For 2014, I have fallen prey to the beginning of the year goal setting affliction. The goals are to make 52 batches of macarons this year and to document them. Why 52? Who knows, it sounded like a reasonable number to average one batch a week. I often make more than one batch at a time, but there are some weeks I don’t make any.
The first macarons of the year – Chocolate Salted Caramel – were presented at the Minnesota Public Radio | American Public Media Employee Cabaret Bakery Showcase. Every year employees of MPR and APM, take the stage at the Fitzgerald theatre and perform for the co-workers, family, and friends. It is great fun. It helps there are so many talented people working there. This year included a bakery showcase which I eagerly volunteered to make some macarons.
The details: shells were made using the Mad About Macarons basic recipe, plus what I had left for cocoa divided into thirds (probably about 10 grams each). The filling is the Salted Caramel using Manu’s Menu’s recipe. One batch of the filling was plenty to fill all three batches of the shells.
Mentions were made some of these were taken home for partners who were not able to attend the event. This sounds like a stamp of approval to me.
Prep for marathon macaron making includes separating a couple dozen egg whites
Separating egg whites is the first step in making macarons. It is a messy and delicate process. I have had some success by taking a shortcut with store bought egg whites. Yet I continue to come back to separating my own.
I enjoy the tactile experience of cracking the eggshell, letting the egg white pour in between my fingers while I gently roll the egg yolk across my fingers. It is the opportunity to notice how each egg is a little different. Some eggs have really shells so thin I have to be careful to not squeeze the egg too hard while picking it up. Others have pretty tough shells. Then there are all the different variations of egg yolks from pale yellow to a rich sunny orange.
Egg whites sitting near the window aging
In the end, I have a jar of pale gooey egg whites. Can you believe this goopy mess can be transformed into delicate beautiful sweet shells? I have done this a few dozen times, and I am still in awe of the magic.
And so begins my documentation of this love. I don’t pretend this journal will be nearly as transforming or magical, but I will do my best.
Now go let the egg whites age. (Yes, I do age my egg whites unless I am being impatient.)