My 100th Post – French Macarons are light, crisp and delicate cookies with a crunchy texture on the outside and slightly chewy inside. Enjoyed with any delicious filling of your choice or plain (we love it this way). It needs lot of practice (am still doing it), patience (just like doing the puff pastry), time, gentle handling and cool environment. It is not easy and can be very challenging. Recipe adapted from the Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.
Before embarking on my macaron journey, I researched thoroughly with my chef buddies and found using right techniques and science play an important role in making these delicious pastries.
The key to make good french macarons are : all ingredients should be at room temperature; weighed correctly and separately. I used store-bought almond meal for easy convenience and also it is readily available in the supermarkets. It can be made at home too, by blanching raw unsalted almonds, peeling the skin and grounding super fine. The cocoa powder, ground almonds or almond meal and powdered sugar or icing sugar should be combined well and sifted nicely number of times if using a strainer to remove any lumps; the texture here should be superfine. While making french macarons, I separate the egg whites in a bowl, covered loosely, overnight and keep it in the fridge or on the counter-top (depending upon the weather); next day bring it at room temperature and beat it on an ungreased clean dry glass bowl till stiff peaks are obtained; do not over beat, it will become clumpy. Slowly and gently, fold to make a smooth batter, scraping the bottom once in a while; do not overmix; it should form a ribbon when dropped from a spatula. To secure the baking sheet while you pipe, put tiny bit of batter on all the corners and middle of the parchment sheet. After piping them into circles, rap it on the counter-top to flatten and remove air bubbles; allow it to rest uncovered depending upon the humidity till a skin is formed at the top and dry when touched; immediately put it in the oven. Once the macarons are baked – oven temperature varies, let it cool completely so that it peels off. You can use silicone baking mat or parchment paper for easy removal. I mostly do the filling few hours before serving either with chocolate ganache, nutella or a simple raspberry/strawberry jam. Do not serve macaroons cold as it tastes bad.
It is important to develop little ridges (feet) for a good authentic french macarons – that’s the beauty. Nail it right and you get the most delicious and expensive cookie made at your home. Don’t forget to give a pat on your back for a job well done!
Boy! I still remember that when I made french macarons for the first time though the chocolate filling was kept ready, as soon as it cooled down a little, my little kiddo and yours truly wolfed down a bunch of plain macarons in a blink of an eye. It tasted truly amazing and so hard to resist!!!
Delicious, delicate, soft, melt-in-the-mouth french macarons enjoyed with family or perfect gift to friends.
cuisine: french, yields: 15, author: gloria
for the macaron batter :
100 gms icing sugar or powdered sugar
50 gms almond meal or ground almonds
25 gms unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg whites (room temperature & preferably aged overnight)
65 gms granulated sugar
for the chocolate filling :
125 ml heavy cream
2 tsp light corn syrup (optional)
120 gms semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
15 gms unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
Preheat oven to 180º C/350º F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag fitted with 1/2″ tip.
In a food processor, blend powdered sugar, almond meal and cocoa powder; combine nicely to mix well. Sift them in a bowl, a little at a time, in a fine-mesh sieve and discard away the lumps.
Place egg whites in an ungreased bowl and begin to beat till foamy; gradually, add the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until it becomes glossy and stiff peaks are formed.
Slowly and gently, fold in the dry ingredients in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag.
Pipe batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets or silicone baking mat in 1-inch circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
Holding the baking sheet with both hands, rap it firmly few times on the counter-top to flatten the macarons and allow it to rest for 1 hour uncovered until a skin develops on the surface and the batter is dry when touched.
Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, depending upon the oven temperature. Allow it to cool completely before removing the cookies from the baking sheet.
for the chocolate filling:
Heat cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan; when it just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute; stir until smooth.
Add the pieces of butter and give a quick stir; allow it to cool completely before using.
Spread a bit of the filling on the inside of the macarons and sandwich them together.
Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Serve these delicious macarons at room temperature.