Over spring break I visited my family in Michigan. High on my list of things to do, along with spending LOTS of quality time with my family, was getting a first-hand tutorial on making French macarons from my cousin Diane.
Diane has made them in every size, shape and color for almost every party she hostesses. I knew she would help me bypass all the first time baker mistakes and give me insider tips!
And oh, am I ever GRATEFUL she did.
There is a reason people “ooh and ahhh” when they find out someone has made these little bites of bliss, and I now know why…. because I’ve experienced it.
It’s not just their crispy-sweet shells that dissolve ever so slowly on your tongue after you bite into them. It’s not just the luscious creamy flavor of whatever they may be filled with.
It’s probably because to get those two outcomes, you have to make just about the fussiest recipe I’ve ever made.
From the weighing and triple sifting of almond flour and superfine sugar…
To the perfect whipping of egg whites that incidentally had to be laid out to come to room temperature….
To the piping onto a parchment paper-covered template to get the same size for each macaron…
To this crazy technique to get air bubbles out of the shells….
This scared me half to DEATH when Diane first started doing this! It was LOUD! But then, you know, you get bold with it and have fun!
We were pleased with the shells, although Diane being an expert, likes them just perfect and those little peaks at the top annoyed me!
As if that wasn’t enough, we made two fillings – salted caramel and vanilla Swiss meringue (which took almost as long as the shells!).
If you are considering making French Macarons, my advice to you would be that if you are an adventurous, patient foodie who loves a challenge, then by all means, bake away!
If you can find a sweet patient teacher who’s experienced at making them, you have struck gold of the sweetest kind.
I am so grateful to my cousin for investing a day in teaching me because I believe it made all the difference in my confidence level to do this alone on my own later.