It has taken me a few months of intensive blog reading to decipher what in the heck the hubbub was all about. So I finally made them.
These are Macarons.
This is a Macaroon.
Let's break for a brief phonics review. We all know how to pronounce the word Macaroon. It's easy. The sound rhymes with so many words. "Hey! If you're looking for me soon, I'll be in the saloon, singin' a tune, lookin' at the moon, eatin' a Macaroon. (Dang, I feel like a goon.)
Whereas the word Macaron is slightly different. It's pronounced like the word macaroni......only without the "i". Wait, maybe this rhyme will help. "Please leave me alone , I'm on the phone, eating my Macaron.
There seems to be a frenzied craze lately about these lovely little cookies. Trust me when I say that they are simply delicious, but more importantly is the fact that they are technically challenging to make. That was all I needed to hear. After scouring the internet for baking tips, I decided to head for Barnes & Nobles to purchase a book on Macarons. Note that it is named appropriately.
I don't have a food processor so I ground up the almonds in a coffee grinder. Yes....I cleaned it out completely before I used it.
Whip the egg whites on high until they are foamy, then gradually add the granulated sugar. Turn the mixer on high and beat the daylights out of it until it's about as thick as shaving cream. When you remove the beater, the meringue should stand up straight.
This was used as a guide for piping the Macarons.
These were actually a tad too big, but that was because this particular batch was too runny. Why?? Because I decided to challenge the recipe and use Color Gels instead of Powdered Food Color as I was directed. They ended up tasting great, but it was back to the drawing board.
Of course that didn't stop me from whipping up a chocolate ganache to sandwich in between those crunchy meringue layers.
For the next batch I used Matcha Powder. These.....came out perfectly.
The ruffled bottom edge on each Macaron shell is called a "foot"....or in Francais, un pied. If you don't get the feet....it's not a Macaron.
Dark Chocolate Ganache. Heat heavy cream in a double boiler until the milk starts to hiss, then turn off the heat. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted. Allow to cool to thicken. Any questions?