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“Failure” never tasted so wonderful: pistachio & cacao nib macaron singles, perfect for impatient bakers

April 1, 2011

Bravetart’s macaron myth busting post got me so excited about making macarons again. I envisioned perfect pistachio macarons with even less effort – hurrah (if you’ve successfully made French macarons before, you’ll know that they’re not actually that difficult)! Adding a few cacao nibs sealed the deal.

Except they didn’t quite turn out how I was hoping. If you know macarons, you know they’re meant to have feet and be prettily smooth on top, not cracked. Mine did not have either of those coveted features. I trusted Bravetart’s advice, that resting them didn’t make too much of a difference in the foot aspect (turns out this was correct), so I popped them straight in the oven after piping and nib-ing. I felt a tad let down when they came out, but fortunately, I’ve been getting such an overabundance of sleep recently I seem incapable of letting little things get me down, and realised that these were actually freakin delicious on their own, despite the lack of feet, hell, despite a lack of any filling. They were still crunchy/crisp on the outside, with that undescribably amazing pistachio flavour, and best of all, chewy yet light in the middle when warm. Basically, pistachios make the world a better place.

So what caused these beautiful imperfections (ie. the cracks and the lack of feet)?  Irina’s macaron making guide says it’s because I didn’t let them sit long enough, however subsequent batches which I let dry (enough so that I could touch them) seemed to follow the same pattern, so it must be another reason. I googled around, and it seems that this is the reason most bloggers give, even though it made no difference for these. Who knows? I’ll update this when I try again and somehow get it right, as lots of people seem to have problems with their macarons cracking. EDIT: Found another post on Bravetart noting that undermixing causes the cracking, which probably has the most truth to it as mine kept wee tails for ages after being piped (sprinkling cacao nibs over helped get rid of them, but they were still undermixed). I like the idea of making lots of batches and eating thems figuring out their nuances.

The thing is, after one bite I was beyond caring about feet or cracking. I suppose if you also don’t care what yours look like, then go ahead with my altered version of Bravetart’s recipe and if they turn out to have perfect feet, yay, and if not, what a shame, you’ll have to eat them all by yourself so no one can see them… Secretly if I ever make them just for myself again, I’ll just chuck em straight into the oven, because screw waiting around for an hour.

The adjustments I made to Bravetart’s recipe:

  • I used 200g powdered sugar, 70g granulated sugar, as I don’t like mine too sweet. Don’t think this is why they cracked since I’ve made similar adjustments before to Tartelette’s recipe.
  • I used 90g pistachios and the rest was ground almonds
  • I used 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • After piping one tray, I sprinkled cacoa nibs on the macarons

Let me know if you decide to rebel and make “alternative” rustic macarons :P I mean, macarons with feet are so mainstream*

*I kid.

PS. In case any of you get funny ideas, this post has nothing to do with April Fools Day. Just thought I’d clear that up.

Currently Clickalicious

Stupendous stumbles on the interwebs:

Rustic potato and caramelized onion tart @ Foodess

Parmesan & thyme crackers @ Pennies on a platter

I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat-pie @ Where’s the beef?

Hurry up alfredo @ Vegan yum yum

Mac & cheeze (take 2) @ Vegan yum yum

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2011 6:14 pm

    Not about this post but to thank you for your flourless chocolate cake recipe. I made two last night (I was catering for 18) and there were a huge success. Thanks

    • April 5, 2011 6:14 pm

      R: Glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out :D

      M: Quite true! They go quite a bit crunchier when cool, and still have quite a chewy centre when warm. Wonderful.

  2. April 5, 2011 3:51 pm

    These sound unbelievably good. I love nibs. Sometime the desserts that don’t look like they are supposed to taste the best :-)

  3. April 7, 2011 1:32 am

    I think you’re just three or four extra folds away from macaron perfection! They’re tasty either way, but if they held any peak, they were definitely undermined. But now you know, which means you’re learning about macs, not running in circles. :) apparently rustic looking macs like this are popular in rural France, no joke!

  4. April 7, 2011 1:33 am

    Auto-spell check doesn’t believe undermixed is a word. Lol, undermined=undermixed.

  5. April 7, 2011 10:28 am

    S: Yes, very likely undermixed – and SO glad I know that for next time, thanks to you :) They went down a treat with everyone who didn’t know, and I liked them too, so it was a dang tasty learning curve!

  6. April 7, 2011 8:30 pm

    They are very temperamental things, I wouldn’t have dared to alter the recipe. I use Tartelettes recipe and it worked so will always stick to that but as you say they still taste great even if they fail.

  7. April 8, 2011 9:37 am

    A: Yeah I normally use Tartelette’s recipe but I still find it’s a bit too sweet for me, so dial back the sugar a bit.

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