Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Macarons

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." - Clarence W. Hall

Thus marks my third attempt at baking macarons. While the St. Patrick's Day ones were a huge success, this time the meringue had a hissy fit. And by hissy fit, I mean a toddler girl in the toy section of Wal-Mart whose roaring wails can be heard anywhere in the store.

It was not pretty.

whipping some very bratty egg whites

Whipping the meringue usually takes only 11 minutes, but this time it took a good half-hour of constant beating with the electric hand mixer, and extra cream of tartar.

the Pistachio batter

And while the shells did rise and bake the way they should, half of them ended up with wrinkled skins and/or browned coloring.

the shells, unbaked

shells, baked

Which means that half of them came out alright, so it wasn't a total failure.

This time I made Pistachio shells with Strawberry Pate de Fruit filling. The pate presented difficulties, since the author of the macarons book insisted on a special type of pectin and also Guava paste, both of which were either impossible or very difficult to find nearby. So I did what any self-respecting amateur baker worth their salt does and improvised, with very tasty results.

Strawberry Concoction, about to become Pate de Fruit

I cut out the Guava paste from the recipe (it was originally supposed to be Strawberry-Guava, but strawberry by itself is still wonderful) and substituted extra strawberry puree and regular pectin. The end results were quite delicious, according to my official taste-tester (a.k.a. mom).

So I am going to mark this one down as "success." "Victory" is still a ways to go...

the finished product

I'm hoping to make macarons again in a month for Mother's Day (as well as for a few birthdays), so the ongoing pursuit of excellence in small French dessert sandwiches is by no means over. We will fight them in the kitchen, we will beat them with the electric mixer (Sorry to any Churchill fans). 

A blessed Easter to all.

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