I am 50% woman and 50% magpie... I am attracted to anything sparkly!! And when sparkly things combine with edible things, magic happens!
Macarons. They are indulgent for anyone. And then for a foodie who cannot eat gluten, citrus, chocolate, matured cheeses, red wine, yoghurt... well yes, they are heaven.
I hadn't made macarons in a while, but got the urge two weeks back, so did some reading to refresh my memory on how to make them.
A few fun things that I have learned about macarons...
- I know I was initially muddled with the difference between a macaron and a macaroon, but they are actually totally different treats. The Macaron is the delicate and crisp cookie sandwich filled with flavoured ganache; whilst the Macaroon is the unkept coconut cookie that is chewy and often dipped in chocolate.
- Although the French take ownership for the macaron now, it actually is thought to have been developed by the Italians first.
- Apparently old egg whites yield better macarons. Again, I am not patient enough, but if you plan in advance, separate your eggs two days before you want to make the macarons. And ensure they are at room temperature before you beat them.
- The little crusty bit at the bottom of each cookie is called the feet, and there are techniques for parallel feet or feet that stick out a little. How funny.
- Maturation is the process of leaving macarons to settle for a few days. It is thought that three days after baking is the best time to eat a macaron because this helps dry out the macaron
I really like the Macaron Mafia for tips and drool over how perfect her photos are!!
I had forgotten all about the Laduree cookbook that I own, but not to worry, I found a great blog (who unfortunately hasn't posted since 2012), Not So Humble Pie, who seems to have almost dedicated her life to the art of macarons. Well, maybe not her entire life, but definitely all of her spare time!!
I wanted to make the French style macaron, not the Italian style and so was happy to find a recipe that made sense to me! The Italian method involves boiling sugar and water to a very specific temperature, and as I don't own a sugar thermometer (and didn't have the patience to wait another weekend) I just went ahead with the classic French method. Apparently the Italian method is less risky than the French, so maybe I'll try that way next, but I really like the recipe I found and enjoyed that she had done the hard yards and technique testing for you, and created the most fool-proof method possible. I won't rehash the entire recipe, Not so Humble Pie explains everything in such great detail herself, so just click on through to be empowered!
So I made my macarons plain almond, with some pink colouring, and before I left the shells to form prior to baking, I sprinkled a little glitter on them all! The filling was salted caramel filling. But not with just any salt, no of course not, I used Himalayan Pink Salt. Of course.
Sure, they weren't as perfect as Laduree, and aren't as uniformly identical as other photos I've seen, but the taste was phenomenal, and texture just right. It definitely is an art form, making macarons, but the kind of art that makes me want to practice practice practice.
Psst!! If you are looking for a little more meg-made, I'd LOVE for you to follow along!