Thursday, January 5, 2017

Baking French Macarons: A Beginner's Guide ~ Introduction

By Lisa Maliga,
Copyright 2016, 2017

CHAPTER 1
Introduction  


A funny thing happened when I baked my first batch of French macarons. They didn’t turn out the way I hoped they would. So I decided to make another batch. And another. And another. I wanted macarons with those ruffled edges known as feet. I wanted them to be brightly colored and light as air, and without hollows. In other words, I wanted a perfect batch of macarons. And I kept trying until I got it right.

Making a pound cake from scratch is the most advanced baking I’ve ever done. This dessert contains the most basic ingredients found in your pantry and fridge: eggs, butter, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking powder. As long as you have a hand or stand mixer and measure your ingredients correctly, it’s not difficult to bake.
 
Macarons also require few ingredients: two types of sugar, egg whites, almond flour, and color. That’s it as far as the cookies, a/k/a shells go. The fillings can be diverse: jam or jelly, caramel, Nutella, butterscotch, lemon curd, etc. You can make your own whether it’s buttercream, chocolate ganache, or a fruity homemade jam.
 
I’d never used a piping/pastry bag before. In fact, I thought they were only used for decorating cakes and cupcakes. It took me two dozen tries to get the perfect macaron with a smooth yet slightly rounded top, little frilly feet that are the hallmark of this delicacy, and without hollow insides. The filling was scrumptious too – lemon butter curd. What’s that? You’ll find out as I’ve included the recipe.
 
After discovering local bakeries and stores that sold macarons, I didn’t have to settle for a limited selection of colors/flavors. I didn’t even have to drive to the nearest store that sold them in their freezer section. Nope, I could have fresh macarons whenever I wanted. Well, whenever I had a few hours to spare… 

I took copious notes each time I baked a batch. I also took photos, though not always of every step. Still, for the past eleven months, I’ve learned so much and now want to share some tips and recipes with anyone who’s motivated to bake these delicacies.

Baking French Macarons: A Beginner's Guide is FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

Here's the book trailer...


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