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Macarons: Three Ways

A few weeks ago, I finished eating my French macarons that my mom brought me from Pierre Herme and Laduree in France. Of course, once I finished them, that meant I wanted more. Also, my family wanted macarons (I didn’t share any of my French macarons with the kids, only Josh). So last Saturday, I decided to make some. I think it had been a year since I last made them. I was also working with a new oven so I didn’t expect them to be pretty or perfect. Turned out I was right! My macarons ended up overbaked, with too large feet, and a little blotchy on top.

I used the Italian method since that is what has worked for me in the past. I once tried the French method (See Double Chocolate Macarons) and it didn’t work out well for me. Sometime I will try the French method, but Saturday wasn’t that day since I hadn’t made macarons in a while.

Here is the macaron recipe I usually use.

Some of my mistakes this time around:

  1. I possibly overmixed the batter. Usually I undermix the batter. This time I was trying to get it to the right consistency but possibly went a little overboard. I think I might need to do 3 batter tests instead of 2. I did the “lava” test and the “knife” test, but neither of those seems to be definitive enough for me. I might have to break down and actually watch a video of the tests so I can see what I’m looking for. I don’t really like watching videos but I will if I need to.
  2. My oven ran too hot. I think the large feet were due to my oven running at too high a temperature. I guess I need to calibrate it or figure out what the actual temperature is.
  3. Overbaking the macarons. Since the oven was already running too hot, it was kind of inevitable that the macarons would also end up overbaked. My macaron shells ended up too crispy.
  4. Not using a jam/jelly filling on all of the macarons. I filled about a third of the macarons with pomegranate jelly. The rest had a buttercream filling and a Dalgona coffee filling. The jelly softened the shells perfectly by the next day. The buttercream and Dalgona coffee did not, so the shells were too chewy (or crispy).

I was happy though that my macarons didn’t have little hats when piped out. That weird-shaped one on the right is when I got distracted by a dust devil that whipped over the house. Also, I’m not very good at getting them all the same size. I definitely need more practice!

Look at the size difference here! My daughter loved the look of the baby macaron though and claimed it for herself when she saw it. I might have to try making baby macarons on purpose!

Look at those humongous feet! Ugh! They looked so nice at first, then they just started ballooning!

I know that macarons aren’t supposed to be blotchy on top like that. They also look overbaked. I went ahead and filled all the macarons anyway, even though they weren’t perfect. I was hoping that the fillings would soften the shells.

The root beer buttercream did not add any moisture to the shells at all. The frosting did taste great by itself. I used a third of the recipe linked here and used a teaspoon of root beer extract instead of vanilla. It could have used more root beer flavor though. I did leave out the milk, so perhaps the buttercream would have worked better if I had used milk in it. The macarons were still too crunchy even after 24 hours in the fridge. And look at those huge holes! I know macaron shells should not have those!

Josh made some Dalgona coffee on Saturday too and I decided to use it as macaron filling. The Dalgona coffee was a little better at softening the shell. I highly suggest using straight Dalgona coffee. What a coffee kick!

Pomegranate jelly was definitely the winner in this contest. It softened the shell to a perfect texture and tasted so yummy! I’m not going to lie. My favorite macaron flavors always seem to be the fruit ones (passionfruit!). It is probably because of the jelly and how it changes the texture of the macaron shell.

There will be more macaron practice in my future! My family won’t be complaining about my practice macarons I’m sure. But hopefully, they will continue to get better.


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