Sometimes, you just end up with leftover frosting. I usually don’t have time to make something else to go with the frosting, but salted caramel Swiss meringue was just too delicious to let it go to waste! So I decided to torture myself and attempt to make macarons to go with this extra frosting.
My macaron success rate before this was about 40%. Why torture myself again? Because even the imperfect ones still taste great! And, really, what is the point if you don’t challenge yourself sometimes?
Since these pillows of deliciousness took a lot of effort to churn out, I recruited some professional help from Patrick at definepatism.com to capture their beauty. I really wish scratch and sniff pictures really existed! Enjoy!
You will notice that the green macaron in the middle is not quite perfect because I ran into a few problems with the green batter. While I was multitasking in the kitchen, the egg whites became slightly over-mixed. To make things worse, I ended up over-folding the almond meal into the whites because the consistency didn’t seem quite right for piping (it was slightly thick and not flowing).
I had a feeling they might be over-mixed but I kept mixing until I was comfortable with the consistency for piping. The last time I made macarons, under-mixing them caused them to have a tiny beak on top! I would rather have slightly airy macarons with flat tops than pointy shells! In the end, some but not all of the green macaron shells were a wee bit hollow on the inside but all held their shape and none cracked during baking.
For the chocolate macarons, I struggled with the batter in a different way: the egg whites deflated quickly when I folded in the chocolate/almond meal mixture & the batter was super thick. I ran into the exact same problem the last time I made chocolate macarons. This time, I decided to quickly whip up 2 more egg whites to incorporate more air back into the batter and I think it worked out well in the end.
Here are a few things I learned from this baking session:
- Macaron templates are AWESOME if you struggle with consistency (like me)! I found yumarama’s macaron template helpful, but you can find them easily on Google.
NOTE: make sure the templates are completely flat so that you get perfect circles rather than ovals!
- Many blogs suggest that you can pipe macarons with just a coupler if you don’t have a a 1/2″ round tip. I don’t think anybody has actually tried this because it did not work well for me! My circles did not end up being consistent, so I ended up using the largest round tip (#3) I had on hand. It probably takes longer than if you had a 1/2″ tip, but I found that I had better control of the final shape.
- I think there is some truth to the macaron troubleshooting tip about uneven macaron feet if the oven is too hot. My regular sized macrons turned out fine, but I encountered some minis with lopsided feet. I haven’t figured out how to calibrate my oven to fix it’s variable temperature issue (it sometimes runs too hot or cool?), but at least the medium and regular sized macarons rose evenly!