Thursday, 9 December 2010

Vegan Holy Grail


Crispy and smooth shells, moist melt-in-the-mouth with a tiny little ruffled foot (circumference). Kind of.

I had been following a thread on the Post Punk Kitchen forum, started by Andrew, a baker on the vegan macaron quest. It seemed that he was days from revealing his recipe when they archived the live threads and it was lost.
And then he appeared again, with his recipe! Hurrah!

And so I got my VersaWhip out and got to work.
For my first ever attempt at Macarons (vegan or not) it wasn't too bad, sort of!

All seemed well until I peeked into the oven after 5 minutes to see the little macaron shells spilling their guts all over the place like tiny volcanoes.

This was for several reasons….

1. The oven was too hot
2. There was too much heat coming from the bottom of the oven
3. The shells had not been left to dry for long enough

I left my shells to dry for over two hours before putting them in the oven, but I think that because it was so cold in the kitchen they had not dried completely, leaving small soft weak spots on the shells where the insides promptly erupted from.
Normally the top of the macarons should be dry to the touch before going in the oven as this helps to prevent cracking and makes the macaron rise up, forming the signature little ruffled foot.

So for my next attempt I shall…

1. Decrease the oven temperature
2. Triple stack the trays, this should prevent too much direct heat getting to the bottom of the macarons, hopefully meaning that they will rise gently
3. Leave the shells to dry COMPLETELY before putting them in the oven, no matter how impatient I am!

Pre-oven, excited!

R.I.P Macarons

I also didn't allow the macarons to
dry before trying to pull one off to eat!

As my boyfriend lovingly commented, they look
like horribly deformed lady bits.
I'm sure I don't know what he means!

You can find the recipe on Andrew's blog. (link above)
I pretty much stuck to the original recipe, apart from I used liquid colouring and vanilla paste rather than powders, which are not readily available in the UK and I was too impatient to make an online order and wait!

The taste was so similar to a non-vegan macaron, I was very pleased on that front!
I think I probably need to grind the almond meal finer to give the shells a smoother dome, but the texture of the shell (and it's spilled guts) were very near perfection. With a little work I think the Holy Grail is in sight!

Bisous bisous xxx

1 comment:

  1. hi lola! looks like you are off and running! i'm a little rusty on my mac making, it's been about a month. try mixing your batter longer, and maybe a minute or so less whipping of the meringue. the meringue should form a medium peak when pulling out the beater.

    if that doesn't help, just a hair (5-8g) more water may give you a smoother batter. we're looking for shiny pre-baked shells. i want to say it should have the consistency of treacle, but i've never seen treacle. i need regional cuisine specific examples of consistency.

    do they use molasses in the UK, or is that a backwater yank ingredient? i claim ignorance. most of what i know of modern britain is from snuff box, mighty boosh, and the IT crowd.

    your assessment of lower heat and drying is probably spot on.

    but damn that looks like a great start! one thing that i can see was perfect: your macs don't look hollow at all, and that is a huge hurdle i wrestled with constantly. that's why i gambled and threw in some starch. seriously, i had so many hollow macs.

    great job lola! keep me and the rest of the community updated.