Macarons are my vice! I just can’t get them right. I don’t know what I am doing wrong and I think I need to bring in a macaron expert to show me how to make these delicate little treats (any takers?). Just look at those finished macarons above! No foot. No poof. And lots of cracks. I even tried a second time using a simple recipe from Martha Stewart but it just didn’t work out for me. I really wanted to make chocolate dipped strawberry macarons with a white cream filling so that’s what I was going for. Sounds good, right?? Maybe you have a recipe to share with me?
So here’s how it all went down…
First of all, I have to mention that I actually weighed my food for exact measurement. I really wanted to get it right and I thought weighing by grams would help me out. Guess not!
Since I couldn’t find any freeze-dried strawberries in my neighborhood, I decided to dry out my own. I sliced a 1/2 cup of strawberries, placed them on a cookie sheet (which should have been lined with parchment paper) and cooked them at 250 degrees F for 1 hour. They came out perfectly dry and tart, just the way I wanted them.
After the strawberries cooled, I scraped them off the pan and added them to a food processor with powdered sugar and ground almonds. I sifted the mixture to get out any large pieces.
Separately, I whisked egg whites with cream of tartar and a sprinkle or salt until foamy then slowly added the sugar. The whites were ready when they had a nice shine and stiff peaks. At that point, I added the powdered sugar mixture. I think THIS is where I went wrong. The directions for whipping the whites were just a bit too confusing for me. “Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites, and with a rubber spatula, deflate the whites while mixing. Combine the ingredients thoroughly and watch carefully, lifting the mixture with the spatula to see if it leaves ribbons. Â Stop mixing before the mixture becomes runny. Test by seeing if the batter is lava-like. Â It should not maintain its lines but sink slowly back into itself in about 10 seconds.” Whaaaat?
When I thought my batter was like lava (ha!), I poured it in to a plastic freezer bag to use as a piping bag. Here’s a tip that actually works: place the end of the bag in a tall glass to keep it steady.
I piped the batter on to a parchment lined baking sheet, allowing some space for spreading. At this point, I thought the batter looked great! I guess I was wrong. I rapped the cookie sheet on the counter a few times to remove any bubbles then I impatiently waited 30 minutes to allow the batter to dry out a little.
I baked the batter at 250 degrees F for 15 minutes and that’s when the sadness began. They didn’t grow at all and there was no perfect little foot on the bottom. So I tried a new recipe! My husband helped me quickly wash all of the dishes and I got back to work right away. This time, I figured I would try to just follow a simple recipe and I assumed I would have the perfect macaron. Wrong! It’s possible that IÂ over-beatÂ the egg whites this time. But hey, at least I can learn from my mistakes, right?!?
I thought maybe, just maybe, they would bake correctly! Martha said to bake at 350 degrees with the door slightly ajar and that’s exactly what I did.
Ummmm….nope! Please help me. I’mÂ desperateÂ for macaron help. I need to get these right. I’ll take all the help I can get.
I will say one thing about the second batch of failed macarons. They ended up being fluffy and soft so I sandwiched them with some raspberry filling and my in-laws at them all up!