The last time I baked macarons, I swore never to attempt them again. Ever. That was almost 3 years ago. Yes, the famously unpredictable, notoriously difficult to please, divas of the pastry world. The truth is, I never did really understood the hype over the vividly-coloured, dainty, perfectly round French desserts (which could be technically considered as sandwich cookies)
My first attempts produced ugly, flat and mishapened cookies that were tooth-achingly sweet. Photographic evidence from back then (poorly shot, with bad lighting) revealed vanilla, matcha and some shocking-pink coloured macarons among the batches that came out of the oven. Fast forward to the present, a sudden urge to master this pretty little troublemaker has unexpectedly resulted in The Macaron Project.
After looking up several recipes from books and food blogs, I was confounded by all the different techniques and methods involved.
1. Method: French or Italian Meringue?
2. Egg whites: Age or not to age?
3. Sugar: Powdered, confectioner’s or icing sugar? Does the addition of cornstarch matter?
4. Crouter: Do the piped shells really need to rest?
5. Filling: Flavoured buttercreams, ganache, fruit curds or gelée?
The Macaron Project I:
This time, I used the French Method with fresh egg whites at room temperature + icing sugar and let the shells rest. (I had accidentally left them to rest for a whopping 3 hours, when I headed out to dinner!!) I also decided to skip the food coloring this time because I more concerned with getting the texture, flavour and appearance right. The filling was my homemade Lemon Curd. Simple, incredibly tart and lemon-y. Continue reading