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I have a long time without writing here! Things have changed a lot around here!
All right! This time I want to write a favorite from French pastries: MACARONS! I have baked a few successful batches (the ones in the pictures)
So, how did I got to know these little cute delicious cookies? Well, it happen sometime while I was a t a pastry shop that open near my home, I tried them, and it was love at first bite!
But now, since they are expensive (I paid almost $2.00 each) I decided to start doing them myself, and let me tell you, now I understand now why they are expensive; not only because some of their ingredients are kinda pricey (almond meal/almonds), because these cookies are so difficult to do! It requires a lot of practice to get just okay looking macarons.
So now this goes to the next question: what are the ingredients of these cookies?
Here is the recipe (yields 8 cookies aprox)
- 1 oz of almond meal/almond flour (if you don`t find it, just get blanched almonds and grind them until powder in a coffe/spice grinder)
-2 oz of confectiones sugar
-1.25 oz of (aged) egg whites (aprox 1 egg)
- .625 oz of granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1 drop of food coloring (optional)
Days before you start: age your egg whites! This mean that you separate them, let them sit in the fridge for at least one day. This step is optional, but I got better results with aged egg whites than with fresh. Just be sure that your egg whites will be at room temperature before you start.
1.- sift the almond meal, you don`t want any big pieces of almonds on your batter! Weight it; put it in a food processor.
2.- sift the confectioners` sugar, weight it and put it in the same food processor bowl as the almond flour/almond meal.
3.- process these `dry ingredients` on the food processor for aprox 15 secs. Now keep them in a side for later
5.-Making the meringue: a) measure your egg whites (I use a shot glass size measuring cup), put them in a bowl/stand mixer bowl with the salt.
b)Start whipping in medium speed, when they get all foamy (you can start to see the whisk marks) add the sugar. Stop whipping when you get into soft peaks.
c)add the food coloring (optional), and whip until you get stiff peaks.
*Super important note* DO NOT UNDERMIX OR OVERMIX THE EGGWHITES! That means disaster!!!
6.- most important step: macaronage! When your meringue is ready, fold USING A RUBBER SPATULA the dry ingredients until you get a molten lava consistency batter. DO NOT OVERMIX OR UNDERMIX!! That means disaster too.
7.- put this mix into a piping bag, start piping in a cookie tray with parchment paper or silpat on it (please, do use other thing different than silpat or parchment paper)
8.- tap.. bang the cookie tray over the counter for letting those tiny bubbles pop! After that, pop the rest of the bubbles with a toothpick.
9.- rest the cookies for at least 15 minutes or until they arent tacky to the touch. Meanwhile, preheat your oven on 350 F.
10.- Bake the cookies on 300 F to 325 F for 12 mins on the lowest rack of the oven.
11. take them out, let them cold and separate them from the parchment paper/silpat. They should be ease to separate, if not they needed some minutes more in the oven.
12.- sandwich the cookies with your favorite filling! I like white chocolate ganache, French or Swiss buttercream!
So yes, these are very finicky cookies! I know my step guide is very general but if you really want to jump in and make them I recommend you to visit these awesome sites and watch these helpful videos:
Bravetart: http://bravetart.com/recipes/Macarons She has been so helpful! And her technique and recipe is the one I got better results! I really like her troubleshooting guide!
Food nouveau: http://foodnouveau.com/macarons/ Also a great guide and troubleshooting guide.
Watch these videos:
Entertaining with Beth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ636Y8N6E8 Her foolproof recipe and recipe is great, but I love the video because it explains it all!
Byron Talbott: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ5GTnE9y5E I love his videos on macarons! He has original recipes, especially for fillings.
So far, this is pretty much about macarons, dont worry if you fail, they still delicious, the important thing here is to practice a lot and have fun practicing, eating them and sharing them!