macarons

Elaini avatar
By Annastiina Salonen
from Vanhalinna, Varsinais-Suomi

Macarons were already known in the medieval era and the Italian chef of Catherine de' Medici was thought to have brought the maccherone cookies to France in 16th Century. The recipe has had different versions since then but this recipe is about the Parisian macarons first made in 1830s, these days known for their colors and and smooth texture. The recipe is not the simplest. It has many steps but succeeds with practice. I'll describe all the steps here. I have also written the recipe in Finnish, here: https://www.kotikokki.net/reseptit/nayta/854900/Macarons-leivokset/

serves 12
prep time 45 Min
cook time 23 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For macarons

  • 140 g
    almond flour, sifted (chocolate shells: replace 15 grams with unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 140 g
    powdered sugar
  • 100 g
    egg white, from about 172 grams of eggs (around 3)
  • 140 g
    sugar, granulated
  • 35 g
    water
  • food coloring, preferably the gel kind (opt.)

How To Make macarons

  • 1
    – Some recommend aging the egg whites in the case of macarons and some don't. Read further to learn more. – If you don't have ready almond flour at hand, read my recipe "https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/side/other-side-dish/blanching-and-pulverizing-nuts.html".
  • 2
    Preparing the batter: 1. Put the almond flour into the bowl, sieve the powdered sugar in and mix them even. 2. Add a half of the room temperature egg white and mix it all into a paste.
  • 3
    1. Whip the rest of the egg whites, not as stiff peaks but just to the point where they start to stay in shape. 2. Put the granulated sugar into a small kettle and add the water. Bring it into a boil, lower the heat to medium high and boil the sugar without stirring until it reaches 118°C (takes about three minutes). 3. Make the Italian meringue: slowly pour the hot sugar as a thin stream into the egg whites while they're still being beaten. Do not pour it too close to the edge so it won't be caught there. You may leave the meringue slightly soft as long as it stays in shape.
  • 4
    1. Fold in one third of the meringue into the almond paste with a spatula, going around the edges and bottom of the bowl. Add in the rest of the meringue bit by bit until the batter is smooth and glossy. It should be lava like: thick enough to still be able to flow slowly as a ribbon and hold its shape for a moment. Do not overmix. 2. Add the food coloring (preferably the gel kind) or split the batter and and color them different. Do not use a watery flavoring so the batter won't become too runny. Rather save it for the filling.
  • 5
    Shaping and baking: 1. Use a tiny amount of the batter as a "glue" between the baking sheets and the baking papers. 2. Pipe small blobs out of the batter (at least a few cm or one inch in diameter) directly towards the baking paper, using about 1 cm (half an inch) round tip. Cut the flowing batter with a small, fast spinning motion. The batter will slowly expand in the room temperature before rising in the oven so leave some space for them. 3. Lift the baking sheets for a few centimeters or inches and drop (knock) them back on the surface for a few times; it will help in removing some of the air bubbles. Pop the rest using a toothpick, for instance. 4. Leave the macaron shells to uncovered in the room temperature for about 30-60 minutes, longer if you're using liquid coloring. Touch them lightly with a finger; if they have formed a non sticky skin they are ready to be baked. If you want, decorate them with sprinkles etc. before that.
  • 6
    1. Heat the oven to 150°C. 2. Leave the macaron shells to uncovered in the room temperature for about 30-60 minutes, longer if you're using liquid coloring. Touch them lightly with a finger; if they have formed a non sticky skin they are ready to be baked. If you want, decorate them with sprinkles etc. before that. 3. Bake the shells for about 12-20 minutes depending on the size, one sheet at a time. If you don't have the (recommended) convection oven, do this: open the oven every 5 minutes for a few seconds to release some moisture. 4. Move the baked shells with the baking paper on a cool surface. If they don't detach easily, bake them for a moment more. If they are ready, cool them for about 20 minutes.
  • Macarons troubleshooting
    7
    Did the macaron shells not turn out as desired? I have made a table where you can see how the problem can be solved.
  • 8
    Filling: Pipe the filling evenly to a half of the shells and press the other shells on top of them. The cookies can be eaten at once but they are at their best when they have been kept in the fridge for a night or two. That's when the moisture has absorbed from the the filling to the shells, giving the insides of macarons their famous chewy and soft texture. I have written the recipes of the filling choices to another recipe: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cookies/macarons-fillings.html
  • 9
    Aging egg whites: Aging egg whites means separating the eggs and covering the whites with a plastic wrap with holes poked in it. Then it's put in the fridge for a few days. The result should be breaking down and dehydrating the proteins so the egg whites should be reweighed before use. Those who don't prefer it note that fresh egg whites taste milder than the aged ones which have a slight flavor of sulfur. Some also age the egg whites overnight in the room temperature which is not considered as safe as leaving them in the cool temperature. Professional bakeries do not necessarily age the egg whites, either. An option for aging the egg whites exists: leave the egg whites uncovered in the room temperature for two hours so they thicken. I have tried this myself and it works.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT