I’m obsessed with the idea of making perfect macarons, but at this point, they’re still always a gamble for me. For example, I spent much of today making macarons for a party.
Macarons really should not take that long to make , but I’m still getting the hang of it. It was a new recipe for me, using an Italian meringue instead of French. The Italian meringue requires boiling sugar and water together and then adding that to the egg whites, and I had to throw away my first attempt entirely when the sugar turned into caramel. I think I will stick to French meringue in the future.
Even after a redo, I struggled with the meringue, and the resulting macarons were hit or miss. The first batch in the oven looked great, but they were hollow and started cracking when I tried to remove them from the baking sheet. The second batch cracked on top instead of developing feet, and let’s not even talk about the third batch.
Now, the first batch and even most of the second were still perfectly usable, and I got 24 relatively presentable macarons out of them (well… plus a couple that I couldn’t resist eating). However, by the time I was through, I had about a dozen macaron shells that were completely falling apart.
What to do with these rejects? Save them for my boyfriend and neighbors to snack on? Throw them away? I glanced at the remaining cream cheese filling still in the piping bag and quickly made up my mind. It was time to get messy.
I piped cream cheese frosting all over the pile of macaron scraps and mashed it all together, rolling the mixture into truffle-size balls, which I placed in the freezer. After a short wait, I melted some chocolate, dunked the macaron balls, and placed them in the fridge on wax paper to harden. When I pulled one out to sample, I knew I was onto something good. They’re reminiscent of a high-quality candy bar in taste and texture, but they look more like a truffle and would not be at all out of place in a box of assorted chocolates.
- Reject macaron shells
- Macaron filling (buttercream, cream cheese, nutella, ganache, jam, etc.)
- Chocolate or candy coating
- Loosen shells from baking sheet. Place in a bowl (not necessary, but allows you to mix with a spoon instead of your fingers!)
- Dollop as much filling on top as you want.
- Mix together.
- Roll mixture into small, truffle-sized balls.
- Place balls in freezer to harden. Wait about 15 minutes.
- Melt chocolate or candy coating in a small bowl. You can temper the chocolate if you want, but this is really just a way to deal with a failed attempt at macarons, so I didn’t feel the need to get too fancy.
- Dip the macaron balls in the chocolate or candy coating and place on wax paper. Let harden either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator if not eating immediately.