Thursday, 16 July 2015

Madhouse recipe : Monster poo ! (aka macarons fail !)

Macarons, French made mini cakes
By Nicolas Halftermeyer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Some you win, some you lose ! After making some utterly fabulous Pasteis de Nata (Flaky Portuguese Custard Tartlets) yesterday, I found myself with 4 egg whites sitting in a bowl. I wasn't going to throw them away so I went looking for something to make with them. I settled on macarons. You know, delicate French macarons in delicate pastel shades, as in the picture above.

Hmm well here's how mine came out ! Macarons are my nemesis. It seems that all bakers have a recipe that they can just never get right and mine appears to be macarons. My last attempt wasn't much better. Oh well, they were proptly renamed Monster Poo and they still got eaten ! I'll give you the recipe (based on this one from the BBC Food website)  because you may get on better than I did - or you may even be able to tell me where I'm going wrong !

Monster Poo (aka Failed Macarons)

ingredients :

4 egg whites (135g)
190g icing sugar
190g ground almonds
3tbsp water
165g sugar
food colouring (optional)

First, preheat the oven to 170°. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. I only had foil - maybe this was part of the problem?

Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 60g of the egg whites into a large bowl and mix together into a firm paste.

Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat gently to melt the sugar then bring to the boil.

Keep boiling until it turns into a thick syrup.

Whisk the remaining egg whites until they form stiff peaks. I was actually impressed with how well mine turned out and thought I had it cracked this time - hmm !

Pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites and whisk until it becomes stiff and shiny.

If you want to add food colouring, now's the time. I kept adding more and more green food colouring but couldn't get beyond the merest hint of green !

Tip the meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir to combine.

This is where mine went wrong because it ended up far too runny. Next time I would try gently folding the two mixtures together, rather than using the whisk, even if I did use it on the lowest setting.

Use a piping bag to create delicate piles or just dollop on spoonfuls. You're supposed to leave them to rest for half an hour before putting them in the oven - mine had turned into puddles when I came back. Oops !

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Where did the colour go ?!

Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper. Err maybe not then !

They totally stuck to the foil and broke into bits when I tried to peel them off. I did manage to rescue most of them but they were cookies more than macarons ! I scooped the really stuck bits into little piles that were baptised monster poo by the kids ! They may look very ropey but they tasted ok so we still ate them.

So have you got any top tips? Where am I going wrong ?!

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  1. These are one thing I have never dared to try. One day I may have a go.

    1. LOL Well they can't be any worse than mine !!

  2. Replies
    1. Yay, we could start a new club ! lol

  3. Mine wouldn't be much better. That's why I never dare to make them. I'm sure my guys would be happy to eat "monster poo"

    1. LOL It's been making me laugh, revisiting this one - every time we see macarons in the shops, Sophie reminds me of how mine came out !!