Saturday, July 9, 2011

Macarons with White Chocolate and Strawberry Ganache

The title sounds very Master Chef-y doesn't it? I think it's because macarons (Even just its name) have this ability to fancy up just about anything. This sandwich of a sweet filling between delicate cookies not only looks like the prettiest little thing but is so packed with sweetness has got me craving for some! And today being my only day off from work in such a long time, I thought I'd spend it doing something productive.

I have had this packet of almond meal sitting in my pantry for the longest time. I've been wanting to make macarons but just reading recipes has put me off attempting to bake them. So many problems can arise in baking such an innocent looking thing - crumbly dome, no feet, dry meringue, over-beating egg whites, under-mixing ingredients, air pockets in the meringue and the list just goes on. For someone as amateur in the kitchen as me, it's no wonder that the technical side of this dessert scared me off. But my craving for something sweet has been so overpowering (Read: Period cravings) I just HAD to make some!

And this is how they turned out:

Recipe is from here!

As you can see, my macarons had cracked domes and no feet which is such a disappointment! :( The foot of the macaron is what makes them look so cute - like a fluttery skirt around the dainty cookie. I had to bake three batches before I could get them to look anywhere near perfect looking like a macaron!

The first one (With the egg whites left to sit overnight on the kitchen countertop), my batter was too watery because I didn't beat the egg whites long enough and they spread like goo on my tray. But after letting them sit for about three hours I decided to bake them anyway. This batch was the most surprising because not only the shell was smooth but little feet formed around each dome! Unfortunately they were just too out of shape and too thin to put the ganache in between.

The second, I didn't want to leave the egg whites sitting for another whole day just so I can bake them again! I read here that it's not compulsory anyway so I just used the eggs right away. I also didn't leave this batter to dry out as long as my third and the domes didn't crack but they didn't have feet around them.

The third (Second photo) was possibly the worst batch in terms of looks. The shells of every macaron was cracked and still NO FEET. But they retained their shapes and were my most consistent ones that I decided to turn them into macarons anyway.

My verdict is that macarons take such a long time and it's a trial-and-error process that requires a lot of patience! But was it worth it? YES. Because they all taste SO GOOD. Even the boyfriend loved them and he's not much of a sweet tooth! This recipe that I followed made some very nice-tasting macarons which are not overly sweet (Like how macarons tend to be). The ganache was so yummy I could have scooped it in spoonfuls and ate it just like that! Overall, I'd definitely make them again if I have the time and it could possibly be as soon as my next day off. I would think that once I get the shells perfect, it would be such a sweet success! Literally.

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