Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mesmerized with Macaroons

I have been mesmerized with macaroons since my first and hopefully not my last trip to Laduree in Paris. They are the ultimate decadent, Parisian dessert. There is something so wonderful about the crunchy yet fluffy texture of these little cookies that is just indescribable. They are hard to find in most places in the US, so I was quite delighted when I saw a DIY button on Miss at la Playa's blog that had a recipe for Macaroons. It has been three years since I saw that recipe and decided it was about time I tired my hand at making macaroons. 

First Trip to Laduree
Due to the fact that macaroon making is infamous for its technical nature I did quite a bit of research on various blogs and found quite a few interesting tips (List of Blogs is found at the end of the post). I ended up applying the tips (highlighted) I found to the recipe found on Miss at la Playa's blog. I may go with a different recipe next time or just try it again with better technique (more on this later), as my macaroons were far from perfect. But I will not give up until I perfect them!

Macaroon Batter:
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces , 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 egg whites (Many blogs suggest use eggs that are a couple of days old and separating the eggs anywhere from 12-24 hours before and letting them age at room temp)
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

I suggest getting all the ingredients ready before hand, like this:

Chocolate Filling½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces (120 gr) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15 gr) butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C)
(The Givers Log blog suggested preheating to 375 and then turning down to 325 just before placing each sheet in. I feel that part of my problem was that this was too hot for my macroons each oven is different so see what works for you.)

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.

Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes. (Had trouble getting my meringue (whipped egg whites and sugar) right, likely due to a not clean enough bowl and having some yoke in my egg whites)

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone). (Folding is a crucial step and must be done right. This video from was most useful to me)

Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the countertop to flatten the macaroons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet. (Many bloggers suggest letting the pipped batter rest for 30 to an hour allowing a film to form and as Givers Log says no film no foot. I let mine sit for 40 minutes)

To make the chocolate filling:
Heat the cream in a small saucepan with the corn syrup. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using.
(I ended up cooling mine in the freezer)

Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macaroons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it, but I prefer to spread it by hand; it’s more fun, I think.)
I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.
Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened container, to avoid condensation which will make the macaroons soggy.

Not so beautiful foots :(
The above picture shows how my foots did not turn out, though the cookies were quite delicious. I believe this is most likely due too a bad meringue and cooking them at too hot of a temperature for too long. Hope you learned from some of my mistakes. I am going to keep trying! I will keep you posted on how my next attempts go! I also just got another bountiful basket so I will be sharing recipes inspired by my basket!

Blogs With Great tips:

Miss at la Playa - The recipe

Annie Eats - A very good cook with a more technical description of Macaroon baking, great pictures.

Givers Log - As you can see from my highlighted tips I really liked this blog, she had very clear tips and lots of them.

Tartelle - The queen of Macaroons according to Annie and others, lots of different types of Mararoon recipes on this blog including lots of other fun desserts.

Bellalimento - This blogger details a Macaroon class with Tartelle

Wedding Chicks - This site had some interesting Macaroon flavors such as pumpkin

How to Cook That - This is were I found the awesome video mentioned above

Not So Humble Pie - Has a wonderfully detailed trouble shooting list

1 comment:

  1. I tried making macaroons a few months ago! Yours turned out better than mine, they were ugly but still tasted good! We should have a macaroons baking party sometime. I want to try them again!