I had the good fortune of having a trusty comrade fighting by my side in my macaron battle today. J brought along a macaron recipe from Nick Malgieri and another from Kate Zuckerman's The Sweet Life. She too had been testing out recipes in preparatory anticipation of our ensuing battle. At home, she noticed some inconsistencies from batch to batch: first batch, no feet; second batch nice feet! Knowing J, and her exacting ways, I trust that she followed the recipe exactly. I mean, she didn't even want to play around with the batter and add any flavourings! The Zuckerman recipe was promising and so we tried it in my kitchen today; trying to tweak it to work for us. The only problem was that it called for one to leave the piped macarons out from 1 to 2 hours to dry and allow a "skin" to form! She had abandoned the Malgieri recipe because they all turned out too cookie-like.
Here's how the Zuckerman recipe went:
J brought Kate Zuckerman's macaron recipe into the ring for battle...
zuckerman's sugar/ground almond mixture, after sifting
zuckerman indicates to whip eggwhites to the soft peak stage
here's J gently folding the whites into the ground almond mixture
our little zuckerman macaron soldiers lined up waiting for oven time
While we were waiting for the skin to form, I suggested we make another batch with an interesting Pistachio Macaron recipe I had noticed on Tartelette's blog. I turned on my computer, grabbed 3 eggs straight from the fridge and cheated time by warming them up in a bowl of hot water to bring them to room temperature.
Upon looking at the baking Zuckerman macarons (which by the way had already been sitting for 2 hours on the counter waiting for skins to form), J noticed they weren't producing feet and some of the cookies were cracking. They were looking like plain ol' ordinary cookies. After dickering with the temperature--an initial blast of heat and then lowering it; reducing the temperature to the same as the pistachio recipe's, etc., we still couldn't get them to behave properly. So disappointing! She whipped the trays out of the oven, exclaiming they were unworthy of further time in the oven and the ganache filling! She's pretty strict, eh? I'm glad she's on my side in this battle.
zuckerman macarons with no feet, no smooth tops and cracked surfaces. yummy though
Here's how Tartelette's Pistachio Macaron recipe fared:
After grinding whole almonds and pistachios with confectioner's sugar, I folded in the stiffly beaten egg whites. The mixture was way stiffer at this point than Zuckerman's recipe.
the pistachio macaron batter, ready for piping