Getting worse at something the more times you do it is not a habit of mine. Yet it seems to be the case with macarons.
I have been baking macarons for this month’s Mac Tweets challenge hosted by my chums from Food Blogger Connect, Jamie at Life’s a Feast and Deeba from Passionate about Baking. It hasn’t been going very well.
You, my loyal Maison Cupcake Readers will testify that I had immediate success with my first ever macs, Pecan Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce filling back in September. For a first go, they rocked. I was rightly proud of myself. Next came the chocolate David Lebovitz macs filled with some beetroot and chocolate fudge that had refused to set properly. The chocolate ones puffed up a lot but didn’t have feet although they looked and tasted good.
The descent down the slippery slope however continues until I’ve tumbled resoundedly into Mac Purgatory. December, when I ought really to be writing Christmas cards and selecting presents for my family, I have been making macarons around the clock. Midnight on Friday. Sunday afternoon. Tuesday early morning. Twice again on Tuesday afternoon. Five batches of egg whites and many more trays so far to meet the deadline. Feet, those pretty ruffly bits around the edge, have eluded me. Without feet, your macs may taste good but they just won’t have that pizzazz. I feel like Samantha in that episode of Sex and the City where she hasn’t… well you know…
There’s been plenty of support on Twitter from my Food Blogger Connect buddies and others. I’ve had lots of tips and encouragement from Sunita of Sunita’s World, Pam The Cooking Ninja and Alessio the Recipe Taster. Sadly it doesn’t seem to have been enough and I think I need a successful mac maker to move in. I am using the same recipe throughout, I know it worked perfectly well the first time I used it so I can only put my repeated failure down to either:
1. Egg whites resting too long or not long enough
2. Cooler kitchen in winter
3. Mixing technique – maybe I’m being too careful?
After a telephone call to Sunita, I changed my oven temperature to going from low to dry them out to higher to try and cause that pressure inside to create the feet. The very last tray of four blobs of the last mixture were trying to get feet. Really trying. One managed it, the others cracked a bit. So out of close to 200 macaron shells, I have one very thin pathetic one with feet. I named her Mariah.
Lack of feet was no excuse for crying off the photo shoot. The single macaron with feet has been treated like her namesake, Mariah Carey on a gold platter this afternoon. Star of the show. She threw a hissy fit about her co-star, Paris Hilton the macaron angel, said she stole her thunder and demanded more money. I got my own back and ate Mariah. Paris Hilton started eating the other macarons and I doubt she’ll manage to clamber back on top of my Christmas tree once she’s finished.
I’m taking a Mac break now for 2-3 weeks. I think I’ve earned it. But you can see my other two Mince Pie related recipes here during December.
Recipes for Macs are available from MacTweets and Helen at My Tartelette. You will also find lots of mac making tips there. I was using a mix based on Helen’s pecan pie macarons only without pecans:
Mince Pie Macarons
Barbara Bakes says
Such a fun post! I'm so glad you posted about your non feet macs! Now everyone will celebrate with you next month when you have beautiful feet!
Wow….looks gorgeous. You must be having great fun making all these….just perfect for Christmas with all the mince pie fillings. Thanks for sharing.
I'm very hesitant to do Macs. They look so beautiful and yet so difficult to make. I'll stick to cakes and cookies. Practice makes perfect.
Heavenly Housewife says
Mariah is (was) a beauty :). I have to say the texture of the macaroon looks great, despite the feet issue. Keep trying, i definitely will 😀
With feet or no feet, I'm sure they are delicious!
Have a great day darling,
Asha @ FSK says
I know, macs are really a test of perseverance. But, am sure you'll make it right and that will be pure elation worth all the frustration! 🙂 Good Luck!!!
Tracy @ Sugarcrafter says
They sure look delicious to me! What a fun combination!!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@Barbara I hope I get feet next month
@marymoh Taking the photos was fun but I was getting bit tired after 6 goes
@bakelady59 Have a go! Have a go!
