Edited to add: First read my post about Laduree Macarons and Finding the Perfect Macaron Recipe for inspiration, tips and other links about macarons – Tartelette also made Hot Tamale macarons yesterday!
Making macarons was easier and more fun than I hoped it would be, but it was perhaps the biggest mess I’ve made in the kitchen for quite some time (Sara: 0, Piping Bag: 1). I definitely have lots of room for improvement.
This time making macarons it was all about the cookies. I threw some filling options together at the last minute since I wasn’t sure how the macarons would come out and I just wanted to get familiar with what I see are the basic components of the recipe:
- Aging and beating the egg whites
- Folding the dry ingredients into the egg whites
- Piping the macarons onto a baking tray
Of course I should have added to this list “grinding, sifting and pulverizing the almonds” because, as you’ll see, my freshly ground almonds were a bit rough. Quelle horreur! My little food processor just couldn’t handle Macaron Duty. Lesson learned.
I basically doubled David Lebovitz’ Chocolate Macaron recipe, except I didn’t double the sugar added to the whites (my mistake).
Note: My macarons cooked rather fast (perhaps because I didn’t follow the “wooden spoon in oven door” advice I’ve seen floating around) and at around 10 minutes I checked on them and took them out.
My first few shells were treated to a lovely raspberry jam from Frances Moit that I picked up at the Comptoir de France in Milan. Sara says it’s one of the best jams in the world and I have to agree, it’s very very good. My mom’s homemade raspberry jam is hard to compete with, though.
I also couldn’t test this tart and tangy jam without pairing it also with peanut butter, so I whipped up a little peanut butter and powdered sugar in my mini-prep and added that to another macaron with the jam.
And….(comes closer to the screen)…it was good! I could probably be stoned for admitting that in several towns in France, but for now I am safe in my apartment.
And because I think all chocolate needs to be spicy at least once, I made a spicy chocolate filling that I am going to play with for future rounds of macarons.
Spicy Chocolate filling
Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Peperoncino / hot pepper flakes, crushed
Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and several tablespoons cocoa powder together thoroughly. Beat into softened butter, taste. Add hot pepper flakes sparingly, but to taste.
Chocolate Macarons with Spicy Chocolate Filling – the spicy in these macarons was more of an afterburn rather than a spicy-lips feeling.
See all those white flecks? Bad almonds that didn’t want to be crushed!
So what did I learn this time around? Next time…
- Age my egg whites for 24 hours or more (Veronica’s Test Kitchen has a lovely post about using aged egg whites or not to make macarons)
- Experiment with letting the macarons set-up for 30 minutes or more
- Pour the water under the parchment paper after taking them out of the oven because it makes me giggle
- Try cooking at a lower temperature and/or using the “wooden spoon trick” for softer shells
- Experiment with almond flour and hazelnut flours that are pre-ground
- Continue not to trace circles on the paper – having irregular-sized macarons was fun and I enjoyed matching them up
- Grind my own almonds unless I change the currrent food processor I have
- Fill up the piping bag so much
Anyone have any recipes just for egg yolks? I have a feeling I’m going to have a bumper crop of them in my near future.
Sara - Piperita says
I personally let the whites age at least 4 days, room temperature and I let the uncooked shells to rest for 1 hour…
And I put two baking trays, one over the other, to create a more resistant base…
All Pierre Hermè secrets! :)
Delicious! I’ve been wanting to try this since everyone seems to be doing them. Thanks for the tips!
They look fabulous and I’m encouraged to give them a try! Thanks for all the tips.
Gingerbread Girl says
Hi Ms.Adventure ;)
I think that the your macarons are wonderful, but I don’t understand the recipe u.u
Please, help me!
Wow, those are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never tasted macarons but there are so many variations floating around the blogosphere these days I might just have to try making some myself! Again, yours look beautiful (and delicious)!
I love reading (and seeing the beautiful photos of) all the macaron experiments. Your photos are so delicious! The chocolate looks so rich. But I have to say, from all that I’ve read, these seem to border on molecular gastronomy with all the aging and special techniques involved.
How much time do you think you spent preparing these? Is this a full weekend project?
I love the peanut butter and jam idea…quelle surprise! And I will definitely try the spicy chocolate filling…Aztec Macarons? Yum.
A box of Laduree macarons arrived from Paris on Friday (with my weekend house guests). I think after the duel inspiration of your post and Laudree, I will have to try making them myself!
I hope some are coming to the US! :-P
Susan at Stickygooeycreamychewy says
Beautiful macarons.! Love the PB&J! I’m still working up the nerve to make them myself.
nyc/caribbean ragazza says
Chocolate macaron with a PB+Jam filling? That sounds irresistable to me! Can’t wait to hear about the review of your macaron with spicy chocolate filling. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a winner too!
Chez Denise et Laudalino says
These are beautiful. Great job! Once you start making them, it becomes a habit – you are inspired me to get back in there (http://chezdeniseetlaudalino.blogspot.com/2007/06/three-macarons.html) and make some more … maybe for St. Patty’s Day or Easter, since I missed Valentines or maybe just to eat them!! Keep trying them out!!
Yummy! They look absolutely delicious. I may have to have a hand at trying some. As for all of the egg yolks…custard comes to mind and when I make meringue cookies or angel food cake, I use the yolks to make egg noodles. They freeze well. Can’t wait to see more!!
Those are beautiful beautiful macarons! Thanks a lot for the tips, I hope to make my first ones soon.
I have a good alfajores recipe that uses 5 egg-yolks. Mail me if you’re interested.
Get a new blade for your food processor, or have yours sharpened. People always forget that you can do that, but it’s like getting a new machine!
Glad you liked the recipe. I’d say egg yolks equals a few batches of gelati!
Michelle @ Us vs. Food says
that’s it, i’m trying my hand at macarons this weekend. i love the idea of the spicy chocolate.
egg yolks = either gelato, or fruit curd. or donuts and custard!
hey Sara … these look so neat ! gosh u’ve inspired me to try my own. I have to try these but that would be step 2. I’ve been trying to make meringues today . But the damn thing sticks to the baking paper and i cant seem to get it off. Got any tips with that ???
There is a lovely patisserie in Oxford, which I am sure will sell macarons, I am just going to have to take another trip into see. If so I am just going to have to buy them, and try for myself..:-)
Joanna in the kitchen says
Beautiful. Sweet. Adorable. If you have spare egg yolks I suggest italian or french zabaglione. Simple and soooooo delicious. Either with fresh fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) or with a dash of wine or porto :-D
I am totally addicted to these things. It is good there is not a bakery within 200 miles from here that makes them. I had some in San Francisco this weekend, and just loved them. Everyone seems to be putting up recipes lately. I may have to try my hand at making them. Thanks for posting.
I am a macaron virgin, but your post has made me want to run to the kitchen and make some! Thanks so much for all the helpful information!
They look absolutely fabulous! Especially the spicy chocolate-filled! I’d use the yolks in creme brulee!
All I said when I saw the pics was ” hmmmmmