French macarons, a love-hate relationship

Yesterday I baked French macarons  I have attempted these once before, but the macarons did not turn out correctly.   This time, I was slightly more successful but the macarons still did not turn out as they should.  French macarons should look like this.

Laduree rose macaron (and chocolate-rasberry macaron)

The actual macarons (not the cream part in the middle) should be glossy and have a “foot”, the little part at the bottom of the cookie that is not smooth and slightly comes out.  When you bite into one, it should crack and have a slight crunch to it, but also, it should be soft in the middle.

I used the recipe from a book titled I Heart (with an actual heart) Macarons.  Some tips for making macarons from this book:

  • Double up your baking sheet
  • Draw circles on the parchment paper so you know much of the macaron batter to pipe onto the sheet
  • Let the batter sit on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes before you bake it

When I was making the macaron batter, I could not make the egg white and sugar mixture as stiff and thick as it looked in the picture in my book.  I even beat it longer than recommended to see if it would stiffen up more.  But I didn’t want to overbeat it either.

My first batch turned out just plain wrong.  They were cracked, flat, they had no foot, and were way too crunchy.  They only thing correct was that they were glossy.  Score one for me!

The first batch: cracked, flat, and too crunchy

After making this first batch, I thought that the rest of my batches would be just as bad.

For the second batch, I piped more batter onto the circles because the macarons in my first batch were too small and flat.  Batch 2 turned out much better.  They were still glossy and this time, not cracked and they had a slight foot.  They also had a slight chewiness in the middle.  The third batch turned out pretty much like the second batch, except for they were a little chewier in the middle.   I was getting closer and closer each time.  But by this time, I was out of batter.

Batch 2: no cracks!

Batch 3

I suspect that the problem has something to do with the part where the egg whites and sugar get beat together.  Next time, I think I will try adding the sugar to the egg whites much more slowly.

Also, the macaron cookies should be sandwiched with buttercream, ganache, or something between them.  But I refuse to do so until I am successful with the macaron cookie itself.

I love the bright colors of macarons.  I love the fact that they come in so many delicious flavors (I have yet to encounter one I dislike).  I love eating macarons.  But I hate how tricky they are to make.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “French macarons, a love-hate relationship

  1. they are tricky! i went through baking them 6 times and still haven’t gotten it…but yours look good! they have feet=)

  2. Mine cracked too 😦 It’s really humbling to make these, isn’t it? haha.

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