In life, there are successes. Oh such sweet successes. Then there are the utter and complete disasters. This is one of those times. My macarons this month are not pretty. They are sad, little hollow, feetless failures. On the heels of such incredibles macs last month, I was terribly disappointed to find that not one of my macarons could be called a success. I’ve told you before that macarons are notorious for being finicky little cookies that are difficult to master. Thus, the reason I joined MacTweets and I’m making them every month now. Practice makes perfect!
For Mac Attack #29, the challenge was all about creating a gorgeous rainbow of colors for everyone to feast their eyes on. We were to use a minimum of two different colors in our shells or a different color top and bottom. I put my thinking cap on and went with my latest flavor craze. Strawberries and lemons. I adore this pairing because I love the way the lemon brightens the flavor of the strawberries. So for my color choices I naturally chose red and yellow. These macs were to be bright red with a swirl of vibrant yellow.
Yikes! That swirl resulted in massive amounts of cracking. Clearly, in the future I need to learn just how to accomplish combining two colors in one shell since my first method was clearly disasterous. So after that I contemplated a Plan B. It would be stretching the challenge a bit. I’ve often seen these perfect macarons with just a sweeping of color on top. So that’s the route I went after failing my vibrant swirl.
The only redeeming quality about these macarons is their delicious filling. That, my dear was a phenomenal success! I made a fresh whipped cream and then stirred in a few tablespoons of lemon curd. Yum!! It was like eating a light, fluffy bite of lemon meringue pie. Then I dolloped a little strawberry preserves in the center as well. If I had achieved footed, chewy macarons these would have been the best macs to date for sure. But perhaps you’ll give it a go and have better macaron-making luck. Do let me know!
Afterward, I’ve thought about where I could have possibly went wrong. The only thing I’ve come up with is perhaps color was my undoing. I used a different food coloring then I have in the past. Also, in my attempt to achieve the perfect color, I used significantly more than normal. I came to find out that after baking, my color turned out even darker than the batter looked. This was opposite from my previous two attempts. With both of those batches, the color faded and was light than I wanted. Who knows, there are so many variables. But next month I’ll be back to face another challenge and continue down my path of trying to master the mac!
*Do you have a cooking project that always gives you a challenge?
Strawberry Lemon Macarons
For the shells, I used this recipe as always.
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons lemon curd
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
– In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
– In a small bowl, stir the lemon curd until smooth then gently fold it into the heavy cream.
– Place a small dollop of the lemon whipped cream on one side of a macaron shell. Place a small bit of strawberry preserves in the center of the dollop and sandwich with a second macaron shell.