Macarons

Good (insert time of day)! I’m in Scotland on holiday at the moment so I’ve set this post to self-publish, fuck knows if it’ll do it right.

I also refuse to use the word “holibobs” because people that do that are the type of people that enjoyed the show ‘Miranda’ and have everything funded by the ‘bank of Dad’. Ugh.

You all know what the last weekend of the month means! Something foreign! I attempted the mighty motherfucking macaron! I’ve been thinking for a while now that I want to attempt this bake because it’s the sort of thing that takes you up a rung on the baking ladder. I have also recently learned that my office is doing it’s own Bake Off, and I plan for my department to absolutely fuck things up and show everyone else up with how amazing my bakes will be.

Time for a motherfucking history lesson, so strap in and let me learn you a thing: Macarons have been around since the 8th century AD, where they turned up in Italy and were bought along to France for some marriage bollocks that was going on. Two nuns decided to cash in on this shit and started baking/selling them. Conventionally they are served two by two, and are made up of two discs and filled with…..a filling of some description

The professional chef recipe I used came from legend Martha Stewart. The written recipe isn’t for chocolate macarons, however in the video at the bottom of the page she gives you instructions for what to do if you are baking chocolate ones.

The other recipe came from website allrecipes.co.uk. This recipe actually includes instructions for a filling, unlike with Martha who just said that jam will do. I figured jam in chocolate macarons might be odd so I just made two batches of the ganache from allrecipes and used that instead.

I gathered up all my ingredients, which were pretty fucking basic: ground almonds, icing sugar, and eggs. (plus a bit of chocolate and whatever for the ganache.)

AllRecipes

INGRES1I went with the recipe first as it called for me leave the piped discs on the side for half an hour to form a skin, whereas Martha’s didn’t, so I could whip hers up during the waiting time.

The first step was to fuck up the egg whites (after managing to separate them from the yolks, seriously if anyone wants to buy me a gadget to make that process easier just let me know). I beat them with the salt until stiff and glossy peaks formed and shoved the bowl to the side the same way Hugh Hefner would have done with his bunnies after having a go on them.

EGG1

I then started the gruelling task of sifting the fuck out of everything. Like three times over. I already know from researching some other recipes that sifting is your best friend when it comes to baking macarons. So I sifted each ingredient individually, then sifted it all together, then re-sifted….lets play a game where you donate a quid every time I use the word ‘sifted’…

After I had a very fine powder, which I imagine was very bad of me to be inhaling, I started the process of folding it into the egg whites. I did this slowly, adding it only a bit at a time. I’ve made meringue before and it has gone terribly fucking wrong (Lemon Meringue Pie), so I was determined to not balls this step up. After it eventually came together, which took it’s damn time, I prepared a piping bag.

DRY1

I don’t know where my round tip nozzle has gone but I figured that this mix was quite runny and it would flatten out once piped, so it wouldn’t hold the star shape of the nozzle I did end up using. I was right and it all worked out quite nicely. I hadn’t had the organisational skills to print out a stencil of circles to help guide me, but I feel the average bitch setting out to make these wouldn’t think of doing this either. Most of the discs came out round, if not perfectly circular, and they all looked exactly like I’ve seen of the GBBO and various other tutorials I’ve seen. If you’ve not heard of Threadbanger before, you should check out their Corinne Vs Cooking series, where she tackles macarons herself (the tutorial for which is the link). Honest to god, they have not paid or even asked me to promote them no matter how similar you might think her and I are, but I wish they fucking would because I bet they actually make some money. I’m haemorrhaging money keeping this blog alive….AND YET MY FUCKING VIEWS AND LIKES ARE DETERIORATING. If you are a fan of this blog then do share it with your friends because I would love to have a few more readers*

DISCS1

After I piped these glorious little bastards, I set the tray aside to rest and cleaned up some cutlery in preparation for Martha’s recipe. Once the 30mins were up, I hurled the two trays into the incinerator (this recipe made metric fuck tonne more macarons than it suggested it would). These only needed 13mins in the oven so I set my phone timer and waited in the kitchen for a change. Knowing how delicate these cunts are, I didn’t want to leave RESULT1in case they started burning. I opened the door at exactly 13mins and there was actually no smoke at all for the first time ever. But the macarons….didn’t exactly look like macarons….you know the bubbly edge that they’re meant to have? That was the texture of the entire disc. Fucking perfect. I left them to the side to cool off, swearing under my breath at how all that sifting was in vain.

