In the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed at least five or more people have ended up at this blog by searching Google for some variation of “Bulk Barn macaroon mix”. When I searched it myself, I can only figure that they found me because of this post on macarons and because I’ve mentioned Bulk barn before. Since people are ending up here looking for information on the mix I decided to give it a try.
|I got 24 pieces out of half the recipe|
I wanted to make these a little more interesting that just plain macarons so I substituted one tablespoon (15 mL) of the water with strawberry puree. The total amount of liquid was added to the mix in the mixer and set to high for four minutes. At the end of the suggested mixing time the batter was looking a wee bit slumpy (I think I just made up that word) so I put it back on high for another couple of minutes to see if I could firm it up a bit. I finally just gave up and piped the batter onto a parchment lined pan. I was worried they were just going to spread all over the place but they actually help up ok and smoothed out really well.
After the first few minutes in the oven I was super impressed. The tops of the macarons smoothed out beautifully and they started to rise. I was cautiously optimistic that they were actually going to work out. And then everything went downhill. The tops all started to crack and ended up looking like a huge mess. Not one of them came out smooth in the end. Some of them also had big air bubbles in them that broke the surface. I tried one for flavor even though they looked horrible and it wasn’t bad except they were baked for way too long. There was an overdone shell around the outside of the macaron while the middle stayed light pink and fluffy looking. They ended up tasting slightly burnt (even though they weren't) and were very chewy.
This batch was most definitely a disaster but I’d be willing to try it out again. There are a few things I would change:
· The recipe suggests baking for 20-22 minutes. This was definitely too long. I think I would start watching them after 10 and see how it went. There really shouldn’t have been any color on the outside.
· I would try using less water and more mix. The consistency just didn’t seem right. Using a little less water would probably mean I could mix the batter for a shorter time and might help alleviate some of the cracking.
· I forgot to smack the baking sheet on the counter top. This is a crucial step for getting out the air bubbles and I totally forgot to do it. Hence, the giant air bubbles were totally my own fault.
· I might let them sit before going in the oven. One of the key steps in making macarons is to let them air dry for a bit before putting them in the oven. It creates a bit of a crust on the top and helps prevent cracks. I was so worried they were going to spread into a flattened puddle of batter that I threw them in the oven as soon as they were piped.
The mix was definitely easier (and cheaper) than the full on traditional method so I’d really like to see it work out. I will give these another try on a day when I have more time and patience.
Have any of you tried this for yourselves? Any picture perfect results to share?