I made macarons!

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]

    For our fourth wedding anniversary, I promised my wife I'd make her something. On our honeymoon in Paris, we ate nothing but macarons, so I thought I'd give them a go. I was a bit frightened by their notoriety for fickleness, but once I bought up all the ingredients, I was locked in.

    I used this YouTube video as my main guide:



    No good reason. The chick's voice was just too hot to pass up. Also, she has some very helpful troubleshooting tips. But seriously, watch the video in private and enjoy.

    The first few batches were disaster. The biggest problem was that I kept over-mixing the batter. The macaron lady says 50 folds. But I kept finding that my batter would go from dry and crunchy to watery and soupy within 10 or 12 folds. The batter needs to be right in the middle: smooth and oozy, but more viscous and less liquid. I realized that I must not be beating the egg whites stiff enough to begin with. She says 10 minutes of beating, but in our KitchenAid at max speed, it really needs more like 15-16 minutes. After I tried beating the egg whites longer, I found that the folding-in of the almond meal and sugar went much more gradual and I could control the pace better.

    After that, it's all easy as pie. You just pipe the batter onto parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Once the folding of the batter was nailed, I could pump out batch after batch with near perfect consistency. No pancake macarons. No cracked macarons. No stuck macarons. They all looked perfect, like they would in a decent patisserie, including the "feet" (the rough bottom edge of each macaron top).

    However, there was a further hang-up. For flavors, I picked red bean and black sesame. To do the red bean, I chose to flavor the filling (a butter cream). For the black sesame, I chose to flavor the macaroon tops themselves (to be combined with vanilla butter cream filling). The latter did not come out as consistently. By adding ground black sesame seeds to the batter, I must have sufficiently messed up the mix such that it didn't bake right. Inexplicably, half the black sesame macarons came out fine, while the others looked good but were crunchy inside instead of pillowy. I will need to experiment with this. Maybe the solution is to reduce the amount of almond meal to compensate for the added black sesame.

    For the butter cream, I used this recipe: http://www.yumsugar.com/Basic-French-Macaron-Recipe-21651110

    No good reason again. Just looked simple.

    Anyway, I'm fairly happy with my efforts and think the next time around will go much smoother now that I know what to look out for. I want to try both flavors again, but am considering others. Suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012


  2. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    damn, those look awesome. I envy your commitment to make them, but I'd probably just go to Laduree. They might have good flavor examples for you to follow.


    that remidns me, my father loves macarons, so for Christmas last year I bought him a giant box from Laduree with two macarons of each flavor. That's a lot of cookies, and he was ecstatic.
     


  3. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Admit it, you bought them. ;)

    Looks great.
     


  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    The Laduree ones are awesome. We headed over to the UES as soon as they opened up a shop there. We rationalized that the walk across the park burned off at least one or two macarons worth of calories.

    My favorite flavors there are the rose blossom, the caramel, and the plain vanilla. My favorite of all time though are the ones we had at Sudaharu Aoki in Paris. As the name implies, many of the flavors are Asian. They had five or six different tea-flavored macarons, for example. They also had cherry blossom macarons, which may be my absolute favorite of all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012


  5. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Great. A 15 page thread about macarons.
     


  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    It's exactly what this sub-forum was missing.
     


  7. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    What, you haven't made them yet?

    ...

    Those look fantastic, Foo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012


  8. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Looks great Foo- nicely done.

    I'm a fran of Bottega Louie's as well as 'lette, both in LA.
     


  9. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I'm addicted to the lemon ones. Other favorites are blackcurrant violet, pistacio, and vanilla.
     


  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Oh man, I saw the blackcurrant ones last time, but my wife vetoed them. Will try.
     


  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    By the way, has anyone watched that video yet? Am I right?
     


  12. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I am disappoint. They're awesome because they have a wonderful floral touch, but the firmer texture and depth of flavor from the berry. Very different from the rose which, if I remember correctly, is quite light and sweet.
     


  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Maybe the next batch will be taro. Or green tea.
     


  14. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I'd go for an oolong tea in an instant.
     


  15. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    I'd go for Matcha because it works well with the hype. Nah but seriously, tasted great when I had it at Mariage Frères.
     


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