On the 26th of February, I had my phone on. Those who know me know that my phone is never on because I don't usually text.
Coincidentally, I received a text from the preceptorials committee! Preceptorials are mini classes that occur over the semester. One can learn how to make a clay bowl, revel in philosophy, take a tour of some part of Philadelphia, or paint some mural. Every semester, I sign up for the cooking and art preceptorials, along with some other ones. The problem is that most preceptorials have size limits, so I usually get waitlisted for all of them. However, here was a text telling me that I was off the waitlist for the macaron preceptorial that evening, and that I could participate if I wanted to! So, instead of studying for an upcoming midterm (Algorithms?), I decided to learn how to make macarons with 11 other students, taught by one of the guys who owns the Sugar Philly food truck.
Mararons, not macaroons.
The last time I tried making macarons, I ended up with this yummy cookie failure that was stuck to the pan. Since then, I had actually tried macarons (in Montreal and at a Wharton Supply Chain Conference that I went to, hoping to meet some R&D people from Pepsi -well, that didn't work out).
This time, I was given a lot of advice on how to make good macarons. As this occurred 4 months ago, all that advice is hazy, but here are the most important notes:
- Use a large metal bowl to whip egg whites.
- Whip egg whites until you can hold the bowl upside down without anything falling out. This takes about 10 minutes of pure whipping.
- Use gel-based dyes, not water-based ones, because they are more concentrated.
- Preferably obtain a Silpat liner for the baking pan, or at least, use parchment paper.
- To even out the tops, gently hit baking pan onto table a few times.
- Let macarons rest at room temperature until they become matte in colour (slightly dried out) before baking. This took about half an hour?
- When baking, rotate the macaron pans and alternate the racks. I think we started on the top rack for 3 minutes, then the middle rack for 3, then the top rack again for 3, but I really don't remember.
(Dulce de leche filling, made by heating a can of sweetened condensed milk, in the can)
Anyway, I'm positive that there are many resources on the internet regarding perfecting macarons. The main problem causing my failure last time was that I didn't whip the egg whites long enough.
I proceeded to study for my exam while eating macarons.