Okay, I saw Beauty and the Beast ten days ago, but I thought it would head up a French theme.
I made french macarons. Or almond macarons, whatever floats your boat. There is quite a process to this, one that I cheated, and one that I believe that, if I HADN’T cheated, they would have been spectacular. But I didn’t, and these were ‘eh’ in terms of what they should be. Tasty, yes, but ‘eh’ for final product.
First, you have to age your egg whites on the counter for up to twenty four hours in a covered container. I’m thinking that what this does is it helps to break down some of the proteins in the egg whites to make them a bit more cooperative. Being the little wierdo that I am, I aged mine for two hours and added in cream of tartar, because I’ve learned that this helps a bit. Next time, I’ll try the other method.
Anyway, you have to grind up some almonds (that I hand blanched, this is tedious and not for the weak of patience. I’ll buy them next time…Post on instructions soon!) very finely and mix that with the powdered sugar. Then, after whipping up the egg whites, you fold the mixture in until you reach the point where you can make a divot that seals itself in 10 seconds. I colored mine turquoise, because I like turquoise. But anything will do.
Then, you fill a pastry bag with a plain tip and fill it up, then pipe super small little balls on a baking mat (I think that parchment will work better than mine did). They will spread out on their own.
Then you let them sit for an hour. This will expose the tops to the air and cause them to dry a bit, thus helping them pop up and give them cute little ‘feet’ on the bottom!
When mine got the little ‘feet’, I jumped for joy. No. I did. In the kitchen. I got a strange look from my father, he’s just jealous.
But then I flipped them over, they were hollow! It was a hoax! Darn you, difficult pastries (that doesn’t matter though, half of them weren’t) So, I made a quick ganache to fill them up with. I love ganache…oh. so. much. That along with vanilla, pretzels, red velvet, pudding…
I’m quite a food hussey…I’m sorry.
Sandwiched them up and let them set. Not bad at all! They are chewy, with a light almond flavor that went along well with the ganache. My problem was probably the fact that I didn’t follow rules, they were hollow on the inside, and so the top crumbled and made them a little hard to eat, but whatever. I’m still young!
I’ll post the recipe from Bakerella, even though it is really from Tartlette, but Bakerella posted the recipe. I’ll put both sites, because these people are more seasoned than I am.