Sunday, 13 May 2007

I made macarons!!!

Exclamation marks (all three of them) absolutely essential. Really. After a first, completely botched attempt to make macarons, which resulted in unremovable stains on my brand-new silpat and a few rock hard blackened heaps of something undescribeable, I shelved the idea of making macarons indefinitely. Or at least until we get around to renovating our kitchen and installing a new stove. But it just so happened I had two leftover egg whites in the fridge and in a moment of madness I thought, what the heck, let’s give it another go.

Michel Roux Jr provided me with his faultless recipe – not personally, sadly, but his Le Gavroche Cookbook did – for chocolate macarons. I sieved the icing sugar, cocoa powder and ground almonds twice, just to make sure, before adding it to the whipped egg whites. Getting the macaron mixture into a plastic bag (with a corner cut off) was a whole undertaking in itself; S had to come and help me and we could have done with a third set of hands, but between us we managed in the end. I lowered the recommended oven temperature substantially and halved the cooking time – not because I don’t trust Monsieur Roux’s instructions, oh no, but because I’m beginning to get the hang of dealing with my oven – and [insert drumroll here] they came out ok. Not great, or award-winning, most of them not even round, and the ones that were in the back of the oven started to go a bit dark already, but ok nonetheless.

Now, I have to confess I’m not a big macaron fan (I may have to go in hiding now – who knows what Robyn will do to me when she tracks me down). The ones I have had so far were invariable cloyingly sweet, with no other taste except for their sweetness. One tiny bite and I can feel a sugar coma coming on. But then I’ve never had a Ladurée or Pierre Hermé macaron, so who knows what I’ve been missing out on all my life. My chocolate macarons were still a bit sweeter than I would have liked, but not too much, and I could still taste the cocoa in them. I sandwiched a few with crème de marrons, which I’m not a big fan of, but it had exactly the right consistency and thus made for a nice photograph (yes, I am that shallow sometimes). For all the other ones I used pure, unsweetened, extremely hazelnutty, hazelnut paste, which was a bit runny, even after a good half hour in the fridge, but it balanced out the sweetness of the macaron wonderfully. The perfect combination for me. Now that I know it can be done (sort of), I will definitely try making macarons again. And while I'm at it, bring on soufflé!

5 comments:

Helen said...

Inne, they are gorgeous! Bravo...I confessed many times that I love making them but I don't like eating them. People find this strange, I don't. I love working the batter, coming up with flavors but they are still too sweet for me. I love the way Herme, Laduree and Mullot make great tasting and soft macarons, but I can only eat a bite.

Robyn said...

CONGRATULATIONS! :) Don't worry, you won't feel any wrath from me. It's okay to not like macarons...I guessss. ;) Yours look so cute! And gooey! I hope my first attempt comes out as good as your second.

jenjen said...

Kudos to you! I am yet to be so brave to try my own macarons. but you have inspired me. Well done : )

Mary said...

Your macarons look perfect. I never would've guessed that some didn't come out round.

Kate said...

congratulations on your little success in the kitchen.at least u tried and failed and tried again and did much better.I still have to start.And after looking at this macaroon fever going on these days in the blogging community and everyone 's making such beautiful variations...i think i'll just look and be happy for now :D