Mad About Macarons!

That’s right folks! I made macarons. Little ol’ me! I found a recipe for Raspberry Chocolate Macarons on Epicurious yesterday.  The recipe actually called them French macaroons, but I have learned (only within the last 24 hours) that the proper term for the confection is ‘macaron’.  Apparently there is quite a bit of a distinction given one little letter ‘o’. You can look it up online sometime if you ever wish to know the difference. I won’t get into that here.

Semantics aside, I felt up to the challenge of making these delicate little sweets. I was able to get most of the ingredients I needed from the nearby supermarket, but the one thing they did not have was raspberry extract. I had a hunch that this would be the case, so when I first looked at the recipe, I took it upon myself to make my own raspberry extract.  As luck would have it, I had about half a cup of raspberries leftover in the fridge that I needed to use immediately.  I washed them and put them in an airtight container with almost 2/3 of a cup of white Cruzan rum.  I set the container aside on the counter for a few hours and let the raspberries steep into the rum. Since it was only prepared that day, the raspberry flavor was not as potent as its store bought counterpart, but I just used a little more (ok, a LOT more) than the recipe called for so that the chocolate ganache would have the requisite raspberry flavor. I have since placed the container of rum ‘n’ raspberries in the fridge to further increase in potency. It should be quite strong in a few weeks!

I followed the rest of the recipe exactly as instructed and I was able to, successfully, create 10 completed macarons. I had baked several more wafers that would have made over a dozen, but I under-baked them and they would not release from the parchment paper without completely ripping apart. The wafers came out with the correct consistency; crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, but they just didn’t look as puffy as the ones you would see in a bakery. I have a feeling that I did not make my egg whites as stiff as they could have been. They did feel a little too soft. Oh well, live and learn!

I’m sure you are all ever so curious as to how they looked.  Well, fear not dear readers!  Here is a close up shot of my efforts!

The saddest bit about this post, is that I have not yet had a chance to taste them. I took a few to a friend’s house where a group of us met for our regular Sunday Dinner but I gave them all away. They did get good reviews from all who tried them so it is safe to say that they were tasty. I have two leftover in my kitchen, but I was not in the mood to try them yet. I will have them after dinner today. I don’t think I could forgive myself for working so hard on them and never knowing what they tasted like.

Nonetheless, now that I know how the basics go, I can try my own variations on these! I have a feeling I will be making these again.

See you next dish!

The Head Spoon

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