Boy, am I relieved that Macaron Week is OVER. Holy. It’s weird, but a failed baking project has this sad feeling of defeat. Kind of like getting the wind knocked out of you. I had a really great batch of raspberry dark chocolate macarons, which were scrumptious, but this batch was kind of disappointing. Although they turned out okay, I had high hopes for these. Let’s go over what I did wrong:
- The meringue: I decided I wanted to go “old school” and try to do the sugar syrup without a thermometre (Allan showed me that if you soak your fingers well enough in the water then reach in and grab a ball of sugar and dunk it back into the water, your fingers don’t have enough time to burn). I got too chicken and I used a spoon for the first couple tests, then did the last one with my fingers. I think I was too hasty on the syrup, and it wasn’t at the right stage yet.
- Grinding the sesame seeds: I had poured the almonds into my food processor (which broke today! I’m so sad. I taped it up so it still works…kind of. But let’s just say I’ll be looking for a new one) and I was too lazy to pour it out and then process the sesame seeds. So I was like, meh, they’ll all get ground up eventually. Negative, Ghost Rider. Half of the seeds were still whole. Butts.
- Piping: For some reason, almost all of my macarons were totally lopsided! It made no sense. The side that rose, rose soooo high! It was almost double the width of the domed part itself. But the other side almost completely flat. So confused. I attributed this to perhaps them being on an angle in my oven, but I’ve made multiple macs before using the same pans and the same oven, and they were fine (the salted caramel ones, for example). So maybe it was me piping it on an angle instead of straight down. I changed the angle for the last pan to go in, and they were still a little lopsided. So confused.
- Using regular granulated sugar instead of castor sugar:The buttercream called for castor sugar but I had made swiss meringue buttercream before with regular sugar and it was fine. I didn’t even heat it up! But I figured, hey, why not moderately follow the recipe. So I heated the egg whites, sugar, and salt over the water for a bit until the sugar was more or less dissolved (I tested this by rubbing some of the meringue between my fingers, and if there were still granules of sugar left, I kept whisking over the heat). Eventually, I just got impatient and was like, oh well, if I keep it mixing, the sugar will dissolve eventually.Let’s just say I got impatient again. I was like, what the heck. Why not. Lets start adding the butter. So I did. Then I ground up the sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle this time (turns out the food processor couldn’t grind stuff that small very well). The buttercream was kind of nutty and savoury instead of its usual sweet decadence. It was a pleasant surprise, but there were still occasional granules of sugar.
- Lisa Klutzasaurus:So my kitchen is super tiny, and I barged through my kitchen to get something from the fridge and I knocked over 2/3 of my baked macaron shells. I was devastated. They had basically shattered upon contact with the floor, and I cried out a very dramatic “NOOOOOOOO” that brought Chris running to the kitchen (when I say running, I mean briskly taking two steps because I live in a bachelor’s). As I was sweeping up the mess, I was in a fit of hysterical laughter and tears because this week has been so full of ups and downs that just put me over the edge.For the record, this week has been full of midterms (3 to be exact), baking and blogging (well, it IS macaron week), receiving 33 documents that need to be translated before April 23, job hunting, foodgawker acceptances, and some big news!I felt a little like Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) in Anchorman when Baxter gets kicked over a bridge and he’s devastated. “I’M IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION”
Anywho. I’m okay now. This next weekend will be very sleep deprived, on top of my last two weeks of sleep deprivation, but I’m just going to plow through it. Summer’s just around the corner (or rather, it just paid a quick visit to Ottawa…can you say climate change? I went from wearing a winter jacket to shorts and a tank top in 2 days. Only in Canada…)
Thank you everyone who’s been reading this week! I wouldn’t have been able to trudge through all seven macaron flavours without all of you lovely people reading this and commenting/telling me what you thought! As a reward, I’ll be doing a giveaway sometime in April. This next week is far too hectic for me to find something to give away just yet. Also, a big thank you to Chris! He’s been so supportive the past month, helping me eat macarons and helping me do the bajillion dishes that macarons incur. <3!
I’m also taking a mini-break from baking for the next week. Maybe two weeks. But don’t worry, I’ll still be cooking food so I can blog about that! I also have two blog posts that are drafted and unpublished (Baked mac & cheese and chocolate cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream with real raspberries!)
So to wrap up the week, have a look see at the macarons I made!
I’m not going to post a recipe or instructions because a) I didn’t take any pictures other than the finished product, and b) I used my usual macaron recipe (which you can see from my past 6 posts as well as my italian). Just check Baking Bits and Bobs for her recipe, because her macarons were far more successful than mine!
Have a great weekend everybody!