If you haven't noticed, the French Mararon is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Not only are they delicious and varied in their flavors, they also happen to be the most adorable little pastry around - a blogger and an Instagramers dream!
I promised, in what seems like a million years ago, that I would go through Duchess Bake Shops recipe book and blog about my pastry successes and failures, and so today I am living up to that promise!
I give you, my first, and certainly not my last attempt at the French Macaron. My own personal toast to Paris, and the decadent littles I got to try there.
You can find the recipe in this brilliant pastry bible. In the mean time, here's what I learnt about Macaron making and what you should consider before you dive in.
- Dedicate an entire day to this endeavor if you can. I know myself enough to not rush baking, the best way I enjoy it and I really learn, is to take my time and remind myself that I might screw this thing up and that's okay because no one has to eat it but my family, and they will love me regardless. Unless they taste like feet - which mine did not thank you very much.
- Read through the ingredient list, before you go shopping, and give yourself some time to gather the ingredients if you don't have them. I couldn't for the life of me find Egg White Powder. In the end I combined Duchesses recipe with a Martha Stewart one and they still turned out OKAY, but not perfect, and if your anything like me, you prefer perfect.
- DO NOT use the more convenient Egg Whites that are sold in a carton. Use actual egg whites, crack those eggs and find something to use the yolks for later if you don't want to waste them. I had to throw out my first batch because of this.
- Almond flour is difficult to sift, just be aware of that.
- Try flavoring the cookies, I didn't and I wish I had added in some vanilla or coconut. I only added in a touch of cocoa powder and it wasn't really enough to make a difference. Duchess outlines how to add these in if desired - I didn't see that section until I had finished.
- Figure out how your oven bakes. My first batch was overdone because I didn't reduce the temperature to account for my oven's unique, and slightly bitchy, disposition. My second batch however was slightly underdone. I'd say this is the trickiest part of Macarons.
- Lastly, go into this knowing your going to fail, and come out pleasantly surprised when you only fail a little bit.
It was closer to Easter when I made these so I decorated them with some crumpled chocolate mini-eggs and the filling is a chocolate buttercream. Also found in the Duchess book.
Bonne Chance my little Pastry chefs!