I want to share with you my attempt at French macarons! Now, this was a challenge.
I began by performing extensive research on various recipes and techniques. Watched countless videos and went on a bit of an Amazon shopping spree to make sure I was prepared for this day. I was now ready to do this.
For those that don’t know, French macarons are composed of 3 main components: egg whites, nut meal/flour (most commonly almond), and sugar. The trick is to make sure these components are added in the right ratio so your consistency is JUST right so these beauties dry perfectly and rise to create those happy feet. There are SO many recipes available and variations so it really is a trial & error process. Instead of focusing on the DON’Ts I’m going to help you through the DOs!
I’ll help you step-by-step in the process of making these delicious chocolate macarons with a tangy raspberry filling. I will tell you, these were a hit. My husband probably ate half of them on the train in to work! He tells me they made it in..but who knows! Ha!
First, here is what you’ll need:
Tools & Gadgets
- Stand or hand mixer fit with whisk attachment
- Kitchen scale
- Measuring cups
- Cookie or sheet baking trays
- Silicon mat or parchment paper
- 2 Piping bags or plastic zip bags
Macaron Batter (adapted from David Lebovitz )
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 50 g almond meal
- 25 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 65 g granulated sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese (about half a package)
- 2 cups
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 5-6 drops Red food coloring
- 3 tsp Raspberry flavor
Preheat your oven to 350F or 180C.
Gather all of your ingredients. Make sure those eggs are at room temperature! If in a hurry, here’s a quick trick- place eggs in a cup of warm water for a couple minutes to reduce the internal temperature and voila! Your eggs are ready!
Measure your dry ingredients on that scale! Precision is KEY to this recipe. Everyone of us scoops differently whether you spoon, pack or scoop, this method has too many variables. So, in order to make sure your almond(or nut) flour and sugar are added in right proportions please take the time to weigh them out.
Process/grind the almond meal, cocoa and confectioner’s sugar to incorporate and create a fine consistency. This step is very important. In my first attempt at macarons I just sifted my ingredients and was left with some larger bits of almond-this didn’t create the proper consistency I needed. So, after you measure out your ingredients, add them to a food processor and blend until components are fully mixed and you’ve created a very fine consistency that feels smooth and fluffy. CAUTION: Make sure you blend the almond meal WITH the sugar and cocoa. If you only blend the almond meal, you may end up with almond butter…not what we’re aiming for here!
Crack and separate your eggs adding the whites to your mixing bowl. You only want the egg whites for this recipe, be careful not to get any yolks in your bowl! Begin mixing at medium speed, in my Kitchenaid this is at 6. When the eggs get frothy, add your granulated sugar and beat until firm, stiff peaks form. This will take approximately 2-3min. Your egg whites should be stiff and have a high glossy shine to them.
Now is the folding part. This can be kinda tricky, I won’t lie to you. So, take the mixture sitting in your food processor and pour about half into the mixing bowl containing your egg whites. Using your spatula, fold to incorporate all the ingredients. The best technique is to come down the center of the bowl with your spatula almost as if you are “cutting” the batter in half and swirl the perimeter of the bowl. By doing this you will push the batter towards the wall of the bowl to help remove any bubbles and swirl to fold. Repeat until fully incorporated.
Next, add the remaining mixture in to your egg whites and mix in the same motion as before until fully incorporated. It seems “molten lava” is used as the term to describe this batter, no clue what that means BUT if you know what thick frosting looks like, this is what you are aiming for. Once you’ve achieve this consistency, stop, no more mixing. Set that spatula down!
Make sure your pans are ready to go. I used these helpful silicone mats with guides for piping my macarons. If you don’t have these, you can create a guide by drawing circles on a piece of parchment paper for your desired size and use this as a template underneath a clean sheet of parchments paper where you will pipe your macarons.
Fill your piping bag, fit with a round tip, with your batter. The trick to piping the batter is to dispense the batter vertically, you don’t want to introduce a lot of air here so, refrain from swirling like frosting. Just dispense a dollop and flick to prevent a peak from forming on the top. Repeat until you’ve piped all your batter!
Get those air bubbles out! Here, you will bang or drop your pan on the counter to flatten and remove any air bubbles that remain. This si important so you don’t end up with cracks or hollow macarons!
Now, let these babies rest and dry. This will take about 20 minutes. You will know when the batter is no longer sticky or tacky when you touch with your fingertip. A nice crust should form on the top which is crucial for creating those feet!
Bake! Place your sheet in the bottom third rack of your oven. Bake until you see these babies rise, approximately 15-18minutes.
Once done baking, let them cool completely before filling. While they cool, you can make the filling!
Make sure the butter is softened and the cream cheese is at room temperature. Mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Reduce your mixer speed to low and slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar. Once incorporated, add the milk and increase speed to medium. Mix until frosting is light and fluffy.
Add the flavoring and food coloring. For this recipe we are making raspberry frosting so add 3 tsp of the raspberry flavor and 5-6 drops of food coloring or until desired color is reached. Mix until fully incorporated. This is where you can experiment with different flavors and colors!
Fill your macarons! By now your macarons should be completely cooled, if not wait until they are or chill for a few minutes to speed the process. Fill your piping bag with the frosting fit with any desired tip. Dispense approximately a teaspoon onto a macaron or desired amount and place a second macaron on top to sandwich. Repeat until all your macarons have been filled and paired. That’s it! See, not so bad right?