30 June 2020

Well… I knew this was going to happen, to be honest, which is why I had already created a “butchered recipes” tag on my blog. If I only share my successful cooking\baking stories, I’ll update this blog about 10 times a year.

After living in France for half a year, none of its food was particularly appealing to me. Granted, I couldn’t go out to eat often, living on a student budget and all, so it’s likely I just didn’t have enough time to taste the good things. I do like la crêpe bretonne, though! It’s everywhere in the Brittany region and you should definitely try it when you visit.

One of the things I did very much enjoy eating in France was the macarons. I really miss eating macarons. Coincidentally, I saw someone tweeting about making them from scratch a couple of weeks ago, and thought “why not?”. After trying, however, I will tell you why not: this seems to be one of those recipes in which you need to have a lot of patience, a piping nozzle, a very strong arm or an electric food mixer. I have none of these things.

The recipe was very straight-forward and easy to follow, and there are about a million of them on the internet. The one I chose instructed me to buy two different types of sugar, almond flour, eggs and food coloring. Finding almond flour where I live wasn’t an easy task, but at least now I understand the seemingly absurd price of macarons – it’s the flour!

Behold the result:

Anyone who’s seen a macaron at the store can tell there are more things wrong with my macarons’ appearance than right. But the taste was perfect!

I have several guesses of where I screwed up, and I’ll start with the most obvious mistake – I don’t have an automatic food mixer or a strong arm. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the meringue to the texture it’s supposed to have, which I assume is why you can clearly see the flour in the final result. The funky shape they ended up with was the result of me not having a piping nozzle. I thought I’d be able to make one with something I had at home, but that was also a complete failure. I ended up trying to make their shape with a spoon, which didn’t work because the mixture was extremely sticky.

I was in the kitchen for a total of four hours. I also had a blue portion of mixture, but I burned all of it. This was 3 days ago and my right wrist is still slightly sore from whipping the mixture by hand… and I ended up with about 10 very confused looking, yet delicious, macarons.

I’ve heard from more than one person that macarons aren’t easy to make regardless of the recipe you follow, but it seems to me that, as long as you don’t burn them beyond recognition, chances are they’ll taste exactly like they are supposed to even if you mess up their appearance. If you have a food mixer and a piping nozzle, making them might actually be fun. Mine were pretty much a complete waste of time, but I still kind of enjoyed it.

Please let me know if you try making them, I’d love to see the final result!

Bonus! +2 pictures of this mess:

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