It was time for more macarons last night. The more I make these cookies and give them away to friends - the more I'm establishing a very solid Favorite Flavors list. So far it looks like this:
1) Pistachio with Pistachio Buttercream
2) Vanilla Bean with Salted Caramel
3) Green Tea with Green Tea Buttercream
4) Pecan Praline with Dulce de Leche
5) Lemon with Lemon Curd
6) Raspberry with Chocolate Ganache
Since I sorta promised co-workers a batch of macarons and will also be attending a Dancing With The Stars season finale party at a friend's place tonight - the pistachios came out of the fridge for grinding! I decided to try the Italian Meringue recipe since I've read over and over again about how much more stable the cookies are. Apparently a BAD IDEA. I don't know what I was thinking - when one is getting ready to try a completely new recipe it's probably not a good idea to do a huge batch on that trial run - especially a tricky, tricky item like French macarons.
People don't understand when I talk about how macarons are so difficult to make. Well this is why... if you do ANYTHING wrong like try the Italian Meringue recipe (or stir the batter a little too much, or don't let them sit long enough before baking, or let them sit too long before baking) they turn out like the picture here:
Remember what I said about gaining 3 pounds last week? *sigh* My difficult life...
But what happened?? There was VERY OBVIOUSLY too much meringue/egg whites in this batter. But every recipe I read sounds the same so unless I measured horribly incorrectly, I guess I'll stick with the French method. I just bought myself the no-longer-in-print Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé . Pierre Hermé is the French macaron (and oh so many other desserts) master. He supposedly has an Italian Meringue chocolate macaron recipe in there which I will be studying.
As you can see from this picture - I did eventually end up with successful macarons after I went back to my WELL tested and becoming quite trusty French method recipe. What a disappointment that Italian method was. And what a late night I had!!
I sometimes shake my head that that only electric tools I own and therefore use to assist in making macarons are these:
I decided it was time to finally upgrade my cooking/baking arsenal. I've somehow managed without a stand mixer for literally 10-12 years (since starting college and not having Mom's at my beck-and-call). I just steered away from bread and candy making. And if I really needed it - I'd prop the hand mixer on top of my recipe box and it actually worked quite well! But since my birthday is coming up in less than a month...these guys top my wish list:
I must admit - I actually already bought myself the food processor . The mixer will likely come from Mom since she's already told me she wants to try it for massive bread making before deciding what to upgrade her KitchenAid Artisan with. And if you buy the KitchenAid Professional 600 and submit your rebate before May 31st - you can get a free ice cream maker attachment!! That certainly won't help my waistline any...