And the Macaron Gods mock me…

AKA Macaron Chronicles IV

Do not use the Italian Meringue method if you have the attention span of a gnat. This is what happens when you let your sugar syrup boil to 270F instead of 245F. Wrinkled marshmallow discs:

Macaron_marshmallows

And I changed several variables too, like using the new almond flour that I got and adding some raspberry flavor.

When all was said and done, I realized that the almond flour I used was the culprit of subsequent batches as evidenced by the result of the chocolate macarons from Pierre Herme’s book . My batter was as stiff as a brownie batter and the piped circles formed peaks that wouldn’t sink – much like chocolate kisses.

Brownie_bites

The supplier said it was ground specifically to be used in macarons. NOT!

They looked more like brownie bites, and they do taste like chewy cocoa brownies. They were delicious – but they were not macarons.

So I sent the hubby to the supermarket to get me whole almonds – guess I’ll have to grind them myself. The question is…what to do with 3lbs of almond flour?

I will be on semi-hiatus for the rest of November so my posts will be far between. No, the macarons have not "booted" me out of the kitchen with their frilly feet – just other projects that need my attention.

Au revoir!

31 thoughts on “And the Macaron Gods mock me…

  1. You use almond meal in a lot of cakes and tarts in France as a substitute for part of the flour. It often makes them a bit lighter and gives a touch of almond flavor. The almond meal I buy here (in France) isn't specifically made for macarons, in fact at the specialty store where I buy all of my supplies, they sell caster sugar that's specifically for macarons because some of the starch has been removed from it, but they don't sell specific almond meal for macarons.
    Don't be discouraged from making macarons, you were doing such a beautiful job, it happens to the best of us (and you know that you heated the sugar too much, so there you go, it's not unexplained the way it often is with them, they're tricky little guys). =)

  2. Hi DaviMack, I've never used almond flour in tart crust before. That really sounds interesting.
    Thanks Mandy – I'm ready to grab them by their frilly feet again ;).
    Thanks Hilda – I shall try and use the almond flour/meal in my tart or cake then – sounds delicious. I wish they'd sell confectioner's sugar with less start here…I know King Arthur sells it as glazing sugar. I wonder how that affects the macaron.

  3. I know I keep saying this, but I am still too "chicken" to attempt macaroons. As for the almond flour, my mom used it a lot in her middle eastern type lamb stews to thicken it and add more richness. Or how about friands? Or flourless orange cake?

  4. Wish I knew enough about baking to help you on the almond flour question. I'm not brave enough to try macarons yet, but I'll happily be a taster for any of your experiments.

  5. I've been through your macaron dilemma before. Some things I changed for success:

    The italian meringue method, imo, produces the most consistent macarons from batch to batch.

    If you chose the italian method NEVER dry them. I've run tests on drying times and found that there was no real purpose in drying them (David Lebovitz agrees!)

    After you have piped out the macarons, really smack the pan on the counter a few times to knock the air bubbles out of them and flatten them out a bit.

    Double-panning is your friend. If you find that your macarons are consistently cracking, try baking them double-panned. It will increase the baking time but the feet will be able to form and the tops will not crack on you.

    Drop me a line if you have any more questions!

    And for the person who asked if you can use Trader Joes almond meal, I'd say YES with a BUT. You can use it BUT since the skins weren't removed before they were turned into almond meal you will get a speckled appearance. If you're making chocolate macarons you can sneak it in and no one is the wiser.

  6. Hi Veron! After all this drama and adventure, I think I will have to try making macaroons. At least I've got your excellent road map to guide me! By the way, almond flour is a key ingredient in a wonderful pear and almond tart that I have made many times. I will send you the recipe!

  7. Golly, there's so much good information here, I might actually get around to making them. But I have to say that although I am surrounded with great Italian cooks, NOT ONE of them has a thermometer except my chef friend, and I gave it to her when I returned from a trip to the USA.

  8. I totally appreciate your efforts in the kitchen as it is instructive for the rest of us, so thank you.

    Will miss your frequent posts but there's more to life than blogging so I'll look out for you whenever you are around.

  9. Oh no! So sorry to hear about your macaron woes :(. But almond flour/almond meal can be used in many desserts. Mary over at Alpineberry has a recipe for a cherry almond cake that uses almond meal, and there are lots of others out there as well. Good luck!

  10. Oh….non!!! Not to worry, I had plenty of cracked top and beaked shells in many batches over the years…sometimes…Use the almond flour in cakes in place of some of the regular flour.

  11. Hello again,
    I am so sorry the italian meringue didn't work for you. It is true that the temperature is vital when making it. I still haven't gotten round to posting about macarons, but I promise to do so this week!
    The almond flour you can easily use for a cake, as it has already been pointed out. Add some mascarpone and the grind of 1 lemon for a more exciting touch. Also, it is important that the icing sugar you use in your macarons does not contain the 2% starch. If you can, grind your own in a blender. Better luck next time

  12. Hi there Veron, you have such a brilliant blog, I'm so glad I found you! You've just inspired me to bake my first batch of macarons – as soon as I've aged the egg whites of course! ;o)

  13. Well sis.. I know you really want to master the macaron, but if you were ever to bake me something *hint* I would LOVE the brownie macarons AND the chewy marshmallow macarons even if they are wrinkly. Mmmm chewy marshmallow AND brownie macarons.. that spells heaven for me! =)

    xoxo

  14. Hi veron, I made a new batch of macarons just this morning using the meringue method and it turned out okey. your post about macarons really helped me a lot :)

  15. I've decided to hop on this bandwagon.. perhaps I am a little late, but I'm going to give them a try this weekend. I like a challenge. I'll do some research on convection cooking and macarons.

  16. Hi Veron! I made 2 batches of macarons and they turned out really well, thanks to you and your wonderful test kitchen! I've just posted my first batch – and I am so proud of them. Thanks again, YOU ARE AMAZING! xo

  17. Pingback: Macaron Chronicles VII: And the saga continues | Kitchen Musings

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