I’ve been making macarons professionally for 5 years now, and I feel accomplished to have made it through such a sustained period of macaron production with my mental health (mostly) intact. That’s not to say that it hasn’t been shredded to bits during times of extreme frustration, because there have been tears shed and many shells thrown away.
I began the process of tweaking the macaron recipe/procedure at my current workplace around 3 years ago, and needless to say it has been a journey full of challenges. I spent a lot of time scouring macaron troubleshooting articles, trying to find ways to fix the cracks, unevenness, hollows, browning, explosions, and wrinkles. Yes, I have had ALL of these things happen to my macarons. It’s a wonder that they haven’t just spontaneously combusted at some point, given how prone they are to completely going to crap.
I want to commend you, my reader, for showing up at this post despite the fact I didn’t try to lure you in with the promise of things being done the easy way. I do have some bad news for you though: there is no easy way to make macarons, and anyone that tells you otherwise is full of it. I’ve made enough batches to know that despite having made the macarons in what seems to be the same way over and over, inevitably there will be one tiny thing you unknowingly change. As frustrating as it might be, this minute change can cause a horrific disaster to sweep over your poor macarons.
There are so many things that have to go right, and if just one is off, then you have already invited misfortune to visit your macarons. You must whip the eggs whites perfectly, stir the macaron batter just so, pipe them evenly, and bake them at the ideal temperature. I won’t even begin to get into the details, as that would create an out of control post that could drag on for numerous lengthy paragraphs. If you are set on attempting these devious confections, I would recommend thoroughly doing your research beforehand to garner as much advice as you can.
I will tell you, that should you experience the elusive success of a flawless batch, the feeling of achievement is a glorious reward for all of your hard work. Macarons are a beautiful dessert when they are done right, and they are sure to garner praise for your skills and baking bravery. But before you start on your great macaron odyssey, let me tell you this: you may have visions of grandeur involving smooth-topped, round macarons, but please, keep in mind that not every batch will be great. In fact, they will probably be quite scary. But since you know that failure is inevitable, you can take it in stride and keep trying for that perfect batch.
OMG! I read about macaroons in a magazine a very long time ago- before you could buy them in kc… finally had some in NYC and started trying to make them. Huge failure, though an occasional batch looked and tasted ok but only ok?
I feel like it has only been in the last several years that these have actually been starting to take off here in the states! I meet so many people who have never even tasted them! That’s really neat that you attempted your own!
[…] An Introvert Talks Making Macarons the Hard Way […]
they look amazingly good!
these are so delicious to eat and sooooooooo hard to make. Yours look delicious and very elegant.
They are fun to eat! Thank you for the compliment; it means a lot to hear it! <3
I’ve been eating macarons professionally for more than five years, so I really enjoyed your post. My daughters and I have attempted to make them on several occasions, and we can never get them to look as good as they taste! Luckily, we have a wonderful bakery in our town where we can buy the really pretty ones like yours. 🙂
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It is fun to be able to at least choose your own flavors at home, even if they don’t achieve the look that you want. It helps to have a trusty bakery to help you out in that department 😀
They do look nice Melanie. As I’m gluten intolerant they are one of the only desserts I can still have.
Thank you! And that is true! It is definitely a big plus that they are gluten free!