onto dessert : french macarons

FRENCH MACARONS

I know I’m all “Eat with your head first!” but I have to tell you – I have a completely unhealthy obsession with French Macarons that dates back to childhood.  They embody the perfect bite.  I could eat a whole tray full of them and still have room for more.  It doesn’t matter if I just ate a ten-course meal, if macarons are on the menu I will order them and greedily devour every last bite.  I make my friends tag along on macaron crawls on the coldest, windiest, rainiest days.

Yea, that kind of an obsession.  But an expensive obsession at that where macarons often come in at $2.50 a pop (sometimes more depending on how fancy you get).

So at some point, you have to just… learn to do this yourself.  Face this obsession in the face and kill it.  Because once you get it right, your life will be complete in ways that no one else will understand (cue eye rolls).

The other day, I finally learned the art of the French Macaron from a classically trained pastry chef.

The good thing is, ingredients are minimal.  Directions are not complicated either; they’ll stick easily after a few tries.  So why the heck do we have to pay +$2.50 for ONE little macaron?  Because.  It’s.  Tricky.  Why exactly?

  1. The technique of getting the batter just right is hard.
  2. The placement in the oven takes multiple tries.
  3. The right combination of (a) initial temperature of the oven (b) cooking time (c) changing the temperature (d) changing the cooking time = mighty tricky.
  4. The need to adjust your method based on the humidity and temperature of your kitchen that particular day.

All that said, I am determined.  I will perfect them and turn others into macaron enthusiasts.

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WELL, after my baking lesson I took a stab with completely low expectations and for whatever reason – they came out great!  They’re not perfect yet; far from it.  I need to get rid of the peaks, get them smoother, add more filling… but there’s hope!  The shell was soft + chewy without sticking to the mat, and my vegan chocolate ganache was très bien.  They even tasted better the next day (phew).  I promise to post a recipe once I find one that works semi-consistently!

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