I've been mulling over making french macarons for a while. I've been putting it off until a co-worker who just came back from Paris brought back a fancy box of these delicate cookies. It ignited my interest and I was having visions of these macarons francais with cake, of course!
The last time I made french macarons were for my pastry exam on petit four sec (or cookies in plain English). That was in year 2000. Back then, I somehow passed all my courses taking as little notes as possible and probably thinking to myself that I will remember all that we learned in class with just my good memory. Yeeeeaaaah right.
I searched through my dusty old pastry school notes and alas found the macaron recipe. The recipe I found was the exam hand-out. During exams, the teachers would hand out the ingredients of a particular recipe without the instructions on how it was made.
I have just a faint idea on how the macaron was made. So off to googling I go. I stumbled on a beautiful photo on Flick by Mowielicious and from his blog I found Kitchen Musings and Mactweets . All these websites have great tips on how to make the perfect macaron.
I decided to use the recipe from Kitchen Musings, as her original recipe was very similar to the recipe in my exam hand-out. Having read that the distinct "feet" of the macarons would sometimes be elusive made me very nervous. I only have one shot at doing this. My brother, who is studying photography, is coming in the afternoon to take some pictures of the cake.
Seriously, I prayed while putting the macarons in the oven that it would have its "feet". I prayed some more while I anxiously waited. About five minutes into baking, I checked the macarons in the oven and was so happy I could almost cry. I see little feet coming out of my babies. Success!
At the risk of sounding cocky (which really, I am not), it was actually quite easy to make the french macarons. I say this so as not to scare anyone into trying to make these delicacies. I think I scared myself from reading too much about the science of making the perfect macaron. But again, I was just probably lucky that day. I just love contradicting myself.
Basically what it is, is making a french meringue and adding in the ground almonds that was mixed with icing sugar. Eggwhites, granulated sugar, ground almond and icing sugar - just 4 basic ingredients!
I will definitely venture some more into this macaron making in the future. This first attempt after a long time is my first submission for Mac Attack. For now with Valentines around the corner, I'm loving it pink and keeping it simple with the classic filling of raspberry jam. I slap it on some Chocolate Almond cake with strawberry mousse for that ultimate Valentine cake. Um delish...