Macaron Fever

The goal:

The process:

Me:

(Photo credit here)

Yup, that’s pretty much what I’ve been caught up with for the past few days in the mad rush to get our Christmas goodies and gifts ready before we leave on Friday. I’ve lost count of the number of macaron-baking sessions I’ve had since the third and fourth attempts, which means too many wrinkled/cracked/hardened-macaron-shell-wannabes have left my oven over the past month. Way too many to be funny. The good news is, I’ve gotten to know my oven better, its sweet and not-so-sweet spots. I’ve also gotten to know myself better, like discovering that I shouldn’t attempt to bake these cookies before my morning coffee. Never. Ever.

So it’s been one heck of a rollercoaster ride.

I hope to have this skill nailed down by Thursday, which might actually be a realistic goal. After learning how to recognize a batter that has been mixed “just right” (therefore avoiding Attempt #2’s prune-like appearance), baking at a lower temperature (hence avoiding Attempt #3) and the importance of letting your batter sit long enough to form a skin (which would banish Attempt #4 into history), the current batch of orange-flavored batter in the oven actually look like it might just be the perfect bookends to an Earl Grey-infused ganache waiting in the fridge. Keeping my fingers crossed here that I’ll have a batch to share with you soon. Until then, I’ll be hovering around the oven chanting “Feet! Feet! Feet!” like a mantra.

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite - Oh I hear you. I just made a few woeful attempts at them last month. This time next week, though I will have taken a 4 hour macaron workshop at the Elysée Lenôtre Ecole de Pâtisserie in Paris and I will be surprised if they let you fail there!!!! I will, of course, share my secrets! I will cross my fingers that your feet appear!

El - I went through this last year and wrote an October post on the ordeal. You’ll get it- just keep plugging away.

Danielle - Thanks ladies for your encouragement – fortunately enough, the orange macarons turned out beautifully, but the chocolate ones I made after that didn’t, so I’m wondering if it’s got to do with the amount of cocoa powder I dumped on the meringue. I used 2 tablespoons for 210 grams almond powder/sugar and 70 grams of egg whites….is that too much you think? Oh well, got to keep experimenting to find out.

Mardi: I am SOOOOO envious of your workshop!! Can’t wait to see the beautiful gems that you’ll no doubt produce from it :)

El: I remember your post very clearly – it inspired me to revisit these macarons after failed attempt #2 :)

kamran siddiqi - Oh my god! That cat photo is hilarious! Anyway, you’ll get macaron making down! I know it! :)

I’ll cross my toes and fingers that feet will appear on your lovely batches of macarons that will be coming in the near future.

Lovely photos, either way! :)

Y - Seriously, that’s the funniest post I’ve read all day. Not to be laughing at your lack of success though! It’s past Thursday now, so I’m hoping you managed to reach your goal :)

lynette - ha ha ha ha

Danielle - Kamran & Y: thank you – let’s just say that the cat summed up my sentiments pretty accurately ;) I’m glad to report that the subsequent batches were fairly successful so there’s another post coming up!

Vera D. - Can’t wait to see how the subsequent batches compare. Will you do a lineup of photos? ;)

katie o. - I won’t even try. Instead I’ll just swoon over these….
http://www.tastecrumb.com/macarons/
But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

cathy/ShowFoodChef - Just catching up finally on reading some of my fav blogs, so of course checked in on yours. Oh man, that cat picture made me laugh so hard I had to show it to my husband (who has heard me scream with frustration and glee based solely on “having feet” appear. He laughed, too, so loudly. I’ll leave a comment here, but I read a bunch of your posts, so great, and I’m really jealous of how great your photos are looking. Such styling, too; very professional. Happy 2010!

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