Yes, macaron making can drive you insane. After a successful first attempt, I decided to gird my loins and give it another go. Well, after attempt 6, my pancreas gave up, and I decided to relinquish my apron in favour of not developing diabetes. What was most frustrating was the way there was no improvement from Batch 1 to 6 in the slightest.
Yet I’ve learnt the following lessons, should I ever attempt macarons again:
- Make sure you have a lot of ingredients. I kept running out of ground almonds
- Sift, sift, grind, sift. Sifting equals smooth shiny tops
- Don’t overmix or add too much liquid or the batter will be impossible to pipe.
- Don’t pipe the macarons too closely together. Give them A LOT of room to spread
- Don’t sprinkle freeze-dried strawberries on top, they will burn.
- Don’t mix freeze-dried strawberries into the mixture as it goes lumpy bumpy.
- Overmixing/cooking at too low a temperature are apparently two causes of giant hyperextending macaron feet.
- But baking them at too high a temperature causes them to explode
They really aren’t like making biscuits, these babies. In each batch, I only managed to salvage a couple of presentable looking ones to photograph. The rest were like deformed crisps. Granted, even the uglies tasted pretty good, but I am tempted to shove macarons into the category of ABJECT FAILURE along with baked raspberry cheesecakes and the Hummingbird Bakery’s cream cheese icing.