Thursday, December 30, 2010

macarons take #5.

This would result in a very depressed me if I didn't learn something from this batch of macarons. Allow me to explain.
You know how you must let the macaron batter sit awhile to let a skin develop? Well, I live in a humid country and to wait for the macaron to dry out that tiny bit would take hours and hours. For instance, after a considerably long hour, the tops would still be sticky. Imagine how many more I must wait for a dry surface! So, I borrowed the idea of using the oven to dry the tops out and it worked! The problem is, it worked too well.
I would leave it in the oven until not only does the batter don't stick to my fingers at all, they were quite hard, in fact. It's not a thin skin, it's like the whole thing has crusted over. That, I believe, is my downfall.  Any research on these french cookies would show that a developed skin would prevent, to a certain extent, those dreadful cracks. The shell must be strong so when they receive a blast of heat, the bottom of the macarons would rise, forming what we all desire in a perfect macaron- feet.

In my case, the feet rose up during the first few minutes and much to my dismay, started to sink and create frills instead. I think because my shell was too strong, it did not allow the feet to push the shell up. The feet, trapped and desperately needing somewhere to go, gravitated towards the sides instead, resulting in a tutu-like structure. That's my theory.
This isn't proven yet, but I think I may be right. You see, I baked in two batches, one with a weaker crust than the other because one tray had more time to dry out in the oven. The tray with the harder crusts were noticeably more frilly in comparison to the weaker crusted. I need to test this theory out again. I might be getting somewhere. Finally!

Now for the less important stuff. I actually intended for these macarons to be blue, but what you see here is green, yes? I admit I went too light-handed with the blue colouring because I didn't want it to appear like something off a flashing neon sign. I swear my meringue was a beautiful baby blue but once the dry mixture went in, it became, well, green. But I do like this green actually. Reminds me of Laduree's box. Good times... good times...


For the all important filling, I chose a rose raspberry jam. I prefer fruit fillings with macarons rather than chocolate and the like because almond just goes well with bright flavours. When I think almond, I go raspberry, strawberry, apricot, mango... See? No chocolate. Nope.
Victory is getting closer. I'm starting to smell it!

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