Oh, 2014. I feel like I just got to know you, and you’re already leaving. Sure, we have another week and a half or so remaining, but still, I’ll miss you. You were a good time, and you remained fresh and interesting thanks to the 14 in ’14 list. There were brunches, books, improv, and transvestites… caverns, ducks, Dominicans and a derby… whiskey, restaurants, big TVs, and a drive-in. And finally, as of today, macarons.
Errrr… at least, I made an attempt at macarons. The end result looked less like macarons and more like shapeless blobs, but what matters is the effort. Well, the effort and the taste. Luckily, they seem to taste pretty decent, so they weren’t total failures.
I used this recipe and got started as soon as my half day of work was done. I followed the instructions exactly, so I’m not quite sure what went wrong. The only thing I can think of is that maybe my conversions were wrong (the recipe is in grams; I converted to cups using Mr. Google). When the batter was ready, it looked a little runny, but I wasn’t totally sure how it was supposed to look. I piped it out onto two parchment paper lined pans, banged the pans on the floor once or twice to get the air bubbles out (per the instructions), and waited. When I returned to the macarons 45 minutes later, they’d spread out into one another; it was like a sea of macaron batter on the paper. There was much scooping and wiping to get them back into some sort of shape resembling circles, and ultimately, I failed.
I tried baking the odd-looking confections at 290 for 12-13 minutes, but they still appeared to be quite wet, so I left them in longer. And longer. And longer. I probably left them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes before I finally gave up. I took out one pan and in went the other. While the second pan was baking, I let the first pan cool and tried to remove the macarons from the paper… no problem. They released without much effort, and looked like really flat shapeless macarons. Thinking I’d misjudged the time, I only left the second pan in for about 15 minutes and then removed it… only to find out later (while the icing had already been added) that they weren’t cooked through and wouldn’t release. So the 2-3 dozen macarons I’d intended to make turned into a mere 10 since the second pan was destroyed.
The first pan, though, turned out fairly well, aside from being the ugliest cookies I’ve ever laid eyes on. Once dusted with cocoa powder, I could almost fool myself into believing they were really thin and avant-garde macarons, baked by someone who has a clue.
I’m glad I gave the macarons a whirl, but I think in the future, I’ll probably leave them to the likes of Jean-Marc Chatelier. He does them way better, and they’re much more enjoyable when someone else goes to all the trouble. 🙂