Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Macarons - Good Grief!


I have just made macarons for the first ( and maybe the last) time.  Now I know why these are the domain of bakers with years of experience who live in Paris!
What an absolute guddle.
I find it tricky enough separating eggs, let alone adding ground almonds and icing sugar to a meringue mix quickly enough so it doesn't deflate, then getting said mixture into a freezer bag with the corner snipped off ( who needs a piping bag!) and putting neat little half inch blobs onto a baking tray.
The recipe was so far beyond my meagre baking skills it was funny.
It said 2 cups of icing sugar - but then said that 2 cups were 480g - not my cup!
The recipe called for 7 egg whites but I guessed my measurements were about half what the recipe wanted so bunged in 4 and hoped for the best.
In my cack handed attempts to get the mixture into the bag without it 'deflating' it got it everywhere.
( but mostly on my laptop!)
It was supposed to be a lovely pale blue, it is in reality a rather unattractive sludge grey.
Oh yes, and they have to be put in the oven for 8 minutes with the door ajar. Ajar! Mine is either open a foot or closed. I had to make do with jamming a silicone spoon into the door to make a gap.
All this and trying to get photos too!

They are now out of the oven - 2 batches - one with what had to have been a deflated mixture. I ate half of them while attempting to scrape off the baking paper. (I now feel slightly sick as most of them were undercooked)

The recipe calls for them to have a filling and make a sandwich with one on either side, well sod that.

It all started so well...







  

things started to go a little wrong here




very wrong here




a bit more wrong here...




and absolutely pear shaped here



If anyone is interested this is the recipe I used and this is what they're supposed to look like



Cue hysterical laughter.

19 comments:

  1. I am laughing with you, not at you!!

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  2. Anonymous6:16 pm

    What was the taste and texture like.? I'm really interested to see if they were similar to the ones you'd eaten last weekend.

    I looked for ablog i've read where she discussed the training and practice that they take but I can't find it now :(

    http://msglaze.typepad.com/paris/2006/04/passover_pastry.html

    This is Amy Glaze's recipe...does it help.?
    Here's another beauty...
    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2005/10/french_chocolat.html

    Hugs anyway...you had a go at least!
    xxx
    Coffeee/Sue Caissy

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  3. Sue the taste was overly sweet, like far far too sweet and they were gooey but more in an undercooked way than a lovely way! A few had gone brown and these were the right texture, but looked silly as they looked singed! I made them small as per the recipe, the ones I had at the weekend were colour free and much bigger, way less sweet and more crunchy.
    L tasted one and declared it not very lovely. I've binned them, they are just far too yug!

    Mel, it's ok, I'm laughing at me :)

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  4. I cannot do macaroons either. Give me a souffle and we're fine; macaroons and we have disaster!
    I feel your pain.
    ~S.

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  5. oh Laura, Im sorry to say that unlike Mel I am laughing at you!

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  6. http://www.bakerella.com/macarons/

    have a look here... yum, yum, yum!

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  7. I think you were brave even to attempt them. I did get lost on the word guddle though!? Whatever that is, I would have been in one too.

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  8. Want a foolproof easy recipe?

    Coconut Macaroons

    2 eggs, separated
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 cups desiccated coconut

    Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
    Gradually beat in the sugar. 1 tablespoon at a time, beating umtil dissolved between each addition. Beat in egg yolks then stir in coconut until well combined.

    Spoon tablespoons of coconut mixture, about 5cm apart, onto baking paper.

    Cook in moderately slow oven (160c) for about 20 to 25 mins or until the macaroons are golden brown.
    Cool on tray before storing in an airtight container.

    Hope you enjoy, and think of me as you steal one or two!!

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  9. At least you tried and were able to see the humor in the situation! It's always nice when you can laugh when little things go wrong. ;-) Too bad they weren't edible at least though!

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  10. Next time I eat one, I'll appreciate it so much more!

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  11. oh my god i havent had a good laugh in ages... brilliant...

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  12. Oh dear!
    Maybe you could try the recipe I used (I'd not made macaroons before).

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  13. Macaroons are The Devil. I am with you there.

    LOVE the word guddle, oh that one is going in my next book for sure.

    I tried to make a purple birthday cake once and it came out that shade of grey - well, maybe a bit redder but not much. And it always looks so easy...

    The Lindt cafe in Sydney does macaroons to die for. Put it on your list of things to do!

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  14. Hahaha, this made me laugh out loud. I will have to remember never to try and make macaroons at home!

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  15. Ummm... They're fairy stones or something. Give em a new name, and call them your own!

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  16. Anonymous11:17 am

    I'm no good at baking and making treats like these, so I'll pass on the recipe thanks as I'm likely to flop it terribly :-). I do like my grandmother's fudge recipe even though it is a lot of hard work, but that is yum!

    Lea White
    http://startmyfarm.blogspot.com

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  17. I thought macaroons were just meringue with coconut (or some kinda nut!) added, lol! I refuse to use any form of icing bag with meringue, following on from the 'heart shape' incident, especially in this heat as the mixture just melts!

    I'm sure i've seen Nigella do a simple one that she spoons onto baking paper and puts an almond ontop......might have to looksee now!

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  18. Ooooo, i found it! It looks so easy i may try it! ;-) She also has a yummy sounding one that has cinnamon and orange zest in it, if you fancy it?

    Chewy Macaroons

    200g ground almonds
    200g caster sugar
    1/4 teaspoon finely ground cardamom
    2 egg whites
    1-2 tablespoons rosewater
    approx 25g blanched almonds (28 in number)

    Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Mix together the ground almonds, sugar and ground cardamom (if using) and egg whites and knead with your hands or use the flat beater in a freestanding mixer until you have a coherent paste. This is thick, and needs to be, so the mixer is the best bet.

    Sprinkle some rose water onto your hands and, thus scented and dampened, form little balls, about the size of smallish walnuts - out of the grainy thick paste. As you put them on the lined baking sheet - about 3cm apart - squish them down slightly so they are no longer balls but fat patties. Stud the centre of each disc with a blanched almond and bake for 10-12 minutes. They will still be pretty pale when cooked but if they are beginning to turn golden at the edges, take them out of the oven and, lifting each one carefully with a spatula or fish slice, let them cool on a baking sheet. When cooled, store in an airtight container. You can make them ahead of time, open-freeze on a sheet for an hour, then fill plastic bags with them and keep them stashed in the deep freezer. They probably don't need more than an hour to defrost at room temperature and be ready for the table.
    xxx

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  19. Oh, how funny - I love it when people share their baking disasters. Pop over and have a wee keek at my bread baking disaster a few weeks ago. You are not alone! However mine was a baking distraction disaster, not a complex recipe gone wrong disaster. From one Scot to another, thanks for sharing! Stef

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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x