Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Macarons

I had a love affair with macarons not too long ago.  But sadly, that quickly died.  I realized it wasn't really the macarons I was in love with it.  It was just all about the challenge.  Once I found the recipe that gave me consistent results and I got used to the technique, the excitement was gone.

Excited or not though, if one has an excessive amount of eggwhites to spare, there is no reason not to make macarons, is there?

Basic French macarons dusted with cocoa powder and filled with Nutella
As it has been a long while since I last made them, I wasn't quite sure I still knew how!  Lots of people have been asking me to share the recipe that I use.  I have been apprehensive to do so because I believe that a good recipe is just one small factor in successful macaron making. What works for me will not necessarily work for everyone else.  There are a whole lot of other factors involved like mastery of technique, the weather, your oven, etc.



Since I am far from being a macaron expert and cannot give definite pointers myself, I suggest that before embarking on this endeavor, especially if it is your first time, for you to read a LOT about macaron making, watch videos, and compare various recipes.  Although I bought so many books on macarons, I found this and this as the most informative as far as tips, tricks and troubleshooting are concerned. This video helped me as well.

Lastly, I cannot stress enough how important practice is.  Do not be discouraged if your macarons do not turn out right the first, second or third time.  Most people make batches and batches before they are able to perfect it. I know I did!

Although majority of bakers would probably say that the Italian meringue method is more foolproof than the French, I still prefer the latter. The recipe below has worked very well for me in my own kitchen.  I hope it will for you too!  (I'm sorry I did not include a recipe for the filling. I will leave that up to you, ok?)

BASIC FRENCH MACARONS
(makes 40-45 filled macarons)

215 g almond meal
215 g pure icing sugar
Pinch of salt
150g eggwhites (aged for at least 1- 2 days)
100 g granulated sugar
5g powdered eggwhite
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Place almond meal, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and process in short pulses until finely ground. Sift mixture into a bowl.

Combine granulated sugar and powdered eggwhite. In a medium bowl and at medium speed,  beat eggwhites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add in the sugar/powdered eggwhite then beat mixture at high speed until stiff.

Using a spatula or a scraper, fold in the almond meal/icing sugar into the meringue.  Cut into the meringue then fold up and over. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Once the batter falls back into the bowl in a thick ribbon, it  is ready to be piped.

Line 3-4 baking trays with baking paper. Place template under baking paper of one sheet. (Download a TEMPLATE such as this.) Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2" plain round tip with the macaron batter. Pipe rounds onto the baking tray using the template as a guide. After piping, carefully pull out the template.


Tap the baking tray onto the counter a few times to break any bubbles and to help the macarons settle.  Do the same for the other baking trays.

Let the macarons rest for about 30-60 minutes or until the tops are quite firm and dry to the touch.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Right before putting a baking tray in, lower the temperature to 155 degrees. Bake 10 minutes then turn the tray around.  Bake for a further 8-10 minutes.  Remove the tray from the oven and let the macarons cool down for a few minutes before peeling off from the baking paper.

Before putting the next tray in,  bring the oven temperature back up to 180 degrees.

Sandwich cooled macarons with your desired filling.

Have fun and good luck!

4 comments:

  1. You are so awesome...

    what a great tutorial... and I love the idea with the template...

    my mouth is already watering...

    Thank you so much and so good to hear/read from you again...

    XOXO

    Andrea

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  2. Thanks heaps corrine!!! Been waiting for this!!!

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  3. Love your site. Corinne! BTW, there is a typo in the title of this page. It says, "French Maracons".

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