Baking Macarons!

 

Macarons are quite a trendy dessert these days!  I keep seeing them on Instagram & after I introduced Justin to them, he deemed them his “favorite cookie.”

I decided to make some on a whim, despite hearing that it was difficult to do.

Here’s the result of my first batch, using almond meal from Trader Joe’s.

(Here’s the recipe I used, but I didn’t ‘age’ the egg whites beforehand)

The specifics of my macarons1.0:  290 degrees F, 18 minutes for my oven.  Rested prior to baking for 30 minutes.  I used this recipe for the vanilla bean ganache (1 vanilla bean pod, white chocolate chips, heavy cream).  The bits of almond skin in the Trader Joe’s almond meal added lots of brown specs on the shells.  I also didn’t have a proper sifter, so that took over an hour to do in itself.  No stand mixer was used, I just used a cheap hand mixer and my egg whites turned ok. I think.  I didn’t get very stiff peaks, just glossy peaks that would bend over a bit after lifting the mixer out of the egg whites.  Dry ingredients were folded in slowly with a silicone spatula, just by scooping around the sides of the bowl and underneath the batter until everything was incorporated.

To my surprise, they actually formed macaron feet!

 

Pretty good for my first time!

The only bad thing though, was that the shell was nearly completely hollow inside.

I just finished my 2nd batch yesterday, and I’m still having the same problem:  hollow shells.  Justin says he doesn’t care, but since I’m getting into it I’m going to try to work on it in the future.  Not sure if it’s because I don’t age the egg whites for a few days beforehand (it is supposed to reduce the moisture content in the egg whites while keeping the proteins intact).  Also, I used the Honeyville brand of almond flour with no skin bits:

If I have time next week I’ll try again, this time aging the egg whites.