February 22nd, 2010 @ 5:22 pm
Let me start off by saying if Heaven was a cookie, it would be a French macaron.
These cookies were so delightful that I kept them all for myself. Usually I share them with co-workers (to keep myself from eating them all) but I had to be greedy with these. They can be a bit time consuming and very precise, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this awesome treat! Having a stand mixer is a life saver with this recipe too!
Here’s what you will need. It is recommended to weight everything instead of measuring it out, but I lack a kitchen scale. So until I get one (Ahem..are you reading this, hun?) I will be using my measuring cups. It also helps to have a stand mixer and a food processor for this recipe.
- 90 gr egg whites at room temperature(About 3 egg whites..I used 3 and it was good). Make sure the egg whites have been prepped at least 48 hours in advanced and can be used up to 5 days in advance
- 25 gr to 50 gr (2 TB to 1/4 cup) granulated sugar (basic white sugar)
- 200 gr (1.5 cups + 2 TB) powdered sugar
- 110 gr almonds (3/4 cup. Use whatever almonds you like, as long as they don’t have the “skin” on them. I used slivered.)
- Pipping bags
- #807 0r #809 decorating tip
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8oz of chocolate morsels ( I used dark chocolate, but any is ok too!)
- Gel/powdered food coloring, if desired
Place your powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor. Time to get grindin’! Set your food processor on “pulse” mode until they are finely ground. If you are anything like me, you might be doing this step 2-3 times.
Now it’s time to sift. Sift the flour-like mix a couple of times until everything is good and fine. If you still find big pieces of almonds, or you have a lot that will not sift, take it back to the food processor for another round. I sifted my mix 3 times, for your information.
This is where the stand mixer becomes very handy. If people were half as efficient as my stand mixer, the world would be a better place.
Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam. Your foam should resemble soap foam.
Slowly add your sugar as the eggs beat, making it a glossy meringue. Keep an eye on them though, because more than likely you will not need a lot of sugar. All in all I think I only used 6 tablespoons. You know you have it right when it resembles shaving cream and stiff peaks form.
Now add the almond/powdered sugar mix to the meringue and fold it quickly to just mix everything up. It should only take you 50 strokes at the most to have it right. Start folding real quickly at first and then slow down. Half way into mixing add your food coloring. DO NOT use a water based food coloring. Powdered is preferred, but gel will work fine too. This is one of the most crucial parts of this recipe.
Take your spatula and run it across the batter and count to 10. If it takes almost all 10 seconds to fold back to it’s original shape, you know you are good to go.
What a gorgeous color and anyone who says otherwise is..well..entitled to their own opinion!
Fill the pastry bag and pipe small rounds that are about 1.5 inches in diameter onto parchment paper. Now just let them sit there and look pretty for 30 minutes to an hour. This will cause the rounds to harden. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. When it is ready, bake the shells for 18-20 minutes.
And this is the result! See how the bottoms have “feet”? If your macarons have those, you know you did pretty darn good for your first try. If they do not, keep in mind these babies are rather hard to make. Now you need to have self control and try not to eat the shells before you fill them. It is well worth the wait, trust me on this!
Ganache…how I can not say enough about this heavenly concoction.
Heat the cream in a small pot, but just before boiling!
Place your chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the cream over.
Wait a few seconds and then stir like a mad woman until smooth (maybe a mad man, do any men even read this?!).
Let the ganache cool for a moment, and then spread a small amount of the chocolaty goodness on the bottom of a macaron.
Sandwich another macaron on top of it!
Ta da, you are now done! You also officially made a French macaron. Now you get the joy of explaining what these are to people (no one I talked to ever heard of a French macaron). Also make sure you pay attention to the confused look on their faces when you explain there are no coconut in them.
I got this recipe from Bakerella. If you have not seen her baking blog yet you need to. She is one of my inspirations and her blog is AMAZING!