Macarons – my nemesis

When I face a challenge in the kitchen I usually face it head on. With perseverance and a big helping of luck I often succeed. Macarons are a whole different matter. As I had an egg white left from the mini cheesecakes rather than throwing it away I decided I would put it one side to age so I could have yet another attempt at macarons. This time I decided to ditch the French method that I had unsuccessfully used the two previous times and try the Italian method.

It went well until I dropped the egg white. As I had already prepped the rest of the ingredients I decided to soldier on and use a new egg. I then made a stupid error with one of my scales. The more frustrated I got the more schoolgirl errors I made. The final straw was when the mixture that appeared to be running in perfect lava-like ribbons poured straight out of the piping bag.

Let’s just say it’s going to be a while before I try them again because 1) it’s not a good look swearing at inanimate objects in the kitchen 2) I hate wasting good ingredients. Good job my local Morrisons has started to sell surprisingly good macarons for £4 for 8 alternatively I’ll go for the old school and failsafe coconut macaroons. Those I know I can make.

What is your nemesis in the kitchen?

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

17 thoughts on “Macarons – my nemesis

    lisa procter

    (February 17, 2012 - 8:07 am)

    Ah no. Well atleast you keep trying!

    I was going to attempt these one day but as I’m not exactly the best baker in town…think I may leave it for a while! Haha.

    If you do manage to get a pretty easy recipe that works, I’d love to know it!

    Thank you


    (February 17, 2012 - 8:16 am)

    Jules, I love that you posted this — so heartening that wonderful cooks have nemeses. Macarons intimidate the crap out of me. Hard to think of any other specific nemesis in the kitchen (probably because I have so many) …


    (February 17, 2012 - 8:40 am)

    Awww, what a shame Jules. I am glad it isn’t just me that has those moments. I usually keep trying and wait until I have figured it out before blogging whatever it is, but this is refreshing and makes me feel better about my disasters :)

    Elly @theVCBT

    (February 17, 2012 - 10:55 am)

    Meringues! To be fair, I’ve only attempted them twice, but both times they have wept, cracked and sunk. Of course I still ate them…


    (February 17, 2012 - 11:07 am)

    Oh what a shame they didn’t come out :(
    They are very much dependant on so many factors, especially as all ovens are different.
    Good tip about Morrisons selling them though ;)


    (February 17, 2012 - 1:14 pm)

    Oh what a shame! I hate it when things go wrong in the kitchen and it happens to everyone – I think it’s important for us all to remember that so I love you for posting this.

    I’ve always used Ottolenghi’s macaron recipe and it works every time – I swear it’s all about the recipe not the technique :-) Also, just as an aside, I think people are a bit too obsessed with making macarons – they do look very beautiful but they’re a bit twee for my taste. I’ve made lots and posted a few in my time, but on balance I’d prefer a big slab of gorgeous chocolate brownie!


      (February 21, 2012 - 9:56 pm)

      I may have to try that method. I have to agree, can’t beat a slab of cake!

    Domestic Executive

    (February 17, 2012 - 7:53 pm)

    Blasted Victoria Sponge. Despite all the wonderful advice you’ve given me it still doesn’t turn out as it should. But I haven’t given up yet!


    (February 17, 2012 - 8:48 pm)

    Great to see that macaroons are just not easy to make. Most people seem to say they only crack it after a few goes. Trouble is, there are so many wonderful things to bake that are easy that I just don’t know if those blasted macarons warrant such effort!

    James B

    (February 18, 2012 - 11:04 am)

    I have yet to pluck up the balls to make macarons yet! They fill me with dread just the name.


    (February 18, 2012 - 11:16 am)

    Love your blog, it’s nice to see I’m not the only one who has kitchen nemeses. This is a blog I came across which I think you might enjoy, she’s had a similar battle with macarons you might find heartening :)


    (February 18, 2012 - 6:59 pm)

    Pity about your macarons, but glad to know it’s not just me that fails on various things! I don’t think I have a particular nemesis (because I’m too loath to waste ingredients to try new and exciting things!) but I struggle to get sweet breads to cook and not burn. V frustrating.


    (February 18, 2012 - 9:12 pm)

    OMG macarons as they made me cry with sheer frustration! Never have attempted them again although they tasted OK I can not make them perfectly! One day they will not beat me!


    (February 19, 2012 - 11:23 pm)

    Macarons are my nemesis too. I have decided to give up on them and just tell myself they are too trendy and hip for my country kitchen. The ones I have made have tasted ok but they really do not have that visual appeal that I’ve seen in the shops.


    (February 21, 2012 - 9:54 pm)

    Thank you everyone. Glad to see I’m not the only one who struggles with them.

    Fuss Free Helen

    (February 26, 2012 - 11:56 am)

    Start with chocolate ones using the French method. For some reason the cocoa powder makes the batter behave far better. I spent a weekend and made about 6 batches and just about got it at the end.


      (February 26, 2012 - 2:56 pm)

      Thank you Helen. Will try using cocoa next time.

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