Monday, April 9, 2012

a new love.


Ok, it’s safe to say that I’m addicted. Have you ever heard of a macaron? No, not a macaroon and yes there is a difference. A macaron is a small, dainty, French cookie as opposed the American coconut macaroon. I’ve been intrigued with these little babies for a while now but have just recently gathered up the courage to try to make them. It’s a long and complicated process, even though it seems simple. This is how I spent my weekend. The cast of characters…
1.       Almond flour, this is the expensive ingredient. I found it at one of our local Reasor’s after visiting 3. Apparently not everyone carries it. It was a small 2.5 pound bag and I paid $10.99. I told you expensive.
2.       Egg Whites, at room temperature. One cup of them. About 6-7 large eggs. Remember, just the egg whites, not the yolk. The recipe I followed suggested using the leftover yolk to make Crème Brule. Ha… yeah right. Do they not know this is a complicated recipe in itself?! Besides who really has a kitchen torch just laying around in their kitchen drawer. I’ll try that recipe later, once I’ve mastered the macaron.
3.       Powdered Sugar/ Confectioners’ Sugar/ baking sugar, whatever you call it, the white stuff.
4.       Granulated Sugar, and don’t try to substitute Splenda, Truvia, or any of the other fake stuff. You need the real thing.
Last but not least…

5.       A pinch of salt. Try to use iodized. All I had on hand was Kosher. I think that had to do with the lumpiness.

And that’s it. Now tell me, five ingredients how hard can that be?
Trust me it is. Oh and if you want colored ones don’t forget to add your food coloring. The gel kind. Otherwise they will just be a tan/ brownish color. I added orange.

All in all, my macarons came out good for the first time. I could have whipped them longer, I could have let them rest longer, I needed a piping bag instead of a half working sandwich baggie, I could have baked them just a tad longer, but all in all I was impressed. There are a few things I will invest in before making them again though, just to simplify a little.

1.       A food processor. You’re supposed to process your almond flour and powdered sugar together. I didn’t have one so I sifted everything 2-3 times. Talk about a pain.
2.       A piping bag and tip #8. I can’t tell you how horrible the sandwich baggie idea was. And it wasn’t even the zip kind, it was the fold over. Yeah, it didn’t work so well.
3.       A macaron baking sheet. This is serious people! Check it out.

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