Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Macaron Day!!!

Happy Macaron Day! In Paris, if you go to Pierre Herme's bakery, you can get 4 macarons for free if you make a small donation. It is a way to raise money to help cure diseases, I think. (My French isn't that great anymore!) Anyway, I decided since I can't go to Paris and get free macarons, I would celebrate by making my own!

Inspired by many blogs, I decided to give it a try- especially after I got my new mixer. I've been pouring over recipes and tips all week. I found Emily's (The Black Apple) tips very helpful. You can find them here. (Thanks, Emily.) She also posts links to several recipes! I'm attempting cherry vanilla macs today. This morning, I made the batter and they are currently sitting out to form a skin. They will go in the oven shortly, and we will see what happens!

I had some trouble with the macs so far. First of all, my almonds weren't dry enough when I tried to grind them up. No big deal- I put the almonds in then oven at a low temp for a little while. That helped- they were still wet, though. I sifted the ground almonds with the icing sugar and then I proceeded to making the meringue.
I was so proud! My meringue turned out nice with very stiff peaks. Then I folded in the dry ingredients and tried to pipe my macs with a ziploc bag since I don't have a piping bag. Oh, that was messy!!! My macs look much like amebias instead of nice round macs. I can handle amebias.
They have sat out to form their skin. Now, I'm going to put them in the oven. I'll add to this post later after they have baked. I've decided, if they form little feet like they are supposed to, I will continue to make the ganache filling. If not, we will just eat them as cookies, and I'll have to try again- soon!

These are fun, but they are finicky! I'll keep you posted!

ETA: Update #2
Ok, Macs are cooked and out of the oven. They are all amebias, but most of them sprouted feet and most of them didn't crack (a sign that I did beat it right!) They aren't perfect, but not bad for a first try.

See the feet? I was jumping around the kitchen when I saw those. They are very small, but they are there!
Batch one. Not too bad. Many with feet. Only a few small cracks. I baked these with a wooden spoon propping the oven door open.
Batch number 2. Do you see the one perfect mac???? I do! This batch I baked with the oven door closed- less feet and more cracks. Ok, lesson learned!

These are the macs once cooled and waiting for the ganache filling. I'm currently waiting for the ganache to get a little harder, so I can put it in the cookies. I think I might run an errand and come back to see how the ganache is doing! I'll be back soon with finished macs!

E(on Saturday)TA: I did get them done. I made the ganache with cream and white chocolate and a bit of vanilla. It was very soupy. I even put it in the fridge for a while to set. I was impatient, so I put it in a small bag and tried to pipe it onto my macs. It was messy, but they got done!
I decided to freeze them, so the ganache would harden. That helped some. Here are some pictures of the final results!

Than you all for going with me in the quest for macarons. They taste marvelous even if they look weird. My husband is so excited, he is ready for me to make more. He didn't even like the ones at the bakery- go figure, huh? He says mine taste much better! They were fun, and I plan on trying again very soon!


Anne said...

Hi, Kristin! No matter how they turn out, I bet they'll be tasty! Looks like you're having fun! :-)

And, since you're a "follower" of my blog, I'll put your name in twice for the drawing! :-)

Kimmie said...

My Mom is french and macaroons are her favorite all time cookie! I'll have to tell her .... it's much too damp here to make macaroons .... August would be better :)

Your mixer is lovely! Have fun with it!

Nicole K/GothamGal said...

These look lovely!!! And I love the color. Great job!

I had no idea about Macaroon day until this year---you and Bakerella (I think) were talking about them. Yay!