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Macarons: 4 Nic Cooks: 0

A Macaron update. Although the last batch were edible, they were not the perfect round, smooth Macarons I had in mind. Once I discovered the error of my ways, I foolishly thought that the baking of a perfect Macaron would be easy. How wrong I was (again). I followed the recipe to the letter, including the timings for beating and the correct number of folds but not being a baker, I wasn’t really sure what constituted a fold. I piped most of the batter onto the baking tray, but it wasn’t long before I realised the batter was too stiff. Rather than forming perfect, smooth circles, I was piping perfect little peaks. I rapped the trays on the work surface as instructed, but I didn’t lose the peak.

While the first batch were cooking, I realised that maybe the mixture hadn’t reached it’s optimum consistency. Being quite familiar with making meringue, it feels really unnatural to stir until all the air has been removed, but I continued to stir and piped another half tray of Macarons. That was more like it. No more stiff peaks, in fact I was convinced it was an over beat.

With the first batch cooling, I held my breath as I removed the second tray from the oven. I had done it! In amongst the twenty or so rejects was one perfectly smooth, perfectly round Macaron. It hadn’t quite risen enough to form the perfect foot, but it was a significant improvement on the previous attempts.

One problem though, one good Macaron isn’t enough, you need a pair to seal the deal. After I had carefully sliced off the peaks of half of them so that I could stand them up to fill them, I had one Macaron filled with dark chocolate ganache that looked good from the right angle and ten or so more that tasted nice but wouldn’t win any prizes. They beat me again. But it’s not over until the fat lady sings…

Comments

Comment from Sam
Time June 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

According to the many day time TV shows I appear to watch the key to perfect folding (when baking) is spinning the bowl with your non dominant hand, then with your dominant hand use either a spatula or huge wooden spoon ( where do you even get those?) to scrape around the edge of the bowl, then once you reach the top again, bring it down through the middle, then repeat. If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll consult some more TV chefs

Comment from nic
Time June 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

It’s always good to have a professional opinion. You can come and do some hand-over-hand coaching next time I give it a go!

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