Okay. I lied. These were made on Saturday, but I didn’t get a chance to post about them at the time. My eight-year-old has set himself a personal challenge for Cubs to make the perfect macaroon. He’s made batch after batch over the past few weeks using a recipe from Delicious Magazine, and this weekend was going to be the glorious culmination of his learning efforts.
Alas, disaster struck ~ alongside a big lesson for the budding master baker. For some reason that we still don’t quite understand but attribute quite possibly to the use of larger eggs, the first attempt at making macaroons this past Saturday afternoon failed quite miserably. The mixture turned out too runny, was optimistically put in the oven anyway… and burned and bubbled in the most extraordinary fashion. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted all right… but they looked decidedly pre-eaten.
After some debate as to whether the unsavoury looking blobs could be rescued in some capacity, my master baker elected to start over. The recipe was re-read, smaller eggs were being used, and great attention was paid to the consistency of the mixture. We also discussed baking temperatures and decided to turn the oven down by another 20 degrees to about 120 degrees. (I should mention that our oven is on the blink, and cooking temperature is hit and miss at the best of times, so its temperature gauge is but a rough guideline.)
The macaroons took a little longer to bake, but they turned out colourful, un-burned, and super light and fluffy.
The tasting panel at the evening barbeque agreed: these are the perfect macaroons. So I reckon that’s his challenge accomplished. And the lesson learned? If you’re going to start altering variables (like size of eggs), you have to pay attention to the rest of the recipe too. Admittedly that’s not something that would have occurred to me either, not being a master baker myself. And in his (and my) defence, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a recipe that is quite so sensitive to the effects of size of egg before… but hey, we live and learn.
So, how about it. Will you give the perfect macaroon a go?