Sunday, February 10, 2013

Basic French Macarons

Following the recipe at Yum Sugar, I made my first batch of Macarons!  Their short list of ingredients - ground almonds, powdered sugar, egg whites and granulated sugar - make them seem deceptively easy, however the process is lengthy and the handling needs to be careful.  I did my research online, temperature, over and under mixing, imprecise measurements, impatience can all lead to disaster.  Thus, I began with low expectations and a basic, straight forward vanilla French macaron recipe.

Yum Sugar's recipe leads you through the process step by step, from sieving the ground almonds and sugar and beating the whites to the unique processes of 'punching down the batter to a molten lava consistency' and striking the cookie topped, parchment lined sheets against the counter top to form the airy 'pied' or feet on the bottom of each cookie.

The author also suggests flavour alternatives such as red velvet and colour variations using gel colouring and at which point in the process to add each.  This being my first time, and the process being notoriously difficult, I left well enough alone - vanilla it is.  I followed the recipe meticulously, the only suggestion not followed, was the 3 day aged at room temperature eggs - I was satisfied my week old carton of refrigerated eggs was old enough and used 3 at room temperature.

I encourage anyone who has been hesitating over making these yourself to give these a try - follow the recipe to the letter and you'll be pleased with the results!

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