This is how our batter turned out today…
As you know when Haley and I bake, something always goes wrong; and today was no exception! I mean, we couldn’t break the streak now!… You may be thinking “could it really have been that bad?”. Well, the answer is YES! YES! IT WAS AWFUL! Everything went wrong and on top of that, we had so many people counting on us to deliver the delicious French pastry! So what went so wrong? Keep reading to find out!!…
Since we weren’t in our normal environment, there were a lot of factors that came into play. For example; splitting the recipe in half. We have done smaller recipes and larger recipes, but before today we have yet to attempt to change the measurements on our go to recipe. We think this may have been one of the issues with how the batter turned out.
With that in mind, another issue was the eggs. We normally leave our eggs to sit out for 45 (or more) minutes. Being our eager, macaron loving selves, we jumped the gun and began mixing our egg whites too soon!… There are many opinions on whether or not you should leave your egg whites out to age; but it is our belief that it is not completely necessary. We have made GREAT macarons without aging them longer than 45 minutes. However, we do know that many professional bakers prefer to age their egg whites… but to each his own!
What about the meringue?… Usually meringue is our strong suit. BUT NOT TODAY! Our fluffy marshmallow cloud of heaven turned out to be more like styrofoam. When you see hard peaks forming, keep an eye on it!!!!!!!! Just ONE minute over and your beautiful cloud will turn into a doomed bowl of let down.
Now friends, let’s talk about FOLDING.. Oh the joy of folding… You start out strong…confident… like the strong mighty warriors in Mulan, only to soon find out just how weak you are (this is a real blow to your confidence…We should probably start working out… Maybe some day). You discover that you cannot continue folding for a hundred plus times. This is where having a baking buddy is key. You can have them suffer along with you!! Usually we have the issue of under folding. Tonight, we had the issue of OVER folding. Our batter turned out to be a gum-like, pasty blob. IT WAS MALLEABLE!! It had the exact consistency of wet cement… If you are trying to make some clay tablets, have we got the stuff for you!!
Have I mentioned forgetting necessities before?! No? Okay so let’s sit on this topic for a minute… We have had a couple of times when running to the store really quickly to grab a last minute ingredient was needed; some chocolate for the ganache (or to snack on), some eggs for the meringue (because I knocked over all of the already aged and separated ones), and that’s all okay. I didn’t think we would forget anything. We made lists of everything each of us would need. I packed my car with all the tools and Haley bought all of the ingredients. This was not going to be the problem today. Then disaster struck… Haley opened up the parchment paper as we were preparing to pipe the first half of batter… ONE. SMALL. SLIVER. I was at a loss for words. I ran to the room, grabbed my keys and off I went for parchment paper, leaving poor Haley behind. To just top this disaster sundae off with an annoying cherry, we couldn’t find the right piping tip. This was just great…
So I know you are probably wondering how we can be complaining so much about the batter when the final product hasn’t even come out yet. I mean thats valid. We have made some thick batters that, although they did not flatten on top, still tasted so yummy. I think these macarons just weren’t meant to be because when they went in the oven, what became of our batter was the opposite of what a macaron should be. Some would call them biscuits. I think they looked like sugar cookies. Regardless, they were puffy-dull-cracked blobs of sadness… Failure wrapped up in one little ball of batter. We were so upset that we took them out of the oven, threw them away after one small taste, cleaned up, and got out faster than you can say macaron!
So as I am typing this I think there are a couple of lessons to be learned from this experience… I am referring back to one of our earliest posts but don’t take it so seriously. I mean, really… DON’T!! It’s not that big of a deal. I think we got so worked up about our mistakes that we just started making more mistakes. I also think we were so excited about the idea of baking again that we began rushing the steps and not letting things age properly or dry long enough. Taking your time and being patient is important. I also think it’s a good idea for us to just bake at our houses. We are so thankful for generous friends that let us borrow their kitchen but I think it helps when we are comfortable in our homes with everything where it should be.
All in all, I am happy to be with my friend for the weekend and despite this little bump, we have a lot of fun stuff in store tomorrow and hopefully we will have a new post all about that!
In the mean time… HAPPY BAKING!!
Sarah and Haley