When my young friend Abigail asked to make Macarons with me I immediately agreed. I had never tried to bake them before, but I couldn’t imagine that they could be difficult enough to merit their exorbitant price point in Fancy Bakery Land. Well, now I sort of get it. And I have a second-degree burn on my hand to show for the effort.
I am still in the process of perfecting this system, but If you want to try it yourself, I suggest studying this excellent slide tutorial for the technical specifics
Serious Eats Macaron Tutorial.
The recipe we used is here:
King Arthur Macaron, but today I will experiment with a recipe that does not call for inflicting huge blistering burns on one’s hand, aka, one without the “Italian Meringue” process which requires the simultaneous beating of egg whites and the boiling of sugar to 138 degrees. Or else I’ll just double up on the ADD meds.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!
Ok, so I caved and tried another recipe, one that did not result in painful blisters. And I learned some lessons.
One big one is USE A SILPAT if you have one!
This is the recipe:
I got it on a blog called Eat Live Travel Write
I know, sounds like me!
- 115g ground almonds (store bought or home ground in a spice/coffee grinder and sifted before you weigh)
- 230g confectioners sugar
- 144g egg whites, separated, covered in plastic wrap and left at room temperature for a few hours. You can separate them up to 3 days before you use them – just keep them covered in the fridge and bring them to room temperature for a few hours before you use them
- 72g superfine sugar
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Prepare a 14” piping bag with a plain tip, twist the bag at the tip end and place inside a tall glass to facilitate filling the bag.
- Combine almond flour, powdered sugar in a food processor, and process for 30 seconds, then pulsing about 10 times for a few seconds, until all ingredients thoroughly incorporated.
- Sift dry ingredients twice using a fine sieve
- Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar at a low speed (Kitchen Aid speed four) for 2 minutes, medium speed (Kitchen Aid six) for 2 minutes and a high speed (Kitchen Aid eight) for 2 minutes. The egg whites will be very stiff at this point.
- Add the food coloring if desired and mix for one minute at the highest speed (Kitchen Aid ten).
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites.
- Fold the mixture, pressing it against the sides of the bowl to deflate the mixture. Fold about 40 times (counting single strokes), stopping every couple of strokes after 25 to check the consistency. It should be lava-like, flowing in ribbons off the spatula.
- Transfer half the mixture to the piping bag, sealing the open end with a twist and holding firmly with the hand that will not be actively piping.
- Pipe four tiny dots of mixture under the corners of the parchment paper to make sure it stays put.
- Pipe your macarons, holding the piping tip at an angle to the baking sheet, about 1 inch in diameter, and spacing them at least 2 inches. (they will spread during cooking), and quickly removing the tip when you have finished piping, making a shape like a comma.
- Rap the tray 3-4 times on a hard surface. You’ll see air bubbles coming to the surface of the unbaked shells.
- Fill the bag with the rest of the mixture and pipe and rap the second tray.
- REST the trays of macaron shells for 30 minutes before baking. At this point you should heat the oven to 300˚F. Do NOT use convection
- Place one tray of macarons on an empty baking tray and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 16 minutes at 300˚F, turning the tray from back to front halfway through.
- Remove from oven and let the tray sit for a few minutes.
- Remove the parchment from the tray and allow to sit on a cool surface for at least 30 minutes, then remove macaron shells to a cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight container overnight.
- Pair up like shells to facilitate the filling process.
- Once completely cool, fill with ganache or cream filling of your choice.
- Allow filling to set slightly and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.