Friday, April 22, 2011

Mac Madness

Chocolate Macarons with nutella fillings (the easiest way out for fillings)
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz (website)

Macarons fever has hit me for the past month. Eager to try making them and still eager albeit being discouraged at most times. Yes, the challenge is there! Heard so much of how vulnerable these seem-so-easy-to-do-with-minimum-ingredients to make them, I jumped on the bandwagon to Mac Madness. Boy, am I mad at times when I think I made it.

Attended 2 expensive mac classes, one hands-on and the other demo, and I still do not get it. The cliche "Men Don't Get It" does not apply here as I dare say the two genders are always trying to perfect these elusive fabulous macarons. Don't get me wrong. For those professionals and those who have already achieved and been baking them like cupcakes, I take my hat off to you. You are to be worshipped. But generally from the blogs I read by home bakers like me, well, we need to 'arrive' not sooner but perhaps very much later. So apart from classes (and thinking of signing up for a couple more) I am desperately searching the net for recipes.

Many nights, usually after a long day's work, I will attempt to make them. Weekends, especially Saturdays are best days for me to work on them. Each time just when I think I succeeded, I get disappointed. My family has been encouraging but I always insist they are being polite after seeing my efforts and anxiety I display while whipping up the egg whites or using a candy thermometer to get that right temperature for the boiling sugar.

I have been delaying posting photos of my failed macarons or not-so-good looking ones until today. Why? I guess if I want to read my blog, say, ten years down the road, I have this as an archive. A decade later when reading them I will either be proud that I had perservered or I will simply say, "Fools rush in...".


  1. Ken, welcome to macaron madness! Once you're hooked there's no stopping
    Your macarons look great. I take it you're using the Italian meringue method with a candy thermometre? Have you tried French (no need for checking temp), ageing your egg whites for a few days, whipping them up to stiff but glossy peaks, let them dry out until a coating forms on them before going in the oven? Don't give up!

  2. Thanks Jill for telling me the difference between Italian and French meringue. I am trying to perfect the former as I understand the latter is quite unstable? You are really encouraging and yes, I will not give up. In fact, the chocs ones you see are to me a disaster. Wait for my next post when I will show you what I think are the perfect ones - but I guess it was by fluke lol!

  3. Hey ken,

    I think its a pretty decent attempt and i'm sure you will get the hang of it after more practice.

    Even though I myself suck at making macs now, I know I will be able to succeed in making them, be it years later. When there's a will, there's a way. Good luck to your upcoming mac adventures =]

  4. Thanks Bakertan. I shall work on making the macs to near perfect. Thanks for the encouragement. Adventure here I come:)

  5. Hi Ken.

    I too am an avid attempt-at-making-beautiful-and-delicious-macaroner, if there is such a word for the likes of us!

    I was inspired by a friend who is a lawyer by day, a mum of 6 with no maid but is a great baker and cook...check out her blog,

    I have made many unsuccessful macs...have had to send them to Mr & Mrs Dustbin oh, probably 3 out of 5 batches sometimes. It was my 10th attempt that produced happy feet and I was dancing then.

    Nowadays, whenever I have the time (I work freelance as a Trainer Consultant in KL), I will make it a point to batch up a mac or two. I am not shy to share my unsuccessful stories/pictures but not on my blog.

    Do check out my facebook though, for that is where I post pictures of all that I bake, until I decide if I should have a blog on my cakes, bakes and makes!

    Love your stories...

  6. Hi Ana, thanks for the post. One can get mad over macs and I mean either mad when they don't turn out right or when they do turn out right, there is this urge and excitement to make more.
    Like your humor and I will surely check out your blog/fb and your friend's blog too.
    Keep in touch.