Today is not a Monday. I'm not usually blogging on Wednesday.
But last night we did a thing that simply must be documented. A quick pic and done on social media will simply not do.
Summer Bucket List 2020 has been different than past years. With the Pandemic, we knew we'd be staying close to home, so we challenged ourselves with homey things. Middle child, who loves to bake, added "Learn to make Macarons."
Confession: I don't actually love macarons. And having heard from many, many, many sources that macaron-making is finicky and extremely difficult, and would likely take many tries to get it right, I really had no desire to make macarons. None.
But confession aside, I also believe in letting my kids try things that interest them. So here we go.
First of all, if you want to learn HOW to make macarons, with all the tricks, I highly recommend The Preppy Kitchen. John Kanell is entertaining, humble, honest about how hard they are to make and his own failures, and super detailed. We read the entire post, and watched the video several times as we worked on our macarons.
For the record, our (spoiler alert) failure is in no way due to his instructions. 😂
We started out in good spirits. We knew prepping the almond flour would be work, but it seemed a fairly easy first step to get right. Basically you sift the almond flour and powdered sugar to get rid of the biggest bits. So we sifted . . .
And sifted . . .
So I think our sifter was a bit TOO fine, and if we ever try to make these again, a new sifter will be something we would DEFINITELY purchase. It is also possible that the Great Value brand of Almond Flour (labeled as "Superfine") was not a good purchase. (For the record, my husband did the shopping, not me. 😉)
By the time we almost had the flour done, both middle child and I were exhausted and ready to call it good for the day. But lollipops and gumdrops! We had come this far, our eggwhites were AGED (yes, you have to age your eggwhites!) and at room temperature, WE WERE GOING TO FINISH!
So I had my son start on the meringue while I finished the sifting. Seriously. That was not a good deal on my part. But parenting and sacrifices and grumble mumble.
I did not remember to take pictures of the early meringue making. Suffice it to say, it also took A LONG TIME. Just not as long as the stinking sifting!
Happily, the mixer does most of the heavy lifting at the beginning, so we only had to finishing whipping that meringue into a thick, marshmallowy mass.
John Kannel (of the Preppy Kitchen) emphasized that the biggest mistake most macaron-makers make is not whipping their meringue long enough. Middle Child wanted to be thorough, so about the time I thought it was done he said: "Thirty more minutes by hand!"
Hahaha, yeah, not happening. Instead, we tried the upside down bowl test that John suggested, and we were gold. Middle child really liked that test.
And no pictures of the actual piping because we were busy piping. Yeah, piping isn't really a skill we have either. So.
After having watched the video, we splurged and got a macaron mat. It was supposed to help them form the wall and kind of fix our bad piping. But . . .