Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up for a Challenge

Summer 2012 - The Hague

This is something different. For about a year I have been hearing about the amazing-ness of macarons. I had a few back when I was in Houston this summer, and was intrigued. Would it actually be possible for me, someone who is essentially a novice at baking, to pull off this difficult cookie?

Well, I baked three batches over the summer. The first ones looked perfect but were not the right consistency/hardness. The second batch was completely cracked, so the photo record I had taken was abandoned half way through as I dimly watched the cookies in the oven. 

About a week ago, I decided to try again, in our new kitchen. These were to be Earl Grey Tea Honey macarons, and they were to be wonderful. 

The meringue - it has to be super stiff before you can incorporate the dry ingredients.

The macaron batter - this is the tricky bit. Too stiff, cookies crack, too runny, they don't bake up with their signature little feet. Full disclosure, this is not mixed well enough. After piping the first tray (below) I could tell it needed a mix or two more. 

Do you see how these are not flowing into little circles? That's the problem there. 

Well they puffed up like little sheep. You can see the cracks and everything. 

The second batch came out perfectly! Ok, so my piping skills could use work... but hey! 

Here they are ready to be given as a gift :) Again you can tell the piping is not the best, especially on the filling (honey buttercream, by the way) but they still tasted great!

Anyway, that was that. Baking was definitely fun to attempt to photograph. 

ps. When I edited these photos, I was actually finally up to date on all things photography! However, today we went out to Naarden, a very pretty Dutch city, so as of posting this, I am unfortunately not up to date. Darn. And, of course as I write this, I am not yet in Edinburgh (though when you read this I'll have been there for a month! (head spinning yet?)) where I am sure I will be taking many more photos. le sigh.

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