Yes that is a misleading title. I just needed a pretext to talk about some macarons I made, and the above seems good enough. Little known fact about me: I’ve never had mac and cheese.
I will though. Tomorrow. But I made macarons.
I tried a new recipe for these, just to see what happened. I had quite a few egg whites, and decided I would take no prisoners. So, I tried lovely Raiza from Dulce Delight‘s chocolate macarons recipe.
Boys and girls, let me tell you: what a recipe. What a recipe, what a recipe. They came out per-FECT. Beautiful. Lovely tall feet, and soft chewy centres with crisp shells.
You know I’m quite partial to BraveTart and her kickass recipe, but let me tell you – this other recipe is a corker. I have tried it with different flavours as well and have always had the same results, so it’s going straight into my saved macarons recipe folder. If I was to split hairs I would say this recipe gives them a texture that’s closer to that of italian meringue, but honestly, that may just be because I haven’t made a BraveTart macaron in a while (and I’d have to compare them side by side – which I might do someday!)
Macarons take time to get right, and while I feel like I’m getting there, there’s still some work to be done to fully hone my macaron style; I am not consistent yet. These are so far my macaron notes:
1. forget ageing the whites – that is not necessary at all and I have never deliberately done it (although sometimes I do use old – and I mean OLD – egg whites)
2. drying the shells – I know BraveTart says you don’t have to, but I’ve never had a good result without drying them so I am sticking to it. Do what works for you.
3. my shells have definitely improved with the grinder A. got me recently – I wouldn’t call it an essential item but it does make them smoother and allows you to play with different nuts/ seeds/ whatevah (these macarons are pre-grinder).
4. beat the crap out of that meringue – honestly, I whisk it to within an inch of its life and it seems to be working.
5. count your strokes as you fold – and once you get your desired result, try to stick to that count. This is obviously directly related to the quantity you’re making, as I find that mine vary between 25 and 50. I don’t know exactly how many, but counting them helps me to keep track of whether I’m close and paying more attention to the mixture as that happens (as often I am watching TV as I do that).
I don’t know if there is anything else I do in addition to either BT of DD’s recipes, although I suppose trying them both has taught me that there is no ONE method. Several might (probably will) work, which means that macarons aren’t as temperamental as they might seem at first – they’re just a biscuit after all.
So here are my chocolate macarons following Raiza’s recipe. Dudes, she is good at what she does. Totally worth checking her blog regularly.
Dulce Delight’s Chocolate French Macarons with Dulce de Leche
And BraveTart’s because she is brilliant and funny and has just posted her recipe for love hearts.