This was complimented by the sweet and buttery vanilla buttercream filling.

As a result of this, I am back on with my mission of making great (note I did not say ‘perfect’) macarons. I will give the basic vanilla recipe another try first, being sure to give my batter a few more folds next time and hopefully judging when I’ve got the right consistency.

Then it’s onwards and upwards to different colours and *gulp* flavours!


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