First Time’s A Charm?

Who would have thought that the first time I made macarons I would have gotten them right? Not me that’s for sure and if you read my previous post probably not you either.

It really only took me 2 years, yes 2 years, of research to muster up the courage to finally try them out. I’m glad I did and to be honest they weren’t as tough as I originally thought. I think the key to a proper macaron is knowing how far to go in terms of mixing. No amount of explanation will prepare you for what the macaron batter should look like and it’s best just  to watch someone, who knows what they’re doing, make it. Luckily, I had seen it done when I was working as a pastry cook  and also once in culinary school.

I also should admit that I wasn’t nearly as calm as I sound while making these. Thinking about over mixing the batter made me just slightly nervous, actually more than slightly.

Basic Macarons

Adapted slightly from Canelle et Vanille’s recipe
Makes about 40 individual 1.5″ macaron shells

110g almond flour
149g powdered sugar
85g egg whites (aged for 1 to 5 days in the fridge, covered with air holes)
a pinch of fine salt
49g granulated sugar

In a medium sized bowl sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until thick and foamy. Gradually add in granulated sugar and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Add the almond mixture to the egg whites and fold with a spatula. Make sure to scrape from all sides and then from the centre outward in order to get all the almond mixture combined. Drop a small amount onto a plate and lightly tap the plate to slightly spread the batter. If the batter keeps a large peak then the batter needs to be mixed some more. You want the batter to spread until there is only the tiniest peak at the top. If there is no peak and the batter is shiny then you’ve gone too far and you’ll have to start again. This is what they should look like once they’ve been piped and the pan has been tapped.

Once the batter is at the right consistency fill up a large pastry bag that is fitted with a 1cm round piping tip and pipe out 1 inch rounds onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Tap the pans with your palm gently on the bottom of both sides of the pans until there are no peaks at the top of the macarons. Let the macarons dry out at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325˚F and double up your baking pans. This will prevent the bottoms from getting dark. Bake on the middle rack for about 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool until you are able to gently peel them off with your fingers.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Makes 225g and enough for about 2 batches of macarons 

40g egg whites
75g granulated sugar
110g butter, cubed at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

In a large metal bowl or bowl of an electric mixer combine egg whites and sugar. Set over a double boiler and lightly whisk until the sugar is dissolved and you can’t feel the granules between your fingertips. Remove from boiler and wipe the bottom of the bowl with a towel.

Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add in butter a little at a time until all is incorporated. Add in the vanilla seeds and whisk to combine.

Once the macarons are assembled they can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days. Let them come to room temperature before eating.

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3 thoughts on “First Time’s A Charm?

  1. Anjo Angela says:

    Congralutations! They look lovely, just the right texture. I see you’re also a new around the block in the world of food blogging. High five, me too! I’ll be adding you to my blogroll, just a heads up. 🙂

  2. […] the macaron shells make a double (x2) batch of Basic Macarons and colour the egg whites with a few drops of yellow gel colouring during the last minute of […]

  3. Yes these turned out lovely for your first time and having had many, many failures at macarons I agree: it’s all about the mixing. Everything depends on that stinkin’ mixing. Thankfully I finally figured out what my macarons were supposed to look like, so I can crank some out when the mood strikes.

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