December 30, 2013

Macaron's! How Hard Can They Be?

2014 is around the corner and one of my goals is to try new baking techniques. My friend mentioned she wanted to take a macaron class from Sur La Table and I immediately asked her if she wanted to try making some with me. I showed my friend my book from Creative Juice, Gourmet French Macarons and my friend wanted to give them a try. So the Saturday after Christmas, she came over and we tried making macarons for the first time. 
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The first thing we discovered when making macarons for the first time is that two of the essential ingredients are hard to find in our area and are spendy.  I had to go to 4 stores to find the almond flour and vanilla paste. Both items were not in one store.  The vanilla paste and almond flour were $26. If we make macarons again we'll know where to find the ingredients. 

The first step went smoothly. Sifting the almond flour and powdered sugar three  times. I have two different sifters and we tried both. At first we didn't like how slowly they sifted.  By the third sifting we had it down. We squeezed and taped the side of the sifters and the flour and powder flowed right out. 
Next step, whip the egg whites till stiff peaks form.  I think we got some pretty good peaks.
Final step, sift the almond flour and powdered sugar in with the meringue. We thought ours matched the consistency the book described and began thinking, making macarons isn't so hard.
Since my friend wants to make making macarons her thing I had her pipe them. We didn't use a template because we wanted to just get the technique down first.  As you can see they are different sizes and whoops, one has a tail. It was at this stage that we realized we forgot to add vanilla paste to the batter. We were making vanilla bean shells, or so we planned. Since we forgot the vanilla paste we made almond shells instead.
We let the macarons rest and baked them as directed. We were all excited about how well it was all going until we pulled them out of the oven.  A few cracked.
Most of them turned out beautiful.
We mixed up the vanilla bean filling, very tasty, and assembled our cookies.
Our foot doesn't look the way it should and I think they look a little brown on the inside.  How do they taste?  The shell was a little chewy and flaky at the same time. The vanilla filling was rich and creamy.  Our cookies didn't have the same texture as a macaron should but were still tasty. I know with more practice we can achieve the correct texture.
For our first attempt we were pretty pleased.  We have some improving to do but it was a fun way to spend an afternoon with a friend. 

**Update** This post is part of a linky party on A Pretty Life

4 comments :

  1. Hey, ya never learn if you don't try right?? I think you guys did great!! Way better than I probably would have done lol ;p Definitely a fun way to spend time with a friend too, thanks for sharing!! ~Kate

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    1. Exactly Kate! I have lots of baking things I want to try in the new year. Thank you, we had a great time and plan to try them again.

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  2. Sounds like a successful first try to me!

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    1. We thought so too. We know we could do better but all and all not bad for a first time.

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