Baking Humor and Macarons

Well, the mud bowl was kinda messy...

I’m starting off the weekend right with some fresh baking humor from the blog Not So Humble Pie.

This week, I’ve been working on a variety of desserts.  I learned a lot about making miniature apple pies (with lattice tops no less) and also, in honor of fall (my favorite season), created some pumpkin ice cream and ginger ice cream. More on those later because at the moment, I’m very focused on macarons. Though occasionally spelled “macaroon,” these are not the coconutty cookies we know here in the States.

Eventual goal (not my pic, btw).

The modern macaron, supposedly invented by Pierre Desfontaines of Laduree, are essentially two meringue shells filled with some sort of cream or ganache. They can be made in almost any flavor you can imagine – my brain has been going wild with ideas – but the basic shell base is composed of aged egg whites, almond meal, confectioners/icing/powdered sugar, and granulated sugar (not turbinado or raw).

The first time I made these, I tried the Italian meringue method which involves a) lots of running around like a maniac in the kitchen and b) pouring boiling sugar into uncooked egg whites. Then, you’re supposed to whip the whites until the temperature is reduced to 122 degrees before folding in the almond mixture. The result? Total macaron fail. They were sorta tasty, but mostly they were chewy, pancake-like globs that clung for dear life to the silpat when I attempted to remove them. Harumph. They sorta looked like this:

Oh jeez.

Except worse.

Now that my digital scale is arriving in just a few days (thank you AC!), I am taking the time to scour my cookbooks and the series of tubes (also known as the internet) to find the perfect recipe. And, I think I’ve found it via the awesome blog known as Not So Humble Pie.

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