Much like all you curious souls out there who have read so much about these elusive babies, and inspired by Gertrude's post (http://www.mykitchensnippets.com/2008/12/french-macarons.html), I finally took the plunge. However, I refused to give it its royal treatment and treated it just like any other new recipe that I am testing for the first time... that meant no extra care in weighing the ingredients, etc., oh ok, I did seive the almond meal and icing sugar twice. So here's how it all went...
I followed the recipe from Tartelette given on Gertrude's blog except for an addition of 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. Nothing unusual from the beating of the egg whites to the incorporation of the almond meal, although I wasn't sure if I had gotten the whites to the right consistency - due purely to my own inexperience.
First red flag: tiny bubbles on the batter after piping. Hmm, at which stage of the mixing did they get trapped in there, how are they going to affect the results, I wondered. And geez, I need to work on my piping skills.
My first ever macarons - complete with feet!!! The bubbles only formed tiny bumps and didn't have any major effects on the end product. I'd still like to not have them at all though. Any advice, anyone?
These ones were pandan-flavoured and sandwiched with creme de marron (chestnut cream) which I have a weakness for. Taste and texture-wise, just like the real thing. What I would like to improve on though is the uneven colouring... could my oven have been too hot?
Moral of the story: never be intimidated.