The Macaron – Behind The Scenes

8 06 2012

Working on two paintings. Been uber lazy, so lots more to do, but here’s a sneak peak to uphold my “post a week” rule:

Early WIP stages of giant animal painting #1

Ok, honestly I just want to talk about food. I’m pretty sure macaron-baking counts as an art, because all you hear about it how hard it is. But really, it’s not! You don’t need to let your egg whites dry out or buy a digital scale. They’re just trying to psych you out. Here is what you do (with pics): 

1) First – the most important thing is to know…that this is a macaRON, not a macaROON. Macaroons have coconut and look different. Don’t believe me? Ask the French. 

2) Mix 1 cup almond flour and 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar in bowl. 

3) Mix 3 large egg whites with electric mixer in their own bowl until frothy. Gradually mix in 5 – 6 tbsp granulated sugar. 

4) Beat egg/sugar mix until glossy, stiff peaks form. If you lift out the mixer, the residual “peaks” should not completely fade back into the batter. Optionally, add a few tsp vanilla extract or some food coloring. 

5) Fold in the almond/sugar mix using a SPATULA. If you use an electric mixer, it will overmix. Do this weird thing – I think they call it “macaronage,” but don’t quote me on that – where you punch the spatula down into the batter’s center, then scrape from sides back into center, then punch it again. Repeat until you get a molten lava/magma consistency:

 

“Magma” consistency…I think

 

 7) Pre-heat oven to 280 degrees F, with the racks low. 

8) With the bag, pipe 1 inch rounds, pouring vertically, onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. 

9) Rap sheets on the counter a few times. This helps form the “feet.”

Uncooked – now rap that cookie sheet!

 

 11) Cook ’em for about 15 – 18 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through.

 

Cooked macarons – see, they have “feet!”

 

 12) After cooling, match cookies and sandwich together with icing or jam.

Ta-da!

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