What has worked better for you the Italian version or the French version... why or why not? And does aging your eggs really make them come out better? Trying to get these little things perfect! Such a hassle
These are the important things. ^^^ I sift my almond flour and icing sugar twice... usually. The "macaronage" is still challenging for me. Every time I read "molten lava", I think.... what the H does molten lava look like? I've never seen a volcano up close and personal. After 10 or more batches, I think I've got it now.Getting as fine an almond flour as possible (sifting a couple of times to get big pieces out if necessary)
The "macaronage", or mixing step, which is hard to translate but you can Google it
The resting before baking
Most importantly, I don't think I've ever turned out a homemade filled macaron that people didn't enjoy immensely, so I tell people not to worry about it and just make some. Homemade is always better.
I have read in a few places that the Silpats may not be the best option but an equal number of people have said either/or. Personally, I don't own them so it's parchment for me. If you're not getting feet, it may be because your batter is too wet/over mixed. Here's a link to a page with a troubleshooting guide: http://misohungrynow.blogspot.ca/2011/01/troubleshooting-macaron.html (scroll down).Have you tried using parchment?
I have never had much luck with the mats.
Maybe (just my thoughts) they prevent evaporation (during the resting stage) while parchment absorbs (noted by the wrinkly paper after baking) or maybe my mats just grab the edges and prevent that initial puff that creates the little feeties (altho per science the crowns should then crack to release the steam).
Of course if you age the whites in a room with dry air this problem may become moot.
I may not be the best person to ask as I have become much more open and relaxed re any imperfections in my baking lol.
Strange how the attitudes change when a customer's opinion no longer matters in the grand scheme of things.
MisschiefStella Parks was one of my main reads. She has a lot of great information.
I'm just a little envious right now. We have a French bakery here in town and the owner is a customer of mine at the print shop; she offers macaron classes but my husband considers it a waste of time and money. That's why I went on a web search for as much information as I could find about macarons. BraveTart was one site that kept coming up over and over. I think I've read every single post she wrote about macarons. Even the comments were extremely helpful.Misschief
Good to know others find Stella Parks helpful. After taking an all day, hands-on macaron class, which was excellent, I still found Stella Parks very helpful. I like that she cuts out all the unnecessary steps to focus on the essential elements. The pastry chef who taught me how to make macarons pretty much embraced Stella Parks methods. But she was still a believer in that long rest, convinced the bake would be flawed without it. I just rest for about 5 minutes
Misschief,I'm just a little envious right now. We have a French bakery here in town and the owner is a customer of mine at the print shop; she offers macaron classes but my husband considers it a waste of time and money. That's why I went on a web search for as much information as I could find about macarons. BraveTart was one site that kept coming up over and over. I think I've read every single post she wrote about macarons. Even the comments were extremely helpful.
I try not to let mine rest too long.... 15 minutes maximum usually. It will be interesting to try making them again in the summer. Our weather, even though we're near a large lake, can be very dry. After all, we're part of a desert area known as the Thompson Okanagan Plateau..... wine country.
No doubt the view is lovey for sure...but agriculture is loud and dirty! The spring work has just started in the Napa Valley. Dormant pruning; vineyard floor tilling; irrigation. A lot of farming happens at night. My bedroom faces the back vineyard..charming until the tractors roll out at 10 pm to rumble up and down the rows with flood lights glaring. The first night after I moved in, I thought a bunch of teenage boys were running their 4x4's through the vineyard. Turned out to be the farm workers plowing. I had no idea how much farming happens throughout the night! There's so much dust, from spring until the harvest I have to hose down both the front and back decks once a week.Oh wine country sounds amazing! Sadly we can predict the weather here in TN it snows one day tornado warnings the next
That was the kind of thing I was wanting to learn about. I think another round of experimentation may be in order soon (once I'm over this stupid cold that has pretty much knocked me flat; it may be common but don't people realize it is THE most contagious illness around?? Stay home if you're sick.... sorry, one of my pet peeves.).Some aspects of hands on learning are invaluable. In that macaron class the chef emphasized the importance of properly whipping the meringue. As the egg whites were beating, she stopped the mixer at intervals to explain all the differences in the stages between soft peaks to over-whipped. In one mixer, she purposely over-whipped the eggs whites. In all the years I have been baking I did not realize I was over-whipping my egg whites--every time!
Hearing a detailed explanation and seeing the differences between soft peak stage, stiff peak stage, and over-beaten egg whites really defined the process for me.