@Heavenlyhousewife Good luck with your feet, I will be watching for them
@mamatkamal they are very tasty yes
@asha I will appreciate my feet all the more having waited for them
@sugarcrafter I am marzipan addict I would put it in everything if allowed
you are too hard on yourself! i love that you showed it all! we will master this… we will! right? 🙂
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@tiffany spegar – unless we drown in eggwhite first!
I love the way you write your blog, I always have such fun here! Well, feet or no feet I love what you've done with your macs. They look delicious. And we count on having you baking next month too! Onward and upward, better and better.
Just found your delightful blog via Madame Sucre and so glad I came by. I think you did a great job on the macs – much better than my one and only pitiful attempt. But after seeing this I will give it another try.
I really enjoyed an older post on St Rémy de Provence – I'll be following along and will be back soon.
The Cooking Ninja says
You had me laughing all the way. What a great post. Love your mariah and Paris hilton angel. I love your pics. Beautifully told. 🙂
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@Jamie I am so happy to know that! Thank you!
@BonjourRomance Welcome! You are going to love what have instore just before Christmas
@Thecookingninja Tee hee thank you, when are you coming to visit to help me make them properly?
Kitchen Butterfly says
Oh my WORD Sar, you have gone NUCLEAR. Fantastic job and I don't want to hear one WORD of complaint. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL. Well done
What a fun post! Dear Sarah, I'm sure you'll do better next time. And tiny or not, I can see the beginnings of feet, and it can only get better from here.
(standing ovation) – I admire your dedication! 200 shells to get one with feet. They look absolutely yummy, even without the frilly bits. ANd you definitely deserve a break 🙂
OMG! Look how many you made, lol! They do look really tasty though and I love the mince pie idea.
Maybe next time you could try with just one egg white? That's what I do when trying a new flavour.
Deeba PAB says
Oh Sarah, Mac Purgatory or whatever, love love love your posts & your macs. Even love the faux feet! You put this huge smile on my face. Am glad you joined us at Mactweets! Have a great holiday season!
What a beautiful beautiful blog! I love your photos, they are simply divine!
This is my first time here, I LOVE your blog! That Paris is always trouble but Mariah certainly came through for you. Hopefully rehab will do its trick and get Paris back to the top of your tree where she can continue to look down upon others.
Julia @ Mélanger says
Thanks for popping by my website! I just love your flavour here. I was toying with this one for my '12 days' series – given my parents are English and all! 😉
Have you tried the Italian method for making macarons?
Madame Sucre says
bravo Sarah! I think if you dont write about your attempts , we will never learn! They do look alot like the amaretti biscuits I want to make! and yes you are right my amaretti biscuits look like macarons cz they have feet! LOL I'm ready for the kitchen swap when you are!
Morwenna Ellis-Philips says
They look delicious and I am glad you enjoyed Mariah! Shame I was away for your giveaway…love Emma Bridgewater xo
What a fun post! these are beautiful! And they must be tasty! Beautiful Christmas treats. Happy Holidays!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
@kitchen butterfly – well yes, my kitchen did look like Chernobyl at one point
@Sunita – calling you definitely helped, I was getting the beginnings of feet afterwards
@shaz *bows humbly*
@nicisme Yes I know 1 egg white would be sensible next time
@deeba Really means a lot to me to know you like my blog, I must be doing something right!
@catty Thank you! Would you believe I took them at 3.30pm in December
@cookbookapprentice – thanks for visiting, hope to see you again soon
@Julia Melanger – Not tried Italian method yet but am sure I will soon
@madamesucre – I try to be as honest as possible and share my various disasters. If I didn't I'd only have half as many items on my blog!
@morwenna Aw hun, I wondered where you were!
@shari Thank you, lovely to see you here. They were "naughty but nice" as the cream cake advert used to say
O that was such a funny post and that last picture of all your feetless macs… O my, you really did try!! I have had my share of failures and it has been going up and down. The last one, finally, was the first time I ever got a 100% successful batch. So just keep trying and eventually it will happen (most likely my next batch will be feetless and miserable again… O well.. they do taste good at least!)
What an original and festive combination for the macarons! They also look gorgeous. Have a great holiday!