Mad Like Alyce

French Macaroon Feature

It was shortly after moving to Sioux Falls that I discovered the delightful delicacy that is the macaroon. We are incredibly lucky to have an award winning Patisserie right in downtown, which I often visit. I’ve always had it as a goal to learn how to make these, but I admit I was a bit hesitant to try, hearing just how difficult they can be to accomplish.

For my Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party, I wanted to have an assortment of brightly colored desserts, and macaroons fit the bill perfectly, but $2 a pop, while certainly worth it for the occasional treat, simply wasn’t going to cut it for the number I would need. So I dug into research to learn the tricks and pitfalls I could come across, bought my ingredients, and dove in!

Mastering the Macaroon

French Macaroon

Ingredients and Instructions

For my macaroons, I followed Wilton’s French Macaroon Recipe. It emphasized the importance of doing all of your prep work in advance, so I got out all of my gel food colors, frosting gun (instead of piping bags), and parchment paper.

They had a great picture of piping the batter onto parchment paper with equivalently sized circles. I made my own by tracing a bottle cap with a pencil, then flipping the parchment paper over so the pencil marks were on the bottom, but were still visible through it.

Macaroon Parchment Paper

Macaroon Parchment Paper

French Macaroon

Based on what I had read, I was already guessing that my first batch, a lovely robin’s egg blue, were going to have some issues (see those peaks?) but since I wanted at least 4 or 5 different colors, I was excited to troubleshoot each batch!

Trouble Shooting Your Macaroon

Half of the reason I even attempted the project was this incredible troubleshooting guide from Sweet and Savory by Shinee. I found this Pintrest image, which is a quick and fast reference guide as to what went wrong, and her article goes into incredibly helpful detail!

So my first batch was under-mixed, based on the peaks that didn’t fall completely into the rest of the shell once piped. That said, even though they are not technically perfect, they still tasted amazing!

More Mixing

So, more mixing was required, which I did (counting the “folds”) for my second and third batches of yellow then purple. With my purple batch, I was thisclose to that perfectly smooth shell… and I suspected the meringue was not being beaten enough.

Just Beat It

I had inherited my grandmother’s old Sunbeam stand mixer, but with limited space on my countertops, I sadly had not actually used it for a project, defaulting to a small electric beater that was easier to store. Needing a much longer time with the mixer, I broke it out and gave that meringue a good working over.

Stand mixer with Macaroon batter

And this worked! The combination of appropriate mixing for the meringue and the almond flour and sugar mixture did the trick, giving me these amazingly perfect macaroons! 4th time’s the charm!

French Macaroons

It really is a skill…

And it’s a skill I still haven’t really acquired. My fourth time appeared to be a fluke, because in repeating my process for the final batch of orange, I ended up with smooth, but hollow, shells. This was likely me getting overzealous with my stand mixer “quick fix” and actually over beating the meringue. So, it’s a work in progress. The best part, however, is that after 5 batches, macaroons no longer intimidate me, and I feel that I can produce decent amateur baker quality macaroons to share with friends and family, and that works for me!

Macaroon

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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  • The top 9 for madlikealyce! It has been a fantastic year, trying out all kinds of new things and really expanding on my love for makeup and cosplay. Thank you to all of my AMAZING FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS who have been with me on this journey. I can wait until my shoulder has healed enough to get back to it, I have a whole LIST of things I am dying to try! In the meantime, I’m at least back to writing on the blog, so make sure to check me out there, Link in bio. ❤️ you all!
  • Sick day snuggles. But at least it’s my first day out of the sling! #countdownisover #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbull #drinkallthetea
  • My new favorite IG account... u need to scroll through these posts! #Repost @iamtheswimreaper (@get_repost)
・・・
Lol #justbeingbasic
  • Bahahahaha too funny not to share! #followyourdreams #freddykrueger
  • When I first saw @miss_stryx post her challenge, it really shook me. What AM I most afraid of? My first thought... was everything. Which made me realize that honestly, my biggest fear is losing control of my PTSD. I was diagnosed with PTSD 9 years ago, but it  took a good few years before I really understood what that even meant and how it impacted how I felt each day. It took even more years of counseling and amazing support from my friends and family before I was able to really get control of it. I'm happy to say that I'm now at a place where I live with PTSD but it doesn't control me. That being said, I'm always terrified of what might happen if it would spiral away from me again.
My second greatest fear is something that has plagued me from my childhood, but became an outright phobia and trigger once I developed PTSD. That is a fear of needles.  Shots, giving blood, and especially IVs.  Then it hit me... what is the perfect combination of both of these  fears? A lobotomy. A very controversial treatment used in the past on people with mental illness, involving a huge needle. 
From that terrifying vision came an awesome collaboration with some really great friends, and filmed and edited by the INSANELY talented @jibclimmer to complete my first ever horror short film. I'm so thankful to have so many talented and wonderful people that were willing and excited about making this vision a reality. I hope this isn't too dark for you guys, but I totally understand if it is! The idea actually terrified me and I put myself in the very center of it! Ultimately, filming this was actually not scary at all, as I have such incredible friends, and I was in a safe space the entire time. This particular version of the film is not the final version, since we were limited to 60 seconds on Instagram. Very soon we hope to have the entire short film up and posted and I will make sure to let you all know when that is live on YouTube! It is with great pleasure that I present to you my entry for round 1 of the #StrykingFEAR contest.
  • What would you do if you foresaw the telling of your own death? Here are some stills of my round 2 entry for the #StrykingFEAR contest. To see  the backstory on my Undead fortune-teller,  check out my last post for a quick short film introduction. The 2 part tutorial video should hopefully be up on the blog shortly!
  • For round 2 of the #StrykingFEAR contest, the character I was initially least excited about was the fortune teller. Why? Because fortune tellers are usually great beauty makeups. While I love doing horror looks, I really can't say I'm great shakes at beauty makeup. And then it hit me... what a great opportunity to do something outside my comfort zone AND something familiar with a two part makeup? I borrowed a crystal ball from a friend, ordered tarot cards, and learned a little bit on how to do a reading and pulled together an ending to this fortune teller's story… or should I say beginning?
  • When your sling gives you a full blown chronic pain flareup. Laying on the floor with my legs up to help take pressure off my lower back, and mystic seems pretty concerned. Good thing I have episode three of the @girlinspacepodcast to listen to!If you haven't started listening to this audio drama, you need to check it out ASAP! #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #lifeinasling #girlinspace #findme
  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween

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