Necessity is the mother of invention.
True. Contrary to most people believe, majority of things was invented accidentally. No it wasn’t.
It was discovered, not invented.
In the case of meringue, who the hell thought about whisking egg whites until it foams up? I just don’t know how our ancestors comes up with this shit. Maybe he’s the same guy who first saw crab and instantly knew it was delish.
What was he trying to do or prove? Whatever that was, I wont dig it up anymore. What’s important is he made one of the most elegant and versatile (and tiring) confections in the kitchen.
Meringue is basically whipped egg whites with sugar. It tastes like… Well… If clouds have a taste, it would be this. Soft, airy and dense at the same time. I can’t explain it.
I first made meringue when I made my Baked Alaska. It was pretty easy, just very tiring.
Thinking of a new thing to bake, I searched the internet. I found my self looking at Parisian Macarons.
I’ve always wanted to make them but found them very intimidating. Well, maybe this is the right time to do it. I did some more research on these cute little bastards before making them.
If you’re hear or read Macarons and immediately thought about coconuts, that’s not it. Those are Pinoy Macaroons (notice the spelling). These are more, you know, up scale a little bit.
I have to admit, I have never really tried real Macaron before so I really have no reference taste wise, but as long as it looks good, it’ll taste good! You can’t really go wrong with sweets right?
There are literally thousands of Macaron recipes. Most of the things I read states that Macaron is a pretty hard dish to make. Most people wont get it the first time the make it and if they do, they probably wont be able to make it the second time around.
Surprisingly enough, I found may uh, how can I say this… Intricate or odd (for the lack of better term) steps on this. Like the one that I read said that the egg whites to be used needs to be ‘aged’ in the ref for a few days before using. The kind of powdered sugar to be used, the process used in the nuts, ‘resting/drying’ before baking and environmental temperature.
Personally, I tend to skip ‘unecessary’ steps. It’s basically meringue with nuts and sugar. How hard can it be?
I browsed a bit more and stumbled to this site, Bravetart which specifically tackles about ‘Macaron Myths.’ I read the whole thing and she’s basically saying that IT’S JUST A FUCKING PASTRY. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. So yeah, Thank you Bravetart for that confirmation.
So… lets start cooking? Ok!
Basically, Macaron is made up of stiff meringue, almond flour and powdered sugar sifted together, flavorings and colors, and that’s it! But as you know, I’m a cheap and lazy guy so I had to tweak somewhere there.
Almond powder. Yeah. Never heard of it. Like the word Lupozaituim, I’m sure you’ve never heard of that before. Many sites say that they grind their own almonds. So I’ll just have to do it myself. But yeah, almonds are not easily accessible in this side of the crater so I’ll have to improvise!
Yes, peanuts! Very cheap and very accessible. I’ll just ground them up into a fine powder right?
I was actually VERY hesitant. Mainly because, well, I know I can’t ground peanuts into a fine powder necause they’ll become peanut butter. But what the hell.
I roasted then and ground them using my a simple household blender.
Then mixed it with my SIFTED powdered sugar.
And I didn’t bother sifting them together because the nuts are just too fucking big to go through, get it? Nuts are too big… ehehe…
After which, I started to whip my meringue. And instead of showing you pics, I decided to film it. You know I love you guys!
Then I folded them together. And according to some sites, this is called… the Macaronage…
A quote from bravetart: “Instead of coming to recognize the qualities of a good meringue and the consistency of proper macaronage, you fret over how many days the egg whites aged. This prevents learning from mistakes and subsequently improving technique, causing you to begin each macaron venture from square one.”
So from what I understand here, having a good macaromage means you have a high chance of getting a good result. What is a good macaronage you ask? Well, the internet says that the consistency is like of a molten lava. Here is a video of my macaronage…
and here is a Molten Lava video.
Ehh… Not exactly lava-like… That’s because i’m scared of over beating the mixture…
I separated the batter into two and made one chocolate by adding cocoa powder and the other one strawbrry by adding flavorings and colors.
Lined my pan with wax paper (I’m out of parchment) and piped them in. Does not look too uniform as it should but that can be easily corrected… in the next batch.
Baked them and watched every moment of it.
18 minutes in front of the hot oven gave me…
Yes. I failed. It cracked. The Macaron Feet did not show. What feet?
Those curly, crunchy looking stuff under the shiny dome is called the feet.
So yeah, my first try failed. Mainly because I fucked with the recipe. What did I expect? Nevertheless the result was still delicious!
And yes, this is actually my yummiest failure to date. First attempt down, many more to go. The focus of my next attempt will be getting the peanut to be sifted with the powdered sugar and having a good sense of macaronage.
And fuck almonds for being too expensive!