This weekend was very exciting because I finally gave French Macarons a try. Before this weekend, I never actually had a macaron, and now I’m a fan!
What are macarons? In case you didn’t know, a macaron is a “French, sweet meringue-based confection” with two cookies sandwiched together with a type of filling. Here’s a macaron diagram for you:
(from Desserts with Benefits)
I’ve always been a little scared to attempt macarons, mainly because I read so many “macaron disaster” stories online. So many people complained about their macarons coming out flat, lumpy, cracked, etc. and I was expecting the worst. To my surprise, my very first batch of French macarons came out pretty good! Some of the cookies cracked while they baked, and the “feet” at the bottom of the cookies didn’t come out the best, but it definitely was not a fail! They were delicious and I got quite a few compliments from the people who ate them! Not to mention that they are adorable 🙂
I used Martha Stewart’s French Macaroon Recipe and the Chocolate Ganache for the filling. Both of these recipes were very tasty and I will use them again. To prevent cracking the next time around, I will let the macarons sit out longer before I bake them. I let them sit out for 30 minutes this time, but another 10 minutes may help. Also, I will try to not over-mix and over-handle the batter. This troubleshooting guide is very helpful!
Overall, I’d say that making macarons was not as stressful as I thought it would be. With more practice and different techniques, hopefully my macarons will improve.
Have you mastered the popular French macarons? What tips work best for you? I’d love to know!
from martha stewart
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
- Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
- 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.
- 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 (I did 30 min.). Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons 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.
- Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
- Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
from martha stewart
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (preferably 70 percent cacao)
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.