Tutorial: French Macarons

(2017/09/04 Note: this post does not have my latest thinking on making the best French macarons possible. I encourage you to, instead, follow the instructions in this post where I compare, head-to-head, the macaron recipes of the world’s top pastry chefs.)

This is a tutorial for French macarons (also known as macarons), not for macaroons. Macarons are delicate French pastries that come in hundreds of flavours and colours while macaroons are made from dessicated coconut and come in regular and chocolate, and that’s about it. Macaron is pronounced [MAC-a-ron] while macaroon is pronounced [mac-a-RUNE]. Roll your Rs (and speak with a French accent) for the former. If you want some macaron recipes, please check out my recipe index! Macarons are great for eating by themselves or, if you want to be fancy, make a great decoration for entremets. So, let’s get started!

Help!There are thousands of recipes online for macarons, all slightly different. The problem is a lot of them aren’t very clear. Since macarons are very delicate, it’s important to have excellent technique. That’s hard to do though when recipes tell you to do things like fold the batter until it looks like “magma”. Seriously? Magma? Underground lava? That’s helpful.

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Tutorial: Opening A Coconut

If you’re looking for the tutorial on how to open coconuts, scroll to the bottom of the page.

The last week had a lot to do with escalators. I’m currently in Coronado, a part of Panama, for my winter break. While browsing the Internet I came across a video that is allegedly of people trying an escalator for the first time. At first I found it kind of funny, but then I tried to understand how what I saw was possible. I mean it’s not that hard to ride an escalator, I think.

Coconuts on the Panamanian grass

I thought of two different reasons: the handrail couldn’t support much mass and the handrail was moving at a different speed than the steps. If you watch the video carefully you can see that the passengers only start to fall when they grab onto the handrail. You can also see that the handrail moves slower than the steps so the people fall backwards.

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Strawberry Coconut Panna Cotta

One of my teachers has a red and white striped shirt, which he wears about once every two weeks with jeans, that makes him look exactly like Waldo. I’m not even kidding. Every time I see him wearing the shirt I start laughing so hard and everyone else in the class just stares. He’s grown accustomed to it (and told me he anticipates it when he puts it on).

Strawberry coconut panna cotta

The other day he told me that he put on the shirt specifically for me because it would make me laugh. Whenever I walk into math class and he’s wearing the shirt my eyes light up. That shirt always cheers me up. I asked him today if during the exam he could refrain from wearing the shirt because I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

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