Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ahhh....macarons, sweet wonderful macarons. :) I remembered clearly the first time I had my first macaron, it's like love at first bite. It was at this really (really really) nice French restaurant in Sonoma, the wine country in California, call The French Laundry. It was quite long ago, almost 8 years now, but it was THE best french restaurant I had so far. But perhaps that will be another post if I do go back there again!

Back to macarons, yes, the moment I bite into these little morsels, the exterior is very slight crunch like a meringue and inside is soft and slight chewy texture. It usually sandwich with some rich ganache filling and the combination is really good....that is if you ate one that is well made. :)I have been wanting to make macarons like forever now and recently have been tempted to go attend a macaron baking class too! Well I've heard so much failure stories about how difficult it is to make them etc etc. But after much consideration and advice from some good friends (thanks ladies), I decided to take up the challenge and make some myself.

Whenever I look at the ingredients to make macarons, I tell myself, how hard can it be, just sugar, egg white and almond powder. But I was rather wrong when I finally get my hands on it! There's so much things to watch out for when making these little cookies. I did some online research and reading up and found these 2 great websites that shows really detail steps and explanations on how macarons can be made; My Food Geek & Syrup and Tang. The latter even troubleshoot the mistakes if you happen to encounter one, cool!
I have decided to follow the recipe in My Food Geek. But I did add 20g of cocoa powder into the batter to make it into chocolate macarons....but the color was not dark enough, looks more like coffee huh?! :-P One thing I might change in the recipe next time will be to reduce the confectioner's sugar by perhaps 40 to 30g.... the cookie is a wee bit sweet for my taste buds. :)Okay, you must be going like, not bad wah...besides the piping not too good, the cookies look fine. But the truth is, the 2 earlier trays that I baked, 80% of the cookies cracked on the surface! I was going "O man, why?" I did try not to over mix and also left the piped batter out for 10 minutes before baking them...why is it still cracking.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. So my later 2 trays, I decided to try something new, something that wasn't mentioned in the 2 websites I found. I added a water bath in the baking process, something like for cheese cake...to prevent the cracking! Hahaha, and i
t worked! Of course I did not add water in the baking tray with the cookies but a separate baking pan in the lower rack with some water in it. But it did take more time to finish baking...perhaps the extra moisture lowered the baking temperature. Anyway, I was so glad that my last 2 batches came out nice...but I still have alot of room to improve, that is for sure.

For the fillings, I made chocolate ganache and strawberry cream cheese. Did not have time to make other ganache, might try passion fruit cream later since I have some in my fridge. The tart taste might be a great combination to it! ;)

Anyway, I was glad to have finally baked macarons, the taste and texture is satisfactory but I will make better next time. If you have made macarons before, do share your views with me!


Kitchen Corner said...

aiyo... really make me admire so much on you!! Every time see people making so beautiful macarons make me feel useless. I still can't get the right macarons :(

Honey Bee Sweets said...

No larr, don't say that! I'm VERY sure you can make macarons if you really put your heart to it! Actually this batch of macarons, 50% of the cookies cracked!(Just that I'm too embarrassed to show it, heehee) Try out the website I mentioned, it'll really guide you through, best of luck!!