Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Macaron Project

Spring break is about to end and I am in a bit of a quandary. I was just too sluggish to drag my lazy butt out of the apartment, so I decided to bake. For a while, I've been thinking of making my favorite French pastry, macarons, but I felt that it would be too difficult. Its basically the same concern with everyone else in the blogosphere. Macarons are simply made of several ingredients, almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar and egg whites. I already have the last three ingredients, but no almond flour. Almond flour is simply ground almonds. I also do not have almonds, but I have pecans. I read that you can substitute any nut in the absence of almonds, but I think almonds would still be the better option for this pastry. I ended up with a pool of pecan butter after drinking it too much. On my second attempt, I decided to put the powdered sugar in while grinding and it turned out perfect. Most of the blogs I read said that baking paper is a must, even if you are using a non-stick pan. But I was just too stubborn. Refer to the second sentence, I was too lazy to go out. So I simply used the non stick pan. Lets just say the outcome is not the best, but its not a flop either. 

Contrary to my other kitchen explorations, this project was not measured out exactly. I just mixed everything up. I even had a problem with choosing the baking time and temperature and settled for 300F and a longer time 20 minutes.

After baking the cookies, I made strawberry butter cream and chocolate ganache. I tend to hoard things. So I have all the other ingredients.

 Chocolate-dipped strawberry buttercream filled pecan macarons

They do not look like patiserrie-quality goodies but I loved the taste and texture. I think I need more practice to perfect this but I need to grab almonds first.

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