Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vanilla Macarons

My first ever attempt at making macarons! It's hard not to feel like a beginner when the only macarons you've eaten are by the best in the macaron-business: Pierre Hermé and Ladurée. Oh well, I did not expect a perfect macaron on my first try, and mine certainly were not perfection. But I am very glad I made them because now I know what I should do differently the next time. I am determined to get at least a decent macaron sometime in the nearby future. For those who are unfamiliar with macarons, it is a French sandwich cookie that was invented in heaven ... uh, I mean Paris! Everyone who has a food-blog is raving about them, and I feel kind of dirty following the latest obsession, but yes these French delicacies are as delicious as they are gorgeous! (not mine obviously)

Mine weren't as colorful as macarons can be, but that's because I made vanilla macarons. I adore raspberry and rose macarons (rose as in the flower) and I can't wait to try out those flavors!

Vanilla Macarons recipe: adapted from the fabulous Tartelette.

Ingredients: makes about 30 sandwich macarons
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 ½ cups sliced almonds, finely ground or almond flour

Instructions:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
- Place the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
- Preheat the oven to 280°F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe: Martha Stewart - Baking Handbook

Ingredients: makes 4 cups, but you will only need 2 cups so better halve it!
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened, cut into tablespoons
- 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:
-In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160°F).
- Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes.


Next time I am going to pipe the macaron batter a bit thicker.


And use a little less almond.


Macaron #1: you are ready!



Click on the photos to see my rose macarons & lemon macarons!

Rose MacaronsLemon Macarons with Lemon Curd

11 comments:

Eliana said...

The first time I had French macaroons was in Paris last year. I don't even want to ruin it for myself so making these myself at home is off limits. You look like you are off to a great start. can wait to see your next batch.

thereddeer said...

Looks to me like you did a great job! I don't think I will attempt these anytime soon - I can see myself getting frustrated with the mixing/folding - I am a bit to rough and heavy handed for that.

Angela Henrie said...

Those look so delicious. You have ALMOST convinced me to try and make them...good job!

Snooky doodle said...

Although your macaroons are not perfect they look yummy. I ve never tried making macaroons but I d like to try them this week. I ve never ate a French Macaroon either :(

apparentlyjessy said...

I think you've done a fantastic job for a first try, I look forward to seeing rose and raspberry ones I bet they will look pretty!

Fabjena(TheBestRecipes) said...

I have never tried to make macaroons, but they are so delicious :)) I have to try this recipe! :)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

When I first started food blogging, these were EVERYWHERE!!! I haven't made them yet, but yours look yummy! :D

Klara said...

Hi there , i love your blog alot , i really want to learn how to make macaroons because it's really delicious and your blog is really amazing :D

Halap nona said...

I like your recipe but I am not sure about something, you said ( whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue)but you did not say which sugar we use for that the 1 1/4confectioners' sugar or the 1/4 granulated sugar?????

Paris Pastry said...

@Halap nona: 1/4 cup granulated sugar should be added to the egg whites. The confectioners' sugar-part is informed the second line of instructions. Sorry for the confusion!

Anonymous said...

I love making these little french cookies! I got the recipe when I joined a pastry club online and have been whipping them up regularly ever since. My one tip for you would be to use silpat mats instead of greased parchment paper. It works MUCH better.