Thursday, November 10, 2005

Macaron Update

So far, I've tried Pierre Herme's, David Lebovitz's and Fran Bigelow's chocolate macaron recipes as well as Clement's basic and Nigella Lawson's pistachio macaron recipes. That makes 6 batches of "footless" macarons. Of these, nonchocolate ones turned out to be real disasters, and the chocolate ones were acceptable with varying degrees of unsuccess. David Lebovitz's recipe definitely deserves a second try with a lighter hand on the mixer and shorter baking time; it was only with his recipe that my macarons sported something -- which I will have to stop short of calling "feet". But they were definitely overbaked to the point that my son called them Rock Macarons.

The last recipe I tried before I ran out of almond flour was Fran Bigelow's Chocolate Macarons from Pure Chocolate. I was not aware that she had a macaron recipe in that book; it came as a pleasant surprise. Her recipe was a little untraditional since it called for a combination of almond paste and flour, and the egg whites were whipped together with the other ingredients. Not surprisingly, those macarons turned out to be rich in almond flavor. I piped them larger than the previous ones and when they came out of the oven, they had the required flat tops but alas, still no feet! (I am seriously starting to envy those lucky people who get them right the first time. Is there some magic involved here that I am missing?) Tastewise, although all of them were delicious in their own way, I have to give to Pierre Herme's chocolate macarons the first prize. You know, it just occured to me that my Trader Joe's almond flour might have been too coarse. That may be why I was never able to get those smooth and shiny tops. I guess I'll order more almond flour from L'Epicerie and give these recipes another try...