So I tried to make macarons a second time. I wanted to see how I did using the french method.
Yesterday I got some ground almonds, some icing sugar, eggs, and so on; and then decided – okay, this is it, I will now give this a try. I did. And it failed miserably. I didn’t even bother baking the piped mixture. I use the term piped quite loosely, as the batter just ran out of the piping bag as if it was on 100m sprint trials. Somewhat annoyed, I dragged myself back to the computer and googled “how to make macarons without ageing the whites”. Best. Google. Search. Ever.
The website it took me to is just incredible – it belongs to a professional baker who has a completely no-nonsense approach to her work. Her posts on macarons are really inspiring and demystifying, and it made me want to try making them again. And try again I did. I followed her recommendations to the letter, and got feet on my macarons, first time I managed to do that using the french method.
The macarons weren’t perfect – but that is more to do with my mixing and piping than the recipe, I think. I used a huge silicone mat I own, which may have messed a bit with the temperature, insulation, etc. ; it’s not a huge problem though, I’ll keep trying until I get the perfect consistency and look. But yeah, it was a massive confidence boost, and I am now a huge Stella fan.
I filled them with an elderflower buttercream (recipe taken from Stella’s blog – Brave Tart – with a splash of elderflower cordial added); I am not sure it turned out the way it’s supposed to, but I scaled the recipe down to 1/10. I didn’t need that much buttercream, and I still had some leftover when I was done with filling the macarons.
I’m thinking of trying them again today, maybe going for a little change in colour, or something bold like that. With British Summertime starting today, there’s also loads more time to experiment with light and photography in a day (but mostly learning about it), so it makes me want to bake twice as much – let’s see how this pans out.
If you’re trying to make macarons, please please please read Brave Tart’s posts and give her method at least one try; I promise you won’t regret it.