Thursday, April 15, 2010

Macaron Test Batch #Eleventybillion

No recipes to post today. Sometimes I spend my time in the kitchen experimenting. Like today, with french meringue macaron ratios.


Though 'Eleventybillion' is a bit of an exaggeration, sometimes it doesn't feel that way.

For the last two months I've been baking the occasional batch of french meringue macs and experimenting with the variables. I got caught up with another couple batches today and never got around to the dessert I was going to make for the blog today.


I blame the macarons. I ate six and now I don't feel so well. (How do people eat dozens of these in a sitting anyway?!)

Anyway, today one of the things I was experimenting with was grinding my own almond meal. The result: slivered blanched almonds ground with powdered sugar is the easiest way to go.

Weigh out the portion of almond meal and powdered sugar called for in the recipe and grind them together in your food processor for 2-3 minutes. Sift with a medium mesh sieve and repeat until everything slips through.

Perfect. Now I can make macarons...

Bittersweet chocolate, raspberry, rose water, if you're curious.

They were good... a little too good. Now I need a nap.


  1. Ms. Humble! I can't wait until you post the recipe - it looks like the PERFECT combo!!!

  2. Post the recipe for the blanched almond macarons!!! they look sooooo good!!!! :) I want to bake them!!!

  3. Those look ridiculously amazing. I am nothing even close to the baker you are, but all these macaron posts are making me want to try them! Maybe someday...

  4. These look great! Just wondering, what kind of cookie silpat do you use? I bought a cheap version from a grocery store and it expands in the oven! I'm trying to stop wasting so much aluminum foil.

  5. drifter,

    I use Miu France silicone baking liners. They're just as good as silpat liners but cost a bit less.

    Everyone else,

    A French meringue recipe is coming soon. May have time to wrap up all my testing this weekend as it looks like Mother Humble isn't visiting (blasted volcano!) and I'll have time to bake.

  6. I'm not a fan of macarons, but yours look absolutely stunning, amazing, and delicious!!! What a lovely batter.

  7. I want a prom dress that looks like that batter.

    I'm on a physician-ordered low-carb diet. I enjoy sweets vicariously through your blog. Thanks.

  8. we want to be able to nap too!

    cannot wait to see this recipe...i have been "collecting" mac recipes & mac "techniques"
    & ALL your exquisite macarons have inspired me to give them a try (only hope i get feet!!)...

    sorry that mrs h will not be visiting...

  9. I'm so scared to try macarons. I have that I heart macaron book but it looks so freaking complicated. I desperately want to try pistachio but when I start to make them, it is like I'm on a line for a six flags coaster that is bound to break down and kill everyone. I admire your bravery.

  10. I have the I (heart) macaron book too. It is pretty to look at but not so great to cook with.

    Several of the recipes are incorrect. The ratios for macarons are off, the batter is just too thin and the instructions are well, odd.

    Not certain why it has gotten such great reviews on (it is the #1 book for macarons) but I suspect few people have actually attempted the recipes inside.

  11. Ms. Humble,

    I just discovered your site, you do amazing work! I was searching for more macaron tips after 2 failed attempts in a week (my very first try at macarons). I was using the myfoodgeek site recipe, which happens to be the same as yours. I had read the Syrup and Tang tips. I was getting unsightly results (mounded, cracked, hollow or sticky bottomed), which my family happily ate anyway (bless 'em). My 7 year old son (always good for a joke) peeked through the oven window and said they looked like exploding volcanoes.
    Then I found your tips for the double pan and how to recognize good batter. So I skipped sleep and made another batch. Much better, but still cracked. So I let the piped batter sit on the counter until it looked dry (no longer shiny), about 30 min or so, and then put them in the oven, took a seat and watched the magic happen-- macarons with smooth tops and feet! So thank you, thank you, thank you for the help and inspiration.
    But how do you get the 'feet' so uniform (all the way around) and higher (mine tend to be thin and incomplete around the cookie)?
    What are your tips for making them all the same size?
    Is it 'cheating' to let them sit so long that they look dry before baking? I wonder if this step is compensating for/ has the same effect as the 'aging' process for the whites.
    By the way, I have rarely viewed any blogs and have never followed one, but I had to sign up to follow yours! Thanks again for the excellent work and inspiration to others!

  12. Anna,

    Letting them rest isn't cheating, in fact it is recommended. Particularly in ovens that have strong heat from the bottom. The drying helps the cookie's shell cope with the expansion of the interior as it bakes.

    Getting tall feet is a combination of how you mix the batter and temperature. Though, you can get too tall of a foot. I've had some cookies with massive high feet and then they lack anything inside... So there is a happy medium one needs to aim for.

    As for developing an even foot all the way around, that requires a bit of trial and error with your own oven. There are so many factors that can produce an uneven foot that it would be difficult to go into here and now.

    Tips for making them the same size? Practice. I know it sounds lame but it is true.

    Glad I could help!

  13. Hey, I don't know if this is helpful Anna, but I practiced getting mine the same size by drawing circles onto parchment paper and piping inside the lines.

  14. Bittersweet chocolate, raspberry and rosewater, Ms Humble? Om Nom Nom indeed!

  15. Ohh, I'm sorry your mother won't be visiting! I dread the day seeing mum on a daily basis becomes a treat. =(

    Will you be posting this recipe? It looks ridiculously delicious.

  16. This looks incredible and the magenta pink color is beautiful. Thanks also for the tip on which silicone baking mat to get, I have been yearning for one for awhile... :)

  17. What a perfectly wonderful Blog to have stumbled upon - I shall be following :)

  18. How lovely! I could eat those all day...although from the sounds of it that may not be a very good idea. Your recipes are always wonderful!

  19. Would you think me a terrible Philistine if I said, "ENOUGH WITH THE MACARONS ALREADY!" (or start a sub-blog)

  20. Don't worry, once the French Meringue 101 is complete I'll take a vacation.

    Believe me, I've eaten enough of the things in the last two weeks testing recipes to satisfy even the most ardent macaron fanatic.

    Of course, you'll have to 'endure' the torture of the French Macaron 101. It will be long, but I think I can get it out of the way in one post.

  21. Whenever I visit your site, I have macaron envy. They're gorgeous, bright, colourful.... *sigh*. I look at my macarons and they look like rejected orphan children. They taste treat, but they lack that visual presence that yours have. And I'm sure yours taste leaps and bounds with amazingness.

    I just got the I <3 Macaron book and I'd have to agree: pretty to look at, not great in terms of any kind of instruction.

    Thanks for always sharing beautiful posts.

  22. My twins were reading your blog with me. One said, "I love the krispy outside of the macaron." The other twin said, "I love the creamy insides." This sums up my identical twins completely. They are very different but when together make a completely wonderful combination!

  23. Uh, now I know what it was that I was missing whilst traipsing around Luang Prabang, my weekly bit of gorgeous macaron pics!

    I did a Lao cooking course a few days ago and just put up a blog about it with lots of pics (not quite at your standard) if you want to see :)

    You should totally try the lemongrass one, I can send you the recipe if you like xx


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