Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Almond Macarons with Chocolate Ganache" or "How I Lost My Arm In The War"

Macarons are notoriously admired for being deviously delicious sometimey whores. It's one of the few things that people actually freak out about baking. It may be because they're meringues,  but it's most likely because they're french. I say a cookie is a cookie is a cookie, but then I never actually tried to make them. My real courage came a few days ago when I stumbled upon this lovely blogpost about how we were all silly chickens for worrying over a dessert, and I decided it was time to try my shaking hand.

The process I'll tell you was pretty painful. And really it's my own fault. For a while now I've sort of prided myself on getting by without a mixer because I only have so much counter space and hell, cooks in the old days didn't have machines. They only had their two hands! And maybe a fire or something... Yeah definitely a fire.

However, sometimes the old fashioned way sucks. Whipping egg whites to stiff peaks by hand took forever and by forever I mean 20ish uninterrupted arm burning minutes of "all in the wrist". But I did get my arm, my peaks, and my "feet" all where they needed to be. And for a first try I'm pretty proud. Only a small bunch came out iffy (but undeniably delicious). In the future though, mixer! Sweet Martha, give me a mixer!

Batch 1

Batch 2
The only thing out of the whole experience that left me mystified was the one batch (out of three) that fell to pieces for no reason. Two pans of meringues in the same oven at the same time, one came out perfectly fine (more or less) and the other was all burnt up and cracked. I even rotated the pans halfway and everything! Maybe it was my oven (time worn clunker that it is), or maybe it was those french meringue elves people are so scared of. Who knows, who cares.If I've learned anything here it's not to worry about it. It's a delicious confection no matter what it looks like. Cookies are for enjoying not fretting over, and enjoy them we did.

Saucy little macarons, you don't scare me.

Get the recipe I used from Fine Cooking Magazine here


  1. Oh heavens, you whipped the eggs by hand??? No wonder you lost an arm! But your second batch do look lovely!

  2. I love it! Batch 2 looks perfect!

  3. I admire your perseverance, Mags! These look yummy!


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