I haven't always had the easiest time with meringues in general and while in the past I'd intended to to master the meringue before I moved on to the macaron. For so many reasons this just isn't the way to go for me. See I don't even really like a plan meringue, and there's just no sense beating myself into a tizzy trying to make something I'm not crazy about just as a self imposed stepping stone to what I really want to do.
So I've thrown in the towel and I'm just going to go straight to the macaron, and I have even made my first attempt. There's some simplicity and method to how I'm going about this. Rules, you see. Until I can fairly consistently come up with a macaron I like I'm going to stick to the same sets of guideline.
- Use the same recipe every time
- I can use a different filling/glue for each batch (to keep things fun and yummy)
- No food colourings or heavy flavour additives until I get the base right
- Never adjust more than one ingredient or process at a time
Right now the biggest lessons I've learned are that 1) metal bowls do help when it comes to making the meringue and 2) the texture of the ground almonds probably is super important. Using my mom's mixing bowls which are all metal I came up with some pretty wicked stiff peaks, so I've solved at least one of my main meringue issues. What somewhat screwed things up though were the almonds. I ground them myself in the food processor, or maybe I just didn't use enough (what I had on hand didn't match what was called for so I kind of winged it).
I'm surprised how well it came out, all told. It wasn't perfect by any means, and there were no little feet, but they had this amazing chewy texture to the cookie itself that I'm looking forward to recreating and improving upon.