Sunday, September 21, 2014

Oh Those Fancy French Desserts...

I have a confession to make. Three weeks ago, I had no idea what was a macaron. I had seen these little sandwich-like things before but I had never eaten one and I had never bothered to find out what they were called. It was our friend, Amy, who suggested that Allison, Emily and I go over to her place for an afternoon of baking and try our hand at making these.

The recipe we used can be found here.

First, we gathered the ingredients. (Of course!)
We sifted the almond flour and then the confectioner's sugar into a bowl.

My sister and I showed off our awesome skills at separating egg yolks :P!

We whipped the egg whites into fluffy peaks while adding sugar.

We mixed the egg whites with our dry ingredients.

A teaspoon of vanilla concentrate.

A few drops of pink food colouring.

We were intent on making our macarons as precise as possible so we traced circles onto the underside of the parchment paper so that we had a template to follow when piping.

Emily shows off her careful and precise piping skills.

A perfect little swirl every time!

All ready for the oven!
And out they come...

Lovely... :)
For a first time, I think we did an excellent job! We were very meticulous in following the recipe and were rewarded with beautifully smooth-topped macarons. They are very delicate, fluffy things, I discovered. For filling, we used up the last of Amy's Nutella for most of them and used different jams for the rest and they were fantastic! Of course we did a photo shoot - good thing you don't eat these while they are hot :P

We got adventurous after the first time. We attempted an Earl Grey flavored macaron with some sort of lemon filling for our second batch.

We went for a light blue colour this time.

We emptied three tea bags into the batter.

I don't think we mixed it properly this time because the mixture turned out thicker.

Unfortunately, the swirls didn't smooth out. 

We made one attempt at a lemon curd filling which we found online. It was a disaster and I am not going to leave photographic evidence that it ever happened. We ended up melting marshmellow peeps and adding lemon extract for a very sweet filling.
With a cup of tea, the second, less successful batch still turned out okay. It was edible and tasty and when it comes to food, that's really the most important thing.

These things are quite sweet and I now understand why they are sold individually at confectionery shops. You really can't eat more than one or two in a go.

Our little group has now gotten bitten with the baking bug and we'll be spending a bit more time in the kitchen in the future.

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