I feel like a million bucks! Not only did I get $100 in donations before the weekend, but also I have achieved the french macaron! I'm not sure if it if because I switched from the italian method to the french, or if it is because practice makes perfect, but here is my success!
a quickr pickr post
Errors I made:
Day 1: I used the mixer to mix in the almond flour...a no no, it made a runny mess
Day 2: I still over mixed because I was trying to get a ribbon of batter...i also think I had too much liquid
Day 3: I needed to insulate the bottoms of the conventional ones, or leave the convection ones in the oven longer, with the heat off or turned down.
Day one and two were speckled because I used trader joes almond meal, they taste good, but you will see the almond skin. I used real eggs on both days as well as a simple sugar. Day three I omitted the simple sugar and just dumped it in directly and also measured the egg whites from a carton, rather than using 3 whites.
Here's my version:
Food process blanched almonds to make almond flour sift and let dry or I used the dehydrate feature of my toaster oven.
Measure out 1 cup almond flour, and one cup powered sugar, process together. Sift again.
In a stand mixer, whip 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons "All Whites" (egg whites in a carton) with a pinch of cream of tartar.
Don't worry that it says it won't make a meringue, it worked fine, it just took longer than eggs.
After a milky foam starts to form, add 1/2 cup granulated sugar gradually.
When the meringue starts to get shiny and form peaks, add gel color. To get this tiffany blue I put in two toothpick pokes of gel of blue and one of green. Use a clean toothpick each time. Whip to mix color.
Next I dumped in the almond sugar mixture, and with a flexible spatula I scraped and mixed the flour in, this took about 35 strokes. I hear any more than 50 is too many.
I used a tip coupler on a zip lock freezer bag with no tip. I twisted the bag so the tip would not ooze while filling.
I also set the bag in a clean bowl and gently scraped in my mixture.
I piped one to one and a half inch circles on parchment lined cookie trays.
I let it rest for about 45-60 min and baked for 11 min in a 300 degree oven.
Notes: I only got feet by using the convection oven, but those needed extra cooking because they were slightly under done. If I had to redo it in the regular oven, I'd add a second tray to insulate my bottoms which browned slightly.
Let cool 30 min and peel parchment from the cookie, don't pull at the cookie, pull at the parchment.
I found this blog to have the best section on troubleshooting macarons.
I also like this macaron template because it is so pretty