Tuesday, July 6, 2010

macaron lesson 3

I tried another macaron recipe yesterday. It worked out pretty good, actually. It was the first time I was super impressed with my batter before I even turned on the oven. And by 'super impressed' I mean, this is how it looked immediately after I piped it. Did I have to scrape it out of the bag and remix it? Nope. Did I cry because I had to stand there helplessly as they spread into each other? Nope. Look at these beauties!

I was a little wary of the oven temperature. It was much higher than my previous recipes indicated. I don't know why the macaron makes me want to mix and match instructions, but for whatever reason, I'm always comparing recipes. This one says to mix it for 10 turns; this one says 15; this one describes the batter as 'lava'; this one's temperature is at 300; and this one's way higher. It's really unsettling.

So macaron lesson for this week is oven temperature. I've concluded that that's the only reason I had two different outcomes using the exact same batter.

Wow, right? With the oven set at 375 then reduced to 325, those poor (perfectly mixed) macarons damn near exploded out of their little shells. I reduced the oven to 300 for my second pan, and voila! Perfection!

With decent shells again, I decided to try making a buttercream filling. I used T's recipe, which was all fine and dandy, but like a total putz, I put in rose water instead of vanilla cuz I thought that'd be all fancy and macaron-y. Boy, was I wrong. Remember how I didn't like lavender macarons cuz they tasted like soap? Yup. Ditto on these.


Deciding the buttercream was a) too sweet and b) becoming more and more rose flavoured (aka disgusting) the longer it sat, I opened up each macaron sandwich and scraped that crap off. They're tinged pink on the undersides and there's probably residual rose taste (gah. It's everywhere), but I just couldn't expect anyone to muscle through that filling. I just couldn't.

Here's my revised idea:

Peanut butter is starting to be my favourite filling for these. It's easy and it juxtaposes the intense sweetness of the shells really well. 

To be honest, I'm about thisclose to scraping this stupid macaron idea of mine altogether. I really am. Not because they're tricky but just because the more I make them, the less interested I become. Plus I've found that I don't like them as much as I liked them the first time I tried them. I'm on the other end of the bell curve now. So I keep thinking, why should I bother making something I don't like? And more importantly, something that's tricky and troublesome to begin with. 

I would still really like to figure out how to tint the shells. That's something that's definitely not working for me at all. And it would be super nice to figure out some fun flavours...sigh.

Maybe attempting another macaron recipe yesterday was going one step too far. I did do a ton of baking and at one point, I had three different recipes going at one time. Hey, it was rainy. I had to take advantage of the cool weather since I knew I'd have to have the oven on for most of the day at some point this week. I don't trust the weather to be not hot when I actually want to bake. 

Here's a sneak peak at something else I'll be working at starting this week and for the rest of the month!

Yes; that is a stack of sugar cookies. *rubbing hands together* hmmm whatever could I have made these for?


Betty said...

Haven't had the opportunity to try to make macarons yet. But every time I see a photo of the ones you do, my head just explodes with beauty (and with envy! because I never seem to find the time to do them. Maybe I'm just too afraid I will totally fail :))

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Oh I know what the sugar cookies are for! Ooohh pick me! Pick me!

Idle Wife said...

Betty: aww thanks! You should definitely try making them! There's nothing but fear and common sense stopping you!
Lindsey: I. Am. So. Excited. It's not even funny. Don't forget your camera!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Omg totally! We should both blog about the awesomeness!

Anonymous said...

Re your--
"I would still really like to figure out how to tint the shells. That's something that's definitely not working for me at all. And it would be super nice to figure out some fun flavours."
I was just wondering if you've tried Kool-Aid unsweetened (naturally)!xxoo