You know, the macaron is the new cupcake. I keep hearing and reading it and so if it takes me 24 batches of macaroons to figure out how to get everything right I'm going to stay at it. Really.
Last week I made three batches--two bad and one GREAT. Oh, success is so sweet. I was invited to Bonnie's kitchen of City Home/Country Home to make mac's with her and was smart enough to say YES. Not only did we enjoy each other's company, but I also learned a few things that I missed in the first wonderful mac cooking day spent with macaron experts Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Tiff of Food Finery.
This is what I learned in Bonnie's kitchen:
- Use meringue powder, 1/2 teaspoon for every egg white
- Scrape down your bowl several times while you are whipping the whites and sugar
- DO NOT over whip the whites, something I have a problem with, but whip until stiff peaks form and you can turn bowl upside down (see picture)
- Add almond flour/sugar mixture in three sections, scraping down the bowl after additions
- When all the flour is mixed in, deflate mixture until a small dollop of batter flattens on a saucer (see picture)
- Use a cookie sheet that has an "air pocket"
- pipe macaroon's, decorate and let rest until a skin forms (in our altitude and on that particular day it took 30 minutes)
- After baking, let cool completely before taking off the pan
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Bonnie made delicious tangy lemon shells filled a perfect not too sweet Italian buttercream. My shells were made with homemade vanilla sugar (via Bonnie's pantry) and filled with Bonnie's Italian Buttercream with a spread of my lemon curd. Both were dyed yellow, but tasted so completely different. It was perfect. The very essence of spring!