Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Le Macaronnage

Hi there!  Item number 18 on my 30 Before 30 List is "Make sushi & macarons." I am super excited to say I have successfully made macarons!!! [Imagine confetti explosions here!]

Diy homemade lemon cream French macaron

I bought this macaron baking kit from Michaels a while back and then checked out a book called 'Les Petits Macarons' by Kathryn Gordon from the library. I thought I was pretty well set.  Only when I started looking at the recipes, did I realize that everything was measured by weight... -__- I am not that fancy in my baking just yet! So I went online to find a YouTube tutorial that measured by volume (as you do, lol).  I found a really simple video by Honeysuckle called 'Master the French Macaron Easy Recipe'.  It went through each step and made the whole process seem quite easy.  Now, I don't know if you've heard anything about making macarons, but all I've ever heard is how super crazy hard they are to make.  Like you should expect to fail the majority of the time. So when I'm watching this video and the girl is like, "...and it's super easy..." I'm a wee bit skeptical.

On macaron making night, I gathered all my ingredients and set to whipping the living daylights out of a couple eggs.  By the way, making meringue is very satisfying. Seeing the egg whites puff up into white peaked cloudy goodness is pretty awesome I must say :)  Anywho, I followed the directions from the video and happily documented along the way.  At one point you're suppose to let the shells rest for like 15 minutes so they can harden.  I'm pretty sure mine rested for nearly a half hour and they didn't do any type of hardening!  So I just put them in the oven and hoped.

They came out flat. They looked more like vanilla wafers than proper macarons, but they were still tasty. And I was very proud.  It was at this point in the process that I realized I didn't have any plan for filling.  Everything in the macaron book seemed way more involved than I wanted to be that late at night, so I went to the fridge and cabinets to see what I could slap together.  I ended up with Nutella filled, caramel/butterscotch filled, and lemon cream cheese frosting filled. Not bad... not bad at all ^.^

Even though that first batch came out absolutely wrong, I was still very proud of myself and came to the conclusion that I had over-mixed the batter.  I took them to choir rehearsal and everyone enjoyed them, although I'm almost certain that no one else had actually ever had a proper macaron... so yeah.  They were all raving about how great the cookies were, while I was quietly mulling over my failure, lol!  A couple days later I decided to bake another batch and not mix it as much.  That was exactly the problem!  The second batch actually rested and hardened properly!  And when I took them out of the oven they all had cute little feet! *.*  I was over the moon ex-stinkin-cited!  I filled that whole batch with the leftover lemon cream cheese frosting.  They were delicious!!!!!  (Excuse my exclamation point overuse. I'm still quite happy with myself.)

All in all, I think I had a way worse expectation of how making the macarons was going to go.  I thought I was going to be frustrated and wanting to throw the mixer out the window.  But it wasn't like that at all.  I plan to do some flavored ones soon... now those may be a bit trickier, but I think I'm up for the challenge.  I just need to get that kitchen scale :)

I love the feeling of successfully doing something that you were unsure if you could actually do.  Does that make sense?  I'm proud of myself and it makes me more confident to try baking different things.  Maybe I'll even branch into actual cooking ^.^ Lamar would love that!  

Here is the video recipe I followed if you want to try your hand at macaron baking :)

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