In my last post I mentioned that the next thing I wanted to make was French Macarons. Well this thought was just burning in my mind, so I decided that is what I was going to do tonight. I watched some online videos and read a few recipes and blogs about baking them and gave it my best shot. I was determined to learn how to make these beautiful, colorful, gluten-free, european delights!
Keep in mind I have pretty limited kitchen supplies. By limited kitchen supplies I mean we only buy things that we really need or that we won't mind possibly loosing and replacing year to year. It is hard to know what to buy and what to live without while here in Sweden. We have been lucky enough to know what team Sam would be playing for the next season before leaving the previous year . This allowed us to bring our boxes of 'stuff' to the proper city/storage. Many times players do not sign until long after the season is over going pretty far into summer. If this happens and you move to a different country or city many hours away, you may never see any of the things that you left behind again. Also you never know how long you will be in Europe and you know that most of the things you buy here are really only interim. So of the required 'tools' for making macarons, I have a hand mixer. I do not have a food processor or sifter or a piping bag. I have learned how to make due and improvise.
I wanted to make pink macarons, and Sam wanted to make lemon macarons. So it was settled, I would be making pink and yellow-lemon macarons.
First batch, the pink went very smoothly. Well I thought so, the dough seemed a little thick and chunky (this is when I was wishing I had that food processor). In reality I had no way of knowing if it was going well or not. I made a guide for the circle sizes I should be piping them onto. Sam wanted them to be BIG and I wanted small. So we made them an in-between size that I found to still be huge! I threw them into the oven and out they came! They all had legs, a good sign. Many of them had cracks on top.. I read this is a bad thing.. kind of like cracks on a cheesecake. Really I don't get what is so bad about a few cracks, it all tastes the same! Ok, I get it, and I really was hoping I they would all come out perfectly and they didn't.
Almond meal, the 'flour' used
My sweet helper
Out of the oven!
The finished product!
Next we got started on the lemon macarons. I told Sam he was going to have to do the lemon part, he was not a happy lemon zester. In fact I believe he said, "Next time we don't have to make lemon ones." That was all that he wanted to contribute and that was fine. While mixing the dough on this one I was so pumped!! It was super smooth and looked just like the dough in the videos! I repeated the process and put them into the oven. What I pulled out was so sad. They were very flat, brownish yellow, crispy-soft, things. Yikes what a disappointment! People were not kidding when they said macarons were difficult to make. Sam came over to observe and told me they still tasted really good! I used the rest of the dough and just altered the oven temperature and size of the cookies. Thats what these ones were/are cookies with macaron texture and taste. I will not be using the recipe again. You could say these lemon macarons were in fact lemon macarons.
The finished product!
The fillings were fun and easy to make and use. The pink ones just had a vanilla buttercream frosting, and for the lemon ones I made lemon curd.
The final products are HUGE AND FILLING!
Me, the queen of sweets (self proclaimed, I just can usually not stop once I start) had trouble finishing just one of the finished products!
I am really happy I went ahead and tried making French Macarons. I will most definitely be trying to make them again soon! Does anybody have any tips or suggestions, possibly an amazing recipe?