|Bite-sized tea-time treats|
I'm obsessed with the baker's arch enemy - The Macaron! Notice the spelling - one 'o'. The single 'o' spelling of macaron is normally used to describe the french confection of two meringue and almond discs sandwiched together with buttercream, ganache or jam. Macaroon, however is known in England as a coconut or almond small baked confection.
|You do get more than that in each pack, I've just eaten half the pack!|
It appears that these dainty and colourful creations (french macarons like Lauduree or Pierre Hermes) are popular in blogosphere at the moment as well as being a hit outside in major cities all around the world. They are made from sugar, icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites and are exceedingly difficult to get right. I've gone through a craze of sitting up late at night reading blog after blog about macarons, the best recipes, different fillings, flavours, what went wrong...... Now I've never even eaten one of these pretty pastel coloured confections but I must make some! I tried. I failed.
I heard Waitrose were stocking these in packs of twelve to buy (where I heard that I forget now, too many blogs, too many sites!), so off I popped to the shops yesterday (it was wet and drizzly too) in search of these little treasures. Nope. My local didn't have these on offer but I did find the English equivalents, both the Coconut and Almond Macaroon.
|Soft chewy centre full of almond flavour|
|Moist sweet coconut - for the exceptionally sweet-toothed!|
|Dense chocolatey gooeyness|
So, what went wrong with my macarons? Well, I saw a chocolate macaron recipe and thought the bitter chocolate would take away the sweetness of egg whites and sugar. I anticipated a fail and so split the recipe in thirds. On mixing the meringue with almonds, cocoa and sugar I knew something was wrong. The mixture was far too dry. So I quickly whisked up another egg white to combine with the mixture. Maybe I got my sums wrong when scaling down the recipe? I checked if I was being a scatter brain. Nope. I guess it may be down to the eggs being on the small side (they're from our own hens) or me getting the method wrong. The mixture still seemed thick and it didn't make me think of flowing magma like other blogs described. I won't use the words I thought the lumpy brown mix looked like, never-the-less, I dropped blobs on a baking sheet to bake anyway and wished for a miracle to happen. Hmmm....well, they kinda cooked. They aren't right at all. It's deep dark and chocolaty but not crisp and chewy. Just moist and gooey. Actually, I think I've invented chocolate flavoured marzipan as that what it reminds me of. Ho-hum. Back to the drawing board and I will summon up the courage to try making these elusive babies another time.