I never would have thought I’d be trying to make vegan macarons.
When I was little, I loved when mum said it was time to bake something.
We would put on our aprons, and she would move the chairs so we could reach the table or counter.
It is a really happy memory for me.
There are some stupid cute pictures of my sister and me baking with our aprons on and a big mess on the kitchen table.
From this time, I had always assumed I was a good baker.
This was not true!
Turns out, mum is a good baker, and we were just there for show!
I have tried a few things throughout the years and have failed miserably every time.
I’m okay with muffins and cookies, but those are pretty basic.
When it comes to cakes or fancy loaves, oof.
They are usually overly cooked on the outside and then raw on the inside.
I’ve heard it’s because of the zucchini, or the dairy-free milk I’ve chosen…
And to this day, I don’t know what is true because I am usually so upset after that I will not try again.
Is it doable?
Why Baking Now?
I like to think I am a good cook.
Savory food is easy for me. Those recipes I can easily manipulate to my heart’s content.
Baking is not like that, so why did I try making vegan macarons of all things?
I have been watching a lot of The Great Canadian and British Baking Shows.
I find great comfort in them.
Watching amateur bakers excel in all baking categories is remarkable.
At first I’d watch and wonder how did these people learn all of this information?
And how much time did it take to learn it all?
I never once thought that I should try any of it.
But then something switched on in my brain…or off!
One day I thought, why can’t I do that?
How fun would it be to create my own vegan baking – pastries, tarts, meringues, pies, cakes, macarons…
I then got an Instagram ad for a vegan baking course that contained all the things I would want to try.
I didn’t get the course, but I decided I was going to go ahead with this sudden urge because something was pulling me in that direction, and I want to see where it takes me.
Now my mind is full of delicious creations I want to try, and I am so excited to see how they turn out.
This post is about my first attempt at vegan macarons.
This can be anything from trying out a new recipe to buying a new pair of winter boots that turn out to not fit right!
It is a really silly quality, and seeing it play out over and over again, I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t have expectations.
So for my first try at these macarons, I let myself have fun and didn’t let the inevitable failure turn me off forever.
It was a great experiment because I had so much fun working on each step, watching these fancy-ass cookies come together as well as fall apart!
I now have a list of things that could have gone wrong with this batch, so I have ideas for the next trial.
Patience is something, I can admit, I lack, but it was so cool to go in knowing this and still be happy with how they turned out.
Making Vegan Macarons
I used the recipe from the website Pies and Tacos. Here is the link for the Vegan Vanilla Macarons.
It seemed like a good starter recipe because there wasn’t any added flavours or colours I needed to buy.
She also had a video showing all the steps and how each step looks.
It’s all so finicky, so a detailed description and video was so helpful.
I started by getting all the ingredients ready, so when I needed them, I could just grab them.
This seemed to be an important step.
I ground my own almonds into flour and quickly learned that the food processor would have been better than the blender that I used.
I sifted the almond flour and icing sugar together – so fancy.
I made sure to weigh the ingredients for all the accuracy.
Then I started whipping the aquafaba and cream of tartar.
This was the first thing I could have done wrong. Maybe I didn’t whip this long enough before adding the sugar.
That is the second thing I could have done wrong – not whipping until stiff peaks.
It sounds easy enough, but when I was faced with deciding what is a stiff peak and what is not, I think I failed!
Folding in the almond flour and icing sugar was next, and this is also a step I could have gotten wrong. Maybe I folded it longer or shorter than I needed!
I thought the texture of the batter looked like what was in the video, but now I don’t know.
The next step was to put the batter into a piping bag and pipe it onto a baking sheet in cute little circles.
Then let them sit until they have a bit of a ‘shell’ on them. This means when you touch them, they have a bit of a skin on them so your finger doesn’t go through. This is another thing I could have done wrong.
I let them sit for 30 minutes and then baked.
For the first 5 minutes, they looked like they were going to work.
The second 5 minutes is when it all started to unravel!
The middles started oozing out from the protective skin that formed.
They oozed into the others and they became one big, sad macaron.
The first tray I threw away because I let them cook too long and they burned on the edges.
The second I took out a little sooner, and I did try to salvage them.
I made vanilla buttercream and forced them to look like respectable macarons!
And as you can see, I get a B+ for effort.
What I Have Learned
Through this process, I have learned a lot, and I am truly happy that I gave it a try and I am really looking forward to trying again.
I learned that I can successfully take out my silly high expectations and set the intention to have fun – and that it works. That is life-changing for me!
I saw that it can be fun to fail and clean up the mess.
I plan on eating these macarons because they still taste good.
Just because I am not a naturally good baker doesn’t mean I can’t learn if I want.
Having fun is the end result I am after, so I can always reach that goal.
All these sound so cheesy, but they really are true.
I guess I was just surprised at the absolute joy I found in creating these weird little macarons!
My plan now is to troubleshoot these little ones to see where I can tighten up – to see where I can change things to make sure the ‘legs’ don’t spread again.
I have been thinking of making vegan macarons for at least a year now, but always talked myself out of it.
I knew they would likely not turn out, so I didn’t want to even try.
Now that I have given it a try, I feel so accomplished and happy with myself.
Everyone should feel this way!
If there is something you have put off doing for some reason, I encourage you to go ahead and just try it.
And really what is the worst that can happen?!
For some reason, we like to hold ourselves back from doing the things we actually really want to do. It is an odd human trait.
There will always be a reason to not do something. It is up to us to look past the reasons/excuses and just give it a damn try!
Yours in plant love,