Monday, April 18, 2011

Maca-Almost Rights.

Hey again.

I know what you are thinking, "Three posts in a week?! Who took over the blog?"
Don't worry, it is still me.

So I have updates on the Macarons. Like I mentioned before there were some issues the first go around. Puffy plops of pink were produced, not the dreamy delicious drops of heaven that were intended.

After I posted my Mega Macaron McFail, I also contacted Helene Dujardin from Tartelette. I made a plea for any advice that she could give me. She read the post and said, "Next time I suggest not working from an incomplete recipe, and 'leaving out crucial details'. Also to read this." It is an article that she wrote and photographed titled Demystifying Macarons. So helpful.

I knew the first bit of her advice. I have been kicking myself ever since the first try. Why in the world would this recipe work if I don't follow it? It is just insane.

So went MacaRound II. I followed the directions from this recipe, Powdered Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Macarons, completely. And honestly, they were better but they were sticky, chewy, and had a bite of sugar in them that made my teeth itch. The other thing that they were missing was the macaroon tutu. It just didn't happen. Am I loosing my mind? Did I do it wrong again? Am I the Mayor of Crazytown?

This was not going to defeat me. So I decided to take some serious action.

Step 1. Dehumidify the kitchen. When I talked the head baker at work, she said that humidity can mess everything up, so I took the dehumidifier from the basement and let it do its work.

Step 2. Simplify. There aren't many ingredients in macarons, so I decided to take out the strawberries and the food coloring. I used the basic recipe from Demystifying Macarons. Just the essentials: egg whites, sugar, powdered sugar, and almonds.

Step 3. Measure and measure and measure again. Baking is about ratios and it will not work if they are off.

With all of that I got some pretty good results!!!!!
I put both trays of macarons in the oven, and the bottom tray cracked, but the top tray was great! They all had the 'tutu' and were the right texture, however they still had a little peak but I will take a small peak over a mushy mess of a macaron.

My confidence is restored.

Thank you for your help Helene, I could not have done it with out you Demystifying Macarons for me.

Now it's time for butter cream. That I know I can make.



  1. Huge huge huge improvement!!
    Yes, starting with the bare essential recipe was the way to go so you could get used to the whole method. Powdered food coloring works best (google search makes them easy to find) because of the lack of added moisture.
    They are sweet. But it is important to note that in France, they are a confection, not a cookie, and as such we only eat one with tea or coffee. Not 3-4 like cookies here.
    And they are different from macaroons which are coconut based (macar-o-ns).

    Hope you won't stop there!

  2. I won't; I'm plotting my next attempt as I type.

  3. Macarons are my favorite. I'm just saying. I would be willing to be a taste tester.

    And after one fairly ok attempt at making them previously, I would be willing to be a baker's assistant. I have several recipes I've been wanting to try.