Martha Stewart

INGRES2

I prepared the again very basic ingredients for this recipe and again sifted the fucking shit out of the sugar, almonds, and cocoa powder.

I then whisked the egg whites, this time only two compared to allrecipes’ three. These whites took far fucking longer to form peaks but I suppose that’s due to the addition of the sugar. I got there in the end and even did the ‘hold-the-bowl-above-your-head’ manoeuvre. I didn’t end up with white gloop all over my face and hair so that was a welcome change compared to most evenings.

EGG2Martha then instructed me to dump all of the dry ingredients and to fold it all together- 36-40 strokes should finish it. Another welcome change….

The video on her page shows her folder in 37 strokes so I matched that, but fuck me was it hard work. This mix was MUCH stiffer than allrecipes’, so my arms definitely had a workout. It was so stiff in fact that I couldn’t stuff it into the bag properly. I did just manage to compact it in, but I don’t think it’s much of a shock to hear that piping it was also difficult. I had to use the star tip nozzle again as I still couldn’t find the round one (I imagine it’s hiding the abyss of shit in our cupboards), and the mix actually held it’s fucking shape. Like I literally had MIZstar shaped discs. Very pretty, I thought, not what I’m aim for though. I used a teaspoon to flatten them out to the best of my ability, which isn’t that great…as reflected on the discs.

Martha didn’t ask me to let these macarons sit and grow skin, so they went straight into the oven. Also for 13 minutes. In the meantime, I cracked on with making the chocolate ganache from the allrecipes site. Simple shit, just melt the chocolate and stir in the butter and cream. I loaded up another piping bag and spooned the mix in, and let it cool in the fridge for the rest of the time Martha’s meringues were baking.

DISCS2

Once they were out, I peeled them off the baking paper and put them onto a plate to cool, and started to pip the chocolate filling into the already cooled macarons I’d made earlier.

This was actually satisfying as fuck, sandwiching these cookies together. After I had matched them up as best I could, I put them into a tin and flung them into the fridge so the ganache could firm up properly.

I repeated this process with Martha’s 15mins later when they were cooled off.

Comparison

You’d have to be fucking blind to not see the differences here. Martha’s definitely nearly looked just like a shop-bought macaron. Coincidentally, I couldn’t find any ready made macarons in Sainsbury’s so despite promising I would get more shop-bought shit in, I couldn’t manage it with this.

Upon taste, allrecipes macarons were actually pretty good. I mean definitely not as they should be, but you could definitely sit and eat a handful or two of them. Personally, I felt the dark chocolate ganache was a little too bitter and didn’t compliment the meringue too well. I will be using Martha’s recipe again for the office bake off, but I think I’ll be using either milk or even white chocolate instead.

RESULT5

Taste tester Lee guessed which macarons was which pretty quickly, and his favourite was Martha’s (as was mine). He commented that they were definitely more light and fluffy, but both crisp and moist where they should be. He also commented the presentation of Martha’s was elegant! That’s like top marks from him, when normally all I get is ‘good’, or ‘nice’.

The Ratings

Allrecipes

  • Difficulty: 5/10 – all the difficulty came from the sifting
  • Presentation: 1/10 – you would never even think they were meant to be macarons
  • Taste: 6/10 – not shite, not great

Martha Stewart

  • Difficulty: 7/10 – mainly due to all the folding
  • Presentation: 9/10 – had I used a round tip, I think they would have been perfect
  • Taste: 8/10 – will definitely use milk chocolate ganache next time

The Final Word

Her urine test was both clear of cocaine, but was saffron yellow and had hints of nutmeg.

Yeah I did steal that off of another website but in like 7 hours I’m starting a 10 hour journey from Oxford to Scotland and I need to go to bed.

 

*I would like to give a shout out to ‘mamabatesmotel’ for liking my posts, you’re my most (and probably only) consistent reader and I fucking see you in my notifications every week! If you want me to have a go at baking something, just let me know.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Macarons”

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