After an incredibly successful second attempt at making macarons, I was all guns blazing with this third attempt. I was making a massive batch of macarons of various colours for Christmas presents. Well, I can officially say that I f*cking hate macarons now. I won't be attempting another macaron for a while.
I liken a macaron to the sea sirens of folklore. The macaron is undeniably alluring. Its crystal perfect satiny smooth sking instantly catches your eye. Its beautiful legs are just showing under that voluptuous top. The slight peak of its centre entices you even further. All of these qualitys are encompassed in a petite frame that is just so compelling.
Firstly, the macaron makes you wait by not giving in so easily. Initial failure only drives your obsession deeper. But before you become deterred, the macaron, like the siren, will give you a little in return, your lips get to taste a tiny bit of sweetness. However, just as you are getting more confident and think you have conquered the siren, she bites your head off and dumps the rest of your body into the sea. The macaron does exactly the same thing, crushing all your spirit and driving you so angry that won't be trying to conquer the macaron for a while.
I can't believe that I have wasted all night trying to make these highly temperamental macarons. It's so frustrating because I did the same things as last time, but yet not one macaron has turned out nice.
I believe where I went wrong is in the baking. Every step up to the piping of the mixture onto the trays looks ok. Because I have so many macarons to bake, I put the macarons on one tray only and two trays into the oven at a time. Well, the top tray looked alright but the bottom tray was awful. It turns out the first top tray was all sticky anyway. This was because I turned down the temperature to 120C right from the start because I didn't want them to burn like last time at 160C.
However, having said that, I did the next batches into the oven at 160C and it still didn't work. Again, it could be due to not having a stack of trays as I had to start piping the macarons onto the next tray.
It's now nearing 1am and I'm waiting for the last batch of macarons to finish baking. I'm so tired and have yet to shower yet. There's still heaps of things to wash up. All I see are a huge pile of cracked, sticky and lumpy macarons. So frustrating.
I will add photos tomorrow but I just wanted to get down my precise feeling at this moment. Arrrrrggghhhhhhhhhh.
EDIT: Here are the photos.
The batter looked great, especially with all the different colours.
The first blue tray on the second bottom rack without using the fan in the oven turned out all cracked and sickly.
I ended up with two boxes full of macarons, with 90% of them with sticky bases, funny shapes, rough shells etc. There were a few that were ok, but without the pretty legs.
The assembled macarons in the various colours I did.
The macarons tied up nicely in some celophane, ready to be given to people for Christmas presents.