Pink Macaroons

There are some very good reasons why places like Ladurée charge a small fortune for their beautiful, uniform, delicious macaroons.  One of those reasons is the fact that it’s exceedingly difficult to make a decent batch yourself at home.  I’ve made chocolate macaroons several times with varying degrees of success, but never have I been moved to throw a batch in the bin.  Pink ones, however…

My gorgeous cousin Lucy (aged 11) gave me a beautiful book by Peggy Porschen for Christmas, which is packed full of delightful recipes and decorative ideas to which I aspire.  Ms Porschen’s macaroons jump off the page as tiny squidgy circles of joy, so I chose her recipe for this project.  Contrary to the chocolate recipe I had used, this one called for an Italian meringue base, which requires a sugar thermometer.  I don’t have a sugar thermometer but I found myself uttering the question, “Meh.  What’s the worst that can happen?”  I really should know myself well enough by now to know that this is when I should down tools and either procure a sugar thermometer or choose a different recipe.  I didn’t.  Can you see where this is heading?  I’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour of things I did wrong, then we’ll get to the second attempt…

Pink Macaroons - meticulous circles drawn on baking paper

Pink Macaroons – meticulous circles drawn on baking paper

Pink Macaroons - boiling sugar for Italian meringue

Pink Macaroons – boiling sugar for Italian meringue

Absence of sugar thermometer necessitated some educated guessing.  No idea whether this was a problem or not.  If it was, I suspect it was quite far down the list…

Pink Macaroons - Italian meringue (FAR too pale pink)

Pink Macaroons – Italian meringue (FAR too pale pink)

Peggy Porschen’s recipe tells you to reserve 1tbsp of egg white and colour that before adding it to the Italian meringue, which is fine if you know what impact your colouring is going to make.  Sadly I wildly underestimated how much colour I’d need so the pink was far too pale, and then browned in the oven.  So I got a rather insipid peachy colour.  Hurrumph.

Pink Macaroons - a vain attempt to get a bit more colour into the macaroons

Pink Macaroons – a vain attempt to get a bit more colour into the macaroons

Pink Macaroons - piped and ready to go

Pink Macaroons – piped and ready to go

Pink Macaroons - fail

Pink Macaroons – fail

So, I was annoyed about the colour and that was entirely my fault, but I was more annoyed by the lack of characteristic foot on the bottom of the macaroons.  These were just fairly bland mini meringues.  Hurrumph (again).

On to my second attempt, for which I sought a different recipe that bore more resemblance to the chocolate recipe of Pierre Hermé with which I was already familiar.  This recipe was courtesy of the fabulous and reliable Pink Whisk.

Wounded from my previous failure, and therefore even more suggestible than usual, I was helpless against the claim on The Pink Whisk website that it is nigh-on impossible to make macaroons without a food processor.  As I’ve “needed” one a few times recently, it seemed a justifiable spoil (and it was the cheapest I could find).

Pink Macaroons - whizzing the ground almonds and icing sugar in my impulse purchase

Pink Macaroons – whizzing the ground almonds and icing sugar in my impulse purchase

Pink Macaroons - colouring the egg white

Pink Macaroons – colouring the egg white

Pink Macaroons - folding the sifted dry ingredients in

Pink Macaroons – folding the sifted dry ingredients in

Pink Macaroons - ready to pipe

Pink Macaroons – ready to pipe

I did follow the instructions to the letter, but I suspect I may have folded  a few too many times, so my lovely pink macaroons are a little flat and a little larger than I had intended.  Not bad, though, eh?

Pink Macaroons - piped (slightly slapdash)

Pink Macaroons – piped (slightly slapdash)

Pink Macaroons - feet!  They have feet!

Pink Macaroons – feet! They have feet!

Pink Macaroons - sandwiched

Pink Macaroons – sandwiched

Well.  They’re not perfect, but I am rather pleased with them nonetheless.

Update (1 April 2013):
And here they are in all their glory, as part of the Scarlett Willow photo-shoot…

Scarlett Willow Walnut Tray with light blue edge (coming soon)

Scarlett Willow Walnut Tray with light blue edge (coming soon)

Advertisements

One thought on “Pink Macaroons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s