pictures courtesy of DRU!!! of WeWearThings

I had my first french macaron at Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley two years ago.  INSTANT OBSESSION.

The oh-so thin and crisp shells of the cookie that gave way to a tender layer of slight chewiness.  Your teeth literally sink into them and then you suddenly find yourself tasting wonderful ganache.

I didn't have another macaron until a trip to France later that year where I ate macarons daily, including those at the famed Lauduree in Paris.

Whatever they are, they are so hard to find in Houston!

After Paris, I didn't have another macaron for a whole year, when I visited San Francisco and had them at La Boulange (good) and Miette (even better).

They've opened a Paulette in San Francisco since then and my friend Jennifer was awesome enough to bring me 2 on her recent visit to Houston.

Which brings me to Sunday night - The Night When I Made My First Macaron.

First things first - [French] macarons ARE NOT [American] macaroons.  According to wikipedia, "Macarons are sandwich-like pastries made with two thin cookies and a cream or ganache between the cookies. Macaroons are dense cookies made with coconut."

But here's the thing about making macarons - they're extremely finicky.  It's basically a meringue made of egg whites with the addition of confectioner's sugar and ground almonds.

Any misstep will lead to a fallen cookie, hard cookie, lumpy cookie, cookie with a beak, cookie with no feet, cookie with cracks.  The list goes on.

What causes these problems?  Uh, EVERYTHING.  Your egg white foam doesn't have stiff enough peaks.  Your egg white foam is too stiff.  You didn't measure your sugar to the gram.  Your ground almonds are too oily.  The teaspoon of food coloring added too much extra liquid.  You didn't fold the batter together enough.  You folded the batter too much.  You kitchen is too humid.  You piped the batter too fast.

For the Macarons:
3 egg whites (room temperature, preferably aged 2-4 days)
50 gr. granulated sugar
200 gr. powdered sugar
110 gr. ground almonds
  1. Prepare 4 sheets of parchment paper and draw 1.5-2 inch radius circles about 2 inches apart.  Flip the sheets over (pencil side down) onto your baking sheets.  This will ensure your macarons come out uniform later.
  2. Measure out all the ingredients with a scale.  YES, unfortunately you do have to use a scale b/c it's weighed by mass, not volume.
  3. Run your powdered sugar and ground almonds through a food processor so that it forms a fine powder.  Sift the sugar and almond mixture.  This was kind of difficult b/c almonds are oily and it doensn't sift very easily.  Funny little balls formed haha.  Set aside.
  4. Whip your egg whites until a foam forms.  Start adding in the granulated sugar slowly until a glossy meringue forms.  You need medium stiff peaks. DO NOT OVERBEAT.  DO NOT UNDERBEAT.  A good tip I picked up while researching macarons was that you should be able to turn your mixing bowl upside down and the meringue will not slip out.  MAGIC!
  5. MACRONAGE:  this is the scary part.  You need to combine your powders to your meringue.  If you're using food coloring, add it now.  Fold them together with a spatula quickly, but evenly.  Another good tip I picked up was to fold about 50 strokes.  The consistency of the batter should "flow like magma."
  6. Fill a pastry bag with a large plain tip and pipe your batter onto your circles.  You know you have the right consistency when the little "beak" that forms when you lift your piping tip up dissappears very slowly.
  7. After you finish all your circles, set the pans aside for ONE HOUR.  This allows a shell to form on your macaron.  It's also a good time to make your fillings and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  You should be able to lightly touch your raw macarons without getting batter on your finger.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes (depending on the size of the macaron).  You know you did it right when little "feet" form along the bottom of the macaron.  Allow macarons to cool completely before filling.
  9. Pipe or spoon your filling of choice and match up similarly sized macarons.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
  1. Heat the cream until hot. 
  2. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate to it. 
  3. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. 
  4. Let cool until firm enough to to pipe or spoon onto the macaron shells.

For the White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache:
1 1/2 cup white chocolate 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam
  1. Heat the cream until hot. 
  2. Add the chocolate and jam into the cream and stir until all are melted and come together. 
  3. Let cool until firm enough to pipe or spoon onto the macaron shells.

I sprinked cocoa powder on some and crushed toffee on some before baking.

I also attempted 2 dulce de leche ones, but that needs more practice.

The plain macarons came out small and weird (beak!) b/c I didn't fold enough.  The raspberry macarons came out better because the adding of the food coloring required a few more strokes.  In retrospect, the pink batter was definitely more magma-like.  Lesson learned.

20 comments :: Macarons

  1. yum!!

  2. you're making me hungry!

  3. they look absolutely delectible. i've gotten hooked on them myself!

  4. i love macarons too.... i've been spending way too much on them to get them in town.. must learn to make 'em too... or you can just make for me yes? yes!

  5. haha when i saw this at first i kept thinking, why is ta spelling macaroon macaRON?!?! and then i got even more confused with the pictures. well they look DELISH. i want some now!!!

  6. and is there a place to get them in houston?!?!

  7. wow, they look great-- well done! i cant wait to try them one day!

  8. jeez those look delicious ♥

  9. You can get them delivered to you from sucre of new orleans, but they cost a bundle.

  10. you are the best cook ever. i wish my dream would come true now hahaha. please come to california :)

  11. i am speechless... you are amazing! the only thing my kitchenaide mixer sees is cookie dough -_-

    i brought back macarons from london's lourdees and savored one every day of the week back home. i wanted to cry when there was only one left in that pretty little box. SOB.

    maybe you can try this lady in houston- or perfect your own and sell them at the farmers market!

  12. I'm impressed. damn you have some skills lady.

  13. Wow they look nice ^^ I've never ever had a macaroon in my life ><

  14. i absolutely love your hello daughter blog!

  15. Oh yes, of course, like MAGMA! Remember that time when that volcano erupted and we ran for our lives? Magma! Sure! Just like that!

  16. yum! they look amazing! i need to try one one of these days :)

  17. oh man, now u got me hankering for some macarons.

  18. ummmmmmm yummmy! I love those babies!

  19. Yuuum, those look SO lush! I've honestly never tried macaroons, but I think now I will have to!

    xoxo, mavi

  20. Those look SO good!!

Post a Comment