If you haven’t noticed, I am a bit mad for macarons. A bit obsessed one might say. The delicate almond, egg white, and sugar cookies area perfect nexus of my passion for cooking,
making pretty looking things, and a engineering problem solving. It really is a dangerous combination, but when the outcome is a macaron that looks picture perfect and tastes just as good, it’s all worth it. Add to it that I’m usually making them for someone else, it makes it even more worth it. And there’s no way I could eat an entire batch by myself! Ok…well I could try but let’s be honest – that would not end well.
First off – yes macarons are deceivingly hard to make for looking so simple with so few ingredients. There are a LOT of factors: temperature of the oven, humidity, age of the egg whites, how much to fold in the powdered sugar and almond flour… Let none of that stop you. It’s all worth it. Secondly – these are NOT macaroons. Notice the subtle spelling difference one ‘o’ can make. Add one and you are talking about coconut, condensed milk, egg white thing. Take away that ‘0’
and you are transported to Paris, to the most beautiful Parisian bakery, picking out the most exquisitely colored and wonderfully flavored delicate pastery/cookie combination that I’m talking about. Don’t get the two twisted. They are worlds apart. Worlds, I tell you…
How do you get these little beauties to come out? Use this recipe, watch LOTS of YouTube videos. And don’t give up. Never give up! Keep trying, batch after failed batch, until magic happens and then every failed attempt will be worth it. Doing it on a Sunday afternoon with a
Sunday afternoon with a bottle of champagne on ice doesn’t hurt either. Just saying.
I searched for a recipe that had everything measured out by weights and finally found a good one. Apparently it comes from Sur la Table.Thanks Sur! I also combined several techniques and steps from other recipes that I tried. So does that make it my own recipe now? In any case, back to the weights. It is SO worth getting a little kitchen scale for this. Oh, and all the other baking you’ll be doing after this. After all, you’ve mastered the macaron – nothing can be as challenging, can it?! Then you’ll need the kitchen scale for portion control to help on the diet you’ll need to go on after all the baked goods you’ve been making…and eating.
- For the macarons:
- 3.2 oz egg whites, room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days*
- 2.8 oz granulated sugar
- 5.6 oz confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3.2 oz almond meal, sifted
- Gel food coloring of your choice
- To make the macarons:
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites until they begin to foam, about 1 minute. Slowly add the granulated sugar to the egg whites while the mixer is set on medium speed. Continue to whip the egg whites until stiff peaks have formed. The egg whites should be thick and glossy (you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out).
- Put the almond meal and powdered sugar in a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Sift and through out remaining coarse pieces. Add the almond meal and confectioners’ sugar mix, sifting again and throwing out large pieces, and food coloring to the whipped egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the mixture into the egg whites until it
has the consistency of molten lava. To test, scoop up a spoonful of batter with a spatula and drop it back into the mix; it should flatten and disappear into the batter in about 15 seconds or so. If it doesn’t, continue folding the mixture. It should take about 50-60 strokes for the batter to reach the right consistency. (Sorry…totally forgot to take a picture at this step as I was getting a little anxious an frenetic to get the batter in the bag and piped out.)
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with large round tip, and pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a template underneath. Top tip: put the bag in a large glass, vase, or something similar, and fold the edges down over the side. Way less messy… Another top tip: I trace 3/4″ circles on the parchment paper and then turn it upside down. When piping, I put the tip right in the middle stop right before I fill the circle, pulling quickly up right after I release pressure. The little peak should be small as possible and should disappear in the next step.
- Gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air, then let the macarons dry for 30 minutes until a skin is formed on the surface.
- Place the macarons in a 300F oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes until the shells harden. Rotate the tray half way through.
- Let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Make your filling: (could be caramel, chocolate ganache, lemon curd, raspberry jam, flavored buttercream….the possibilities are endless!!)
- To assemble, match the macaron shells in pairs. Pipe a small round of lemon curd (about half a teaspoon) on the flat side of a macaron shell and sandwich together with a matching macaron shell. Repeat with the remaining macarons.