Thursday, January 13, 2011

French Macaroons

Chocolate Ganache Macaroons

Chocolate Macaroons filled with Fleur de Sel Caramel
This week Bella and I had our first go at making French macaroons. I've always been so intimidated by them. I mean, all the macaroons I've seen in French bakeries are just so perfect. After seeing this post on Slim Paley, however, I just had to have some of these Morsels of Deliciousness. And I'm pleased to report there's nothing to fear, they are a snap to make! Who knew!?


There are really just 2 basic components: stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar, and almond flour and confectioners' sugar
 

Once those two are combined, use a pastry bag to make 1 inch circles. 

 Let the batter sit for 15 minutes

Then bake 10 minutes. 

Fill with caramel or ganache like I did, or use buttercream frosting, jam, or whatever else you fancy.  Check out this menu from Laduree Paris for inspiration! Laduree is THE place for macaroons.

Isn't this window display GORGEOUS! I have got to make some of those macaroon towers. For a Parisian Valentine's Day party perhaps! 

So if you can't get to Paris, I suggest you make some Parisian Macaroons...

I used Martha Stewart's recipe, which I found very well written and easy to follow:
makes about 35

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

Directions

  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
  4. Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.)
  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macaroons with 1 teaspoon jam, ganache, or other filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Cook's Note

Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.

Variations

Chocolate: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.

Macaroon Variations 
*Chocolate: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.

    • Coconut: Substitute 2 tablespoons desiccated unsweetened coconut for 2 tablespoons of the almond flour, and add 1/2 teaspoon rum; sprinkle with additional coconut before baking.
    • Peanut: Substitute an equal amount finely ground unsalted peanuts (peanut flour) for the almond flour.
    • Pistachio: Substitute 1/2 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios (pistachio flour) for 1/2 cup of the almond flour, and add 2 to 3 drops forest-green gel-paste food coloring.
    • Raspberry: Add 1 tablespoon fresh raspberry puree, strained, plus 3 to 4 drops dusty- rose gel-paste food coloring.
    • Vanilla Bean: Add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use.

  • Suggested fillings for macaroons


  • 8 comments:

    1. You make it sounds easy....I just need to fine almond flour!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Anonymous8:09 PM

        you can make your own almond flour. Buy slivered almonds and simply crush them in a blender or coffee grinder,,,,and you get your flour.

        Delete
    2. Holy cow! You are so good! I love French macaroons; my favs are from La Maison du Chocolat. Even though it's a choc boutique they have yummy macs. But since I can't get to Paris or NY..Renauds are good too. But I'm sure your's are divine!

      ReplyDelete
    3. Anonymous4:27 PM

      This looks wonderful! I thought it was spelled "macaron" though. That way you can differentiate between the Parisian pastry and the little coconut ones. I've seen both spellings, but I think I prefer "macaron." Looks lovely, can't wait to try.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Anonymous11:52 PM

      Yeah, these are spelled 'macarons'. 'Macaroons' refer to an entirely different pastry.

      ReplyDelete
    5. Dear Anonymous, this type of cookie in America is called Macaroon OR Macaron. In French it's Macaron. Martha Stewart has her recipe spelled Macaroon, so I have kept it this way. If you look around this blog, you will see it spelled the French way as well. Both are actually correct. The English translation of Macaron is Macaroon.

      ReplyDelete
    6. Anonymous11:20 AM

      I made my first batch this morning and they have feet!!! Only one cracked. I filled them with strawberry buttercream and they are very good. Thank you, for this recipe!!!

      ReplyDelete
    7. Anonymous8:11 PM

      These macarons are simple and delicious. Now when I see a pk of 10 tiny ones at wholefoods for $15, I laugh!

      ReplyDelete

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