A Baking Session
It’s been a while since I posted an entry on this blog and an even longer while since I baked macarons. Given the amount of time and effort that goes into macarons, I had no problems avoiding macaron making. That is until H invited WL over for a baking session one Saturday.
I was initially hesitant about WL’s suggestion to bake macarons for 2 reasons. First, the weather had been horribly wet and humid, which is generally bad for meringue making, not to mention macaron making. Which meant it would be safer to go with italian meringue instead of french meringue. Which in turn led to the second reason for my reluctance.
Italian Meringue Macarons
The last few batches of italian meringue macarons I’d made had a huge air pocket between the shell and the base. Since I’ve had many successful batches before with italian meringue, this is something that still has me puzzled. There are just too many possible reasons. Drying time? Baking temperature? Baking time? Unstable meringe? Still, we forged ahead.
The flavours of the day were cocoa shells with dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut shells with salted caramel buttercream. As I’d expected, the shells did end up with an air pocket each, but once filled and bitten into, it didn’t matter at all. The overall texture and taste were still right. Most importantly, WL seemed more than happy with the salted caramel ones.
French Meringue Macarons & Heart-shaped Ispahans
Unhappy about the air pockets, I made another batch of macarons with french meringue the following week. The weather was once again far from ideal; it was pouring outside while the egg whites were being whipped in my Kitchen Aid mixer. Fortunately, the heart-shaped Ispahan macarons turned out fine (1st and last photographs of this post) as did the regular sized ones, which I filled with rose cream and lychee pieces (2nd photograph of this post).
The Ispahans were visually impressive as always and my sister loved the combination of the tart raspberries, lychees and vanilla cream. But the best part for me was the lack of air pockets, which more than made up for the smaller feet that macarons made via the french meringue method seem to have.