magician's guide to making macarons.

i use the word magician as im still in this macaron crazy phase.
im in this horrid trace in which when i see those little round blobs rising perfectly in my oven,
all that i think of is...

ok back to the purpose of this post.
i have been wanting to write this for some time but i figured that i needed to make MORE macarons to make sure that what i believed was right.

the tricks to making non-disastrous macarons:

1. age your egg white. this means that in order to prepare for days in which you have the sudden urge to bake those little things, you have to separate a good amount of eggs and stash them away.
if you think the urge will come the day after, leave it out covered in plastic wrap at room temperature.
if the urge still doesnt arrive after tomorrow, transfer it to the fridge, where it wont start to stink up your kitchen.

2. blend the dry ingredients, but not TOO well. just blend them enough until they are powdery. if your fingers stay on the blending buton for too long, this may result in OVER blending, in which the oils from the nut (typically almond) meal will leech out and cause the mixture to lump up. this will eventually cause ugly bumps on your macarons.

3. fold the mixture the correct number of times to obtain a magma consistency. not too little or too much. this is where i get paranoid and started to count. so far my average is about 40-50. the last few strokes being more of a stirring action rather than folding a souffle.

4. rap the baking sheet against a solid surface a couple of times. (10 ish). this helps to release the air bubbles and create a better shape. oh and somehow this saves the trouble of drying out the shells for a couple of hours, which is a pain when all you can think about is eating them.

5. when baking, rotate the sheets (front to back, top to bottom row). do this preferably in the first 3-4 mins.

6. be best friends with your oven. discover which areas are hotter and work around them. (eg, moving the sheet further away from those spots).

7. when you have sticky shells, the trick to removing them from the baking sheet is to add a little water under the baking sheet and this will create steam. this steam will then magically lift your macarons from the baking sheet and freeing them!

8. try not to make running fillings. no matter how nice your shells are, once you have a runny filling, thats the end of their perfect lives. they will end up being soggy the next day. not good at all.

ah. enough of my macaron ramblings.
back to the library for nowww. =(

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