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!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • "Sometimes, you just want things to stay the way they are forever. But you can’t. And they won’t." - Girl in Space

Because i'm trying this thing where I post each look in 3's to keep my Insta page even, and I seriously can't express how hauntingly gorgeous the intros are for each Girl in Space episode. I'm re-listening to the episodes now, and I so excited for 109 since I have NO CLUE what is going to happen! Also, after a few weeks without looking at them, this is one of my favorite pictures, and I can't believe I didn't post it first!
  • "Yeah, I’m glad I’m back, too." Episode 108 of the @girlinspacepodcast  left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Is Kai alive? Where the heck is Thor? Who is the "lion's paw?" But the biggest unknown is just how important the dwarf star "Ra" is likely to become in the plot of 109... and is why Ra is included in my makeup! The warm glowing orb on my eye is in reference to my suspicions that Ra will soon become a much more relevant part of the Girl in Space plot very soon. #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering #savekillbot #prayforkai
  • Galaxy in action! Quick peek at the movement of the makeup before I put on my wig, which covered a lot of the detail. Gotta love that "sunshine" glare on the shiny black surface! I bought a finishing powder this week to hopefully counteract this in the future. Or just back away from the light.... :P
  • Disappearing into the music...
I was really digging my latest playlist when I started my galaxy makeup last weekend, so I started blacking out everything besides my face to procrastinate taking off my headphones. I took this photo halfway through to see how well I would blend into my background, and kind of liked how this "progress" shot turned out. Funny thing was, this was the last pic where I had a true infinite background, my camera (phone) couldn't quite hang once I was fully blacked out. Time to consider a real camera?
  • Let yourself be found... Another shot of my galaxy inspired by the @girlinspacepodcast. If you haven't heard of this AMAZING audio novella, I highly recommend... trust me, you are in for a treat! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering 
This look took around 3 hours, and while I love the images with the wig, it covered up a lot of the detail. If you try a galaxy look, allow yourself some patience. It didn't look like a lot until I was well into adding color. Take it slow, and keep layering colors, and suddenly it will start to take shape!

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets.
  • Find me... This galaxy makeup is inspired by my FAVORITE audio novella,@girlinspacepodcast, though I may be a bit biased. If you haven't yet started listening, you are in for a treat! Enter the world of the character "X" aboard the Cavatica, as she monitors the radiation from the Red Dawrf Star, Ra. Alone.

Season one is still in progress, so there is plenty of time to join the fun! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets. Honestly, this is the most color intensive look I have done so far, I had cosmetic wedges everywhere! I pulled it together with a @rockstarwigs long curly in Very Berry.
  • Finally, the last in my “sketched” look (for now). Thieve last few weeks have been absolutely insane, and im still processing. I’m going to have to set aside some time for another look this week, there is something so tranquil about turning yourself into a blank canvas in the most literal sense.
  • Theres nothing quite like painting yourself completely white to make you realize how yellow your teeth are getting. Time to cut back on the coffee! JK, that might actually kill me. #tissuetestfail #needsomewhitestrips #cresttotherescue #notanad #butyoucanpaymeanyway?
  • I sometimes can take well over 200 photos of various looks, just to make sure I get the right one... i don't pretend to be a photographer! Even with so many photos, I will often only post maybe 3-4, which makes me a little sad since I spend so much time on some of these! So here are a few more of my "Migraine" Twenty One Pilots inspired look. I managed to get quite a few shots of this look before adding the tears for the completed migraine look, and I really do love how it looks without any color.

@madlikealyce

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