Monday, May 2, 2011

Still mad at macarons

As the title says it, I am still mad at macarons, that is, them not turning out perfect or as I would like them to be. But I have succeeded in getting those 'feet' and the soft texture inside the shells. The classes I have attended have helped me but it definitely must be what I had picked up and the steps I had meticulously followed in making that great macarons from Jill Collonna's Mad About Macarons!

Yes, I happened to google for macarons and came across Jill's website. I posed a question to her and to my surprise, she replied through my blog (Mac Madness 22 April) and encouraged me to keep working on them. Over the weekend, I purchased the book from our bookstore Kinokuniya and had since tried out two of her recipes.

The ones I am featuring are the Macarons Au Chocolat Noir or Dark Chocolate Macarons.

It was easy - looks easy, seems easy but not-so-easy to make them! Especially getting that egg whites beaten to the right consistency and folding the meringue into the almond meal and icing sugar were so tricky that I repeated the two steps not less than 3 times. Yes, when I saw that the whites were not what they were supposed to be, I discarded them and whipped up a new batch. Yes, when I thought the final batter did not lend a certain consistency as Jill has mentioned, I disposed them and mixed up a new batch again. I know it is painful to see them going to waste but it is even more painful not getting them right!

Finally, churned out the batch you are looking at:

I will not be publishing her recipe as I respect copyright issues but I did tweak the recipe for the ganache fillings. I used Valhorna Dark Chocolate Equatoriale 55% and reduced the recommended amount from 200g to 130g. I reduced the unsalted butter by 10g to 40g. Perhaps I should have stuck to 200g and 50g respectively. In any case, I am quite pleased with the macarons I churned out this afternoon.

Thanks again, Jill, for the encouragement you gave and the wonderful book you wrote. 


  1. Ken,

    I loved seeing how you have gone from being Mad-angry about macarons to Mad-crazyily happy about them.

    There is nothing more satisfying than seeing you produce such gorgeous chocolate macarons like this. Fabulous!

    Now that you've cracked the recipe, I can tell this is going to be the first of many macarons!? Once you also have the confidence, there's no stopping macaronivores. :-)

    Thanks so much for your lovely comments and do keep in touch via the website:

  2. Thanks, Jill. You are my source of inspiration:)

  3. I think your macarons look wonderful! I loved the chocolate ones that I made from Jill's addicting! I was wondering what your e-mail was? I have a question for you about the blackberry curd!


  4. Thanks Erin for the compliment. Geez, hope I can answer your question:)

  5. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving me your comments! You have a great blog here! And your macarons look beautiful! :D Yums!

  6. I too love Jill's book and by following her directions was able to produce a decent macaron!! Jill's personal touch is such a treat, and her willingness to help gave me such inspiration!
    I've yet to try the chocolate version, they are supposed to be a touch more difficult, but they will be up next!
    Nice job! Keep us posted on your new experiences!!!

  7. Thanks faithy, the baker. Still need to perfect them.

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, Jill's directions are clear and she IS very inspiring. I don't think the chocolate version is that difficult. You have got to try making them.

  8. I have bought the book and tried once. But it was a disaster. Since then I have not tried again but the book is always by my side. How stiff should the egg white be?

  9. Hi salwapauzi, thanks for dropping by my blog. I do not profess to be an expert on macarons - yet - but from my numerous tries resulting in both disasters and successes, your beaten egg whites should be what is written in the book on p25. "Glossy firm peaks". I made sure that my beaten whites looked exactly like the one in the photo:)
    Don't be discouraged. I have been there. I suggest you try out the basic recipe till you perfect it. Really, keep going and keep asking questions. Besides me, I am sure those reading my blog and your questions will be able to chip in to give their expert advice too.