I made a batch of Macarons a couple of weeks ago and let's just say they were embarrassingly bad. They didn't rise, they tasted like straight sugar and they were all different sizes. I scratched them off the make again list until I saw Debbie - Squirrel Bakes post Macarons and my French baking class. I knew right away I would prefer this method because I have worked with Italian meringue before.
I wasn't sure if my first failure was the recipe I used or operator error. But I did notice a couple of difference between the two. The batter for the first recipe was much thicker and didn't pipe nicely. I used parchment the first time and Debbie thought silpats worked better for release, I'd have to agree with Debbie.
I used paste food coloring which I think is a little more saturated in color than the drops Debbie recommended, but I say use what you have.
I couldn't find almond flour with blanched almonds (no skin), but luckily I found some today, so my next batch won't have the brown specks.
My first batch was lacking the feet everyone talks about. I realized the oven temperature for the first recipe was too low. I also found in my oven, if I cooked them one tray at a time and put the tray on the upper rack of the oven the feet formed right away. I moved them to the middle rack after about 8 minutes so they didn't brown.
I let the shells cool before placing on racks and made the dark chocolate ganache. I did make one change to her ganache recipe, I put the ganache in my mixer with a whisk attachment and whisked it for a couple of minutes until it was completely cooled and it also becomes silkier.
If I hadn't tried Debbie's recipe I might not have been a fan; the other recipe I used really was that bad. I can't wait to try them again in a different variation.
Do you have a favorite way to flavor them or mix up the flours used, let me know; I'm looking for some ideas.
You will have to go copy down the recipe for yourself and be sure and tell her how good I said they were.