Hello everybody! It’s been a couple months since I’ve posted, and in a word, I’ve been busy! But I wanted to start writing and posting recipes again, so I’ll be posting a lot more. Recently I took on the challenge of making French macarons- and if you are at all familiar with them, you know that they can be tricky. Going into this, I did a lot of research on these cookies: what to do, what not to do, how to measure, and even what temperature I should make them in. After all of this when I acquired the proper ingredients, I decided to make the macarons. This isn’t like the many posts or failed attempts I’ve seen heard and read, this is different; turns out the macarons came out perfect THE FIRST TIME. I know right?! Can’t lie, I did dance around my kitchen for a bit after anxiously checking my oven to see if the macarons has their “feet”. It was really rewarding to see that my hard work and research paid off. Now I can continue to expireiment with different exciting flavors! The most important thing by far about making macarons is believing in yourself, just make the macarons! If they don’t work, try again until they do. Here are my top tips when making these French cookies, and by the way, I used the Italian meringue method to make the macarons-
Here are step-by-step pictures of how to make the macarons:
At this point the mixture should become a thick paste
Basic Macaron Recipe (adapted from Lili’s Cakes)-
For the shells:
- 1 and 2/3 cups/200g almond flour
- 1 and 2/3 cups/200g icing/confectioners’ sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup/200g granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons/ 5g water
- a pinch of salt
- gel food coloring
- Piping bag
- Round Tip
For the filling:
- 1 cup (240g) butter, softened
- 3-1/2 cups (350g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Directions (for the shells):
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Add two of the egg whites in a small bowl. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar over the egg whites; mix to form a paste.
- To make the Italian meringue, add the other two egg whites in a stand mixer with a pinch of salt and start mixing on medium low speed.
- Place the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy-based saucepan on low heat. Stir with a silicone spatula to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. Once the sugar has started to boil, stop mixing to avoid crystallization, and put a candy thermometer in the pot.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites at high speed until they are almost stiff.
- When the sugar reaches 244 F (118C), pour the syrup in a steady stream into the middle of the egg whites to make a smooth glossy meringue. Make sure you collect any spattering syrup off the walls of the bowl and that you combine everything well. Once the meringue is complete, add in a bit of food coloring and mix until combined.
- Stir a few spoons of Italian meringue into the almond paste to loosen it up.
- Now comes the macaronage- Fold the meringue into the almond paste, and when thick ribbons flow from the spatula STOP MIXING.
- Fill the piping bag with the batter, and pipe onto the baking sheets (a template may be useful).
- Let the macarons set until they are tacky on top when you touch them (about 30 minutes to an hour).
- Bake the macarons for about 20 minutes or so in total (the first ten minutes you should see feet, and rotate the pan for even heat). When the macarons are done they should come off of the pan easily after letting them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Match similar shells together, and fill them!
Directions (for the filling):
- Cream the butter for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar until the filling becomes thick.
- Add the vanilla extract and milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the filling becomes smooth.
- Use a piping bag to fill the macarons.