So I finally bit the bullet and made macarons over the weekend. I kept pushing it off because I kept hearing how hard it would be. And then I bought a bunch of eggs and turned them into a meringue and made me some macarons.
It’s actually much easier than I thought, although that being said, it’s still kinda labour intensive (and woah – so many eggs!) I used this recipe and only modified it a little – more or less with oven time. And guys, they taste even better after being in the fridge for a few days!
I tried a few fillings but I still haven’t found one with the chewy texture I’m craving… The recipe I’m sharing is pretty close. I also tried some salted caramel spread I bought in NY and while very tasty, was a little overwhelming.
Recipe adapted from Cake Journal. I suggest you take a visit because the pictures help :)
Yields approx 30 macarons.
- 1 1/8 cups ground almond
- 3 LARGE egg whites. Let them warm up about 6-12 hours before using.
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons extra fine sugar
- Parchment paper + 2 baking sheets
- Piping bag and tips
- Grind almond and icing sugar together using a food processor or washed coffee grinder. What you want is a nice fine “almond and icing sugar flour”. If you don’t have either just sift the two together a few times to remove any lumps. The recipe will still work, but your macarons won’t be baby bum smooth.
- In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand mixer (Or a stand mixer if you’re special) Once the eggs start peaking, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is nice and stiff. Hint: You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue coming out.
- FOLD (don’t stir) the almond-icing sugar mixture into the meringue using a spatula. You can do half at first, fold a few times, and fold the rest after if you’d like. The meringue should deflate a little, so don’t worry if you see it losing body. It’s also going to look super lumpy, but keep folding and it’ll look nice and smooth soon enough. I used ONE drop of food colouring (don’t use too much or you’ll thin out the mixture too much.
- Make sure to test the batter for good consistency: drop a teaspoon amount onto parchment paper and if it’s slow to flatten, you’re all set!
- Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Mine had browned beautifully at this point, but they do recommend you taking the lid off and baking it for an additional 10-15 minutes. If your loaf lacks colour, stick it in for longer, otherwise it should be ready to go :)
- Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets. I ended up with two sheets with 3×5 rows. Remember that they will flatten once you’ve piped, so don’t make them too big.
- IMPORTANT: Let them set for 45-60 minutes to form a dry skin.
- preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Get your sheets ready and put them in the middle rack once the oven is hot.
- bake for 3-4 minutes and turn the pans around so they get rqual hear. bake another 3-4 minutes. Most recipes call for longer (more like 5 minutes on each side) but my oven cooks things funny. You’ll want to keep a close eye on them because they brown very easily…
- Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
I originally used this recipe from martha stewart, but it totally fell flat and I wasn’t too pumped about using a whole pound of butter for icing. This one (scroll down) turned out much nicer (From Cake Journal as well!)
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup super fine granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup softened butter (cut in pieces)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
- Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl.
- Put the bowl in a double-boiler with simmering water. Keep whisking until the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Remove from heat. Start whipping the mixture with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer) until it is white and fluffy, like meringue.
- Whip until cool, this can take up to 10 minutes.
- Add the butter slowly, piece by piece and keep whipping for another 3 minutes.
- If the mixture looks soupy and grainy, don’t give up! Just keep whipping and it’ll come together.
- Add the vanilla or any other type of flavoring and whip until fully combined.
- put a small dollop onto your macaron and sandwich between two shells. let rest before munching!