Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Bulk Barn French Macaroon Mix

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
The little recipe card on the bulk bin called for 500 g of mix to be mixed with 100 mL of water. It seemed like that was going to make quite a big batch so I decided to go with half of that. Considering I had no idea what I was going to end up with at the end of the process that seemed like the practical option.

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.

Fresh Ontario strawberry puree

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.

Aren't they beautiful?

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?


  1. Ok... I am going to try these too...I wonder if it was the actual mixture that made them you think it was cause they were from the bulk barn? They still looked very pretty!! Good job 'shell!!! As always, I'm impressed!


  2. Hi! I read your post before attempting them myself. Mine turned out amazing. I was so happy because I had tried 3 batches myself before buying the mix and failed big time.
    A couple of notes:
    -I used slightly less water than recommended
    -I baked at 285, not 300. One batch I did was 17 minutes, one at 19. At 17 minutes they were ready
    -I doubled my aluminum pans. I heard that if the pan is not good quality it can absorb too much heat and cause cracking
    -Once I piped them, I let them sit for a little over an hour
    -I smacked the pans hard on the counter to get rid of air bubbles
    -I didn`t add any flavour or food colour because I wanted to see how the recipe would work without them first. I`m going to do another batch soon with both colour and flavour and see if it makes a difference.

    questions of if you want to see pictures of the final product, I have them on my facebook page called Pour Some Sugar On Me Bakery (not trying to advertise, just trying to help lol)

  3. I was so excited when I saw this at BB so I bought a pound and ran home to make these. I followed the recipe to the precise gram (measured on a proper scale and everything, used the paddle not the wisk and even let them rest before baking to form a skin) but as I was afraid- there is no lazy way to make French macaroons. Don't get me wrong, they made delicious cookies, but they had no "foot" and do not pass as a macaroon in my book. I am starting to understand why these babies cost upwards of $2 each at most bake shops.

  4. hey i also tried to use this macaroon mix but i failed all of my macaroons cracked :( did you find out how can you make beautiful macaroons with this mix so far??

  5. @Anonymous

    I haven't given it another try yet. I plan to some day and will certainly post about it when I do. If you give it another try, definitely post abou tit here!

  6. It appears that they are no longer carrying this mix. I got some a while ago and never tried it. I went tonight to get the sheet because I lost it. They don't have it anymore and could not find it on website. Glad I found this site now I can try it.
    Thanks Kim
    I will let you know how I made out.


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