So the next weekend came by and this was going to be my second attempt. This time I decided to try taking pictures. After my first failure, I thought I'll read up more on the possible things I did that could have gone wrong - and therefore, I decided this time to leave my eggs out even longer, less folds to the mixture (and that too rather gently), sieve through the almonds for a finer result and finally, use pure icing sugar rather than confectioners. This is due to the regular confectioners sugar having 2% of cornstarch and therefore there might be a risk of it being too dry which leads to cracks and little pointed domes.
I took out my 'mature' egg whites, put it in the hand mixer and added some sugar, mix! mix! mix! till, I had a meringue. This was also a problem I faced initially as it was my first time making a meringue and with macarons, you cannot make the meringue too stiff, and it cant be too soft either (which was my mistake during the first attempt - too soft). So with some tips from Tartlette (she makes the most amazing cute perfect lil' macarons), I set out using her rule of thumb, 'If the meringue is turned upside down and it defies gravity, its good to go!' :)
Here are some pictures I took;
Ground almonds. This is before it is processed, so you can see that it is not so fine.
Egg whites - I left these out for 4 full days. I did not put it in the fridge. So it was at room temprature all the way.
Pure icing sugar.. I could not find any confectioner sugar that was pure in the supermarket or the baking store - even specialty stores do not have PURE icing sugar, so I made my own. I am surprised it became so fine - which is GOOD. I took granulated sugar and processed it. :)
After I mixed everything together, I piped it out on a baking sheet, and tried to get it as round and even as possible. I left this out to stand for about an hour so a shell would be formed and Tartlette had said that this would help with less cracks, domes and it would give you the cute frilly feet.
(Sorry i do not have the inbetweens as i was the only one in the kitchen.. and its difficult to mix, fold, turn AND take shots)
AND PERFECT! The first batch i put in were great! They had feet, a nice hard shell and a nice chewy insides. The only problem is, it had burnt a little, although it did not have even the slightest tinge of burnt taste, the colour turned a dark peach rather than a bright pink. :(
This is the finished product - Bittersweet chocolate ganache! I made the ganache with whipped cream and melted dark bitter cooking chocolate. It was yummy!
A shot of the macaron with a half-eaten piece. I wanted to show the innards in this shot but it wasn't a good shot.
Oh-kay guys, so you thought, hey that was pretty good. A nice batch. YAY! But hold your horses.. I was in for a surprise. The same batch I piped out on the second tray went into the oven and this my friends, was the outcome;
It went flat! It started baking and spreading and getting huge and FLAT!
The end result! At that point, i did not know if i should have stuffed my head in that oven or not but it was so disheartening! How can one tray from the same batch turn out so well, and the next turned out HORRID!?
Chill.... Breath.... Wooooosah... Hmmm. It took a while to compose myself and I said, no can't be, i am gonna' have another go at this. So, i tried another batch. Everything went fine. I mixed, folded just right, meringue was not bad either, and this time i tried a nice blue. Baby Blue. :)
The white part is what i thought would be pretty white swirls. Tartlette did this for a friends wedding and i thought I'd give it a go too... :) (Yes, yes, i know... for an amature, it was rather ambitious)
In the oven it goes
Waiting for the frilly feet to form... patiently.
ALAS... NO FRILLY FEET! No cute shell! No NOTHING!
Another disaster... sigh.
Stacked up in a pile.. and it looks worse! Hehe
A Very Bad Macaron!
And so, i gave up for the day. Threw my apron aside and decided to bake some cupcakes instead. :) But thats for another post.. As for the macarons, i'll just have to TRY AGAIN. ;)