Here for the Daring Bakers challenge? Sorry, but I didn’t quite make it through.
This month’s challenge was French Macarons – something I’ve wanted to try for a long, long time. My heart would skip a beat when I’d see photos of Macarons at Ladurée or Pierre Hermé. So what if I couldn’t go France, I could surely try and make these at home, couldn’t I? Or so I thought. But that’s just one part of it. For when I did decide to make them a few month ago, I’d hear horror stories about how complex the technique is and how macaron making is almost close to impossible.
I wanted to conquer my macaron-making fear, but I knew the one way that I truly would – a Daring Bakers challenge.
So when I learned that Macarons would be the challenge for the month, I was ecstatic. I read the recipe over, decided on my flavor (hazelnut, but of course), did my fair share of research and video watching and set aside an entire Sunday to make macarons – from the very scratch, mind you – right from making the almond+hazelnut flour. I had a good time through this, especially because I was in la-la land dreaming away of the perfect macarons. I really did.
Little did I know things would be drastically different a few hours down the line. Let’s not go on, but instead just snap off the band-aid (mostly for myself) and say it as it is – my macarons didn’t have feet. Flat, limp, lifeless masses of egg, sugar and nuts. A total waste of ingredients – my heart cried.
I’m not sure where I messed up. Did I not whip the egg whites enough? Well, of course I did – I even held the bowl over my head with the egg whites – that’s how stiff they were. Did I not use eggs at room temperature? Yes, I did. They sat out overnight just so that I was certain they’d be at room temperature when I’d bake with them. How about leaving the piped macarons to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking? Did that too, and not just 30 minutes but a good 3 hours.
Now, I can either wonder what went wrong or strive to make these again. I’m going to chose option number two. I didn’t have time to give these a second shot. But I sure as hell am, and will look to Tartelette for inspiration (who else?!).
Before I stop rambling, you have got to see this adorable artwork! These aren’t macarons but they are made of clay! And the entire box is smaller than a matchstick. Don’t believe me? Check this photo: I’ve never seen human fingers look this gigantic.