FOOD

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We were talking about macarons a while back, so I thought I’d try to make them.

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When I first thought of trying French macarons, I did some research and the overarching consensus was these little cookies can be tough to make!

As I was first making the meringue, I thought, well that’s not too bad, how hard can it be?
The difficulty really comes into play once they are in the oven. You have to have just the right balance of thickness for the batter, and the exact right oven temperature to keep them from cracking.
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If you get it right on the first batch, then you must be a super pro chef! Unlike my friend Jenny who made perfect macarons the first time, it took me a few times to get these cookies right!
For me, it was trial and error blending a few recipes together; and with this, my third try, I found just the right balance!
Macaron cookie recipe adapted from Ladurée Sucre.
Here’s what you need to get started:
Macaron Shell Ingredients:
5.3 ounces almond flower {150 grams}
5.3 ounces powdered sugar {150 grams}
1.8 ounces egg whites {50 grams}
Meringue Ingredients to incorporate into the macaron shells:
5.3 ounces granulated sugar {150 grams}
1.8 ounces water {50 grams}
1.8 ounces egg whites {50 grams}
You will want to make the raspberry filling first to give it time to cool.
 
Raspberry Filling Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar {220 grams}
2 tsp. fruit pectin
3 cups raspberries {375 grams}
1/2 lemon
Raspberry Filling Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir the sugar and pectin together.
  2. Puree the raspberries with a blender or food processor.
  3. Place the puree in a medium sauce pan and bring to low heat. Add the sugar and pectin with the lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes once boiling.
  4. Remove from stove and place in a bowl. Refrigerate to let the mixture start to gel to turn into a jam-like consistency.

Syrup Directions:

Let’s start by making a syrup for the meringue.
  1. 50 grams of water, pour in a pan 50 grams of water.
  2. Add 150 grams of sugar and bring it to a boil.
  3. Stir gently until you get to 245* F.
  4. We have to be very precise, removing from the burner when the temperature reaches 245 degrees fahrenheit {118 degrees celcius}. I used a baking thermometer to check the temperature.
  5. Now you can start the meringue.

Meringue Directions:

  1. Pour 1.8 ounces {50 grams} of egg whites and beat the whites on high.
  2. Continue whipping until the whites are very fluffy and similar to a consistency that’s like whipped cream.
  3. Once your syrup is at the temperature of 245 degrees fahrenheit, incorporate into the egg white meringue at slow speed until mix becomes homogeneous and has a nice, shiny consistency.

Dough for the Shells Directions:

Now we are going to work on the dough.
  1. Place 5.3 ounces {150 grams} of almond flower and 5.3 ounces {150 grams} of powdered sugar in a food mixer and let it grind for 3-4 minutes.
  2. After it is mixed, sift it well to make a very fine mix.
  3. In a large bowl, put the almond flower and powdered sugar mix. Add 1.8 ounces {50 grams} of egg whites. Start mixing by hand. Add in a few drops of red food coloring if you would like your macarons to be pink. You can adjust how much you add based on your desired color.
  4. Stil until you get a thick but homogeneous dough.
  5. Now, we add to the dough half of the meringue we made, which is still warm.
  6. Stir quickly to stretch that dough. When it’s perfectly incorporated, add the other half of the meringue and stir normally until you get a homogeneous mix.

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Piping the dough to make the shells:

  1. Place a layer of parchment paper on the cookie sheet to keep the dough from sticking. I placed a small dollop of the batter in each corner to hold the paper down and let it stick well to the sheet.
  2. Now we are ready to pour the cookie mix into a piping bag and start making the macarons.
  3. Make the shells a little smaller than a half dollar. Once you have the cookie sheet filled, you can lightly tap the bottom to let them settle so that they are more even on top.
  4. Let the cookie sheet sit for 15 minutes to remove air and settle into their shape. This should help prevent cracking in the oven.
  5. Cook in the oven at 305 degrees fahrenheit {150 celsius} for 15 minutes.
  6. Check the cookies often for cracking. If it seems they are starting to crack, if your heat source is primarily at the top, try moving down one level. If your heat is primarily from the bottom, move up one level.
  7. Once the shells are cooled, we can place a thin layer of the raspberry filling.

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According to the French recipes, you need to let them sit in a sealed box in the refrigerator for 24 hours before enjoying them so that the filling really settles into the shells. I followed that tip, but had a hard time waiting 24 hours to try one, so I had one right away just to  make sure it was good!

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So there you have it, raspberry macarons! Enjoy!!

If you make these, tweet me a photo!!! @carlytati

Wikipedia description for macaron 

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One Response to Afternoon Tea~~ French Macarons

  1. Macaroons aren’t easy to make! These look perfectly delicious. I will definitely have to try this recipe. I was thinking of trying blackberries, since I have fresh on hand. Cheers.
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