When I first started making French macarons, I was full of optimism. Knowing that the macaron is in fact, by some, called the most complicated cookie in the world of patisserie, I did feel intimidated but not enough to kill my ambition of succeeding.
In order to prepare myself I had scrolled numerous recipes, gone through tons of macaron trouble shooting guides, read up on top tips for macaron baking; in other words, I was completely ready. My first batches looked good all the way through the process until I took them out of the oven. Some were undercooked, turning in to a piece of chewing gum when I scraped them off the bakingpaper, others were hard as crackers and clearly overcooked. I threw them all out. Batch after batch. The more I failed, the more determined I was to get it right. How hard can it be, right?
Some background information; the French macaron is an extremely delicate meringue based almond cookie and yes; glutenfree. A number of requirements have to be fulfilled before you can even call it a macaron; a smooth surface is one of them. That is surely a challenge. I must have thrown away hundreds of freshly made macarons, all having grown into small volcanos in the oven, cracking and erupting through that beautiful surface, coming out of the oven like pieces of thin ice after somebody stepped on it.
The second requirement of the macaron, is the famous ‘foot’. During the nerve wrecking minutes the ‘macs’ are in the oven, they are supposed to develop a thin edge at the bottom, typically known as the foot. The foot differentiates the macaron from any other cookie. If your macaron doesn’t develop a foot, you may not call it a macaron, it will immediately be degraded to a simple cookie..
The intriguing fact about making macarons is the number of factors that influence the end result. To name some; the humidity and the temperature in the air, the freshness and the temperature of the eggwhites, the quality of the almondflour and so on and so on. No wonder that the macarons have been ranked by the Huffington post as one of the 11 most challenging deserts to make.
After months of frustrations, intense studying of the more than 32 million (!) articles on Google on how to make macarons, you can perhaps imagine the joy in the kitchen when the first batch of perfect macarons were a fact. And the fun of creating the fillings could start!
A macaron is a mouthful of bliss. Of joy and luxury. Of sweet indulgence. Spoil yourself or treat somebody who deserves is.
And as a last tip; keep them in the freezer if you don’t eat them all at once. They stay nice and chewy and they defrost fast, perfect for the unexpected guest. Or for your sudden urge for a little treasure.
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