Tuesday, March 25, 2008
french chocolate macarons: take 3
The third try was definitely the closest. They were very tasty, looked pretty good, and I would call them a success. Most of the cookies did not crack. They rose nicely. They did not burn. They were nicely rounded, with no annoying points on the tops. They had feet, or the beginnings of feet. The ganache continued to be tasty and I think the amount of filling was reasonably proportional (some people say it should be 1:1:1, cookie:ganache:cookie).
Shortcomings: the cookies were probably taller than they should've been. Perhaps next time I will spread them out (in other words, fake it) to make them a little wider and flatter. They were a little dull in color; I have a (possibly false) sense they should have a little shine on the top. I think the grains of almond were still too visible. And despite being baked for a shorter amount of time in a lower temperature oven, I thought the texture was too hard. The cookies kind of shatter when you bite them, whereas I think the shell should be just that - a thin shell - and the inside should be nice and chewy. You shouldn't have to work to bite through them.
Admittedly, I am being hyper-critical.
What I did differently: tried to bring the egg whites to room temp (though I was still a hair impatient). Splurged on almond powder/flour, which is finer than I could've ground the almonds myself. Went back to the original recipe. Followed it VERY carefully. Switched back to parchment paper. As I mentioned above, lowered the oven temp to 350F and baked them for about 12-15 minutes (I can't remember, but I watched them carefully). Next time, I'd probably go 11-13 minutes. All good changes, and ones I will follow again the next time I make them. They make make a nice addition to Passover.
Here are some pics for the visually-minded: