Macaron making session

Are macarons the new cupcake? They’ve been sweeping the foodie world over the past year and I must admit that the fad has mostly passed me by. But then I freely admit that I’m late to a lot of trends!

While I would class myself as a fairly confident baker, I’d never attempted baking macarons. Reading numerous reports from other bloggers on how difficult it is to bake them successfully scared me off! But recently I joined several other bloggers for a macaron making support session: Cherrie (and her gorgeous daughter, Deanna!), I-Hua, Liz, Kat, Penny and Thanh.

Are they as hard to make as everyone claims? Were we successful? Read on….

Naturally, we had lunch to gather our strength before our baking session, with everyone bringing a plate of food to share.

I brought along lamb biryani – blogged here.

Liz and I-Hua both made chicken wings – I can’t remember whose is whose, now!

Penny made empanadas.

Kat brought along spring rolls.

This is Thanh’s lamb cutlets on vegetables.

And Cherrie made a large bowl of pasta.

And for dessert, we had Liz’s pineapple tarts and my egg tarts.

And then we set off to work! Okay, here we go……

After the mixture was ready, we were able to start out the macarons. I had a turn at piping, and jeez I am rather terrible at keeping my circles the same size… circular… kind of important points, really!

And yes, chocolate coloured shells do look like poo. I know you’re thinking it!

We let the shells rest before putting them in the oven. Unfortunately, we left most of the piped batches in the kitchen where it was really hot and dry before we eventually figured out that they might do better in a cooler environment.

Finally, they were ready to come out of the oven. We were all giddy with excitement. Look! Feet!

Encouraged by this success, we went on to make another massive batch with different colours and flavours. Macaron making factory ahoy!

Sadly… these didn’t turn out well AT ALL. Definite macawrongs.

Disheartened by the sad state of the second batch of macarons, we were even more despondent to discover that our chocolate macarons were also macawrongs. While they looked good, the texture was TERRIBLE. They were so hard and crunchy that they would have done damage if we had thrown them at one another. We were lucky not to break a tooth on them! But ah… food blogging is mostly about the look, so we filled the good looking ones for photos. Hah.

Funnily enough, the other batches tasted much better than the chocolate ones. And after trimming off the flat edges, well, they kinda looked respectable. Right? Right??

Looking back, we made quite a lot of errors. We were in an unfamiliar kitchen so weren’t familiar with the temperament of the oven. Though we weighed our ingredients, we probably weren’t careful enough with the consistency of the egg whites, and mixing them into the dry ingredients. The later batches probably had too much colouring added, which resulted in the mixture being too runny.

Oh well. Even though they didn’t turn out great (or good, at all) we still had a fun time. And I’m glad that my first time with macaron fail was with a supportive group! When I get a chance I’m going to try again at home. I think I can do it successfully at least once! It can’t be that hard – right?? (Famous last words….)

Read Thanh’s and Cherrie’s reports on the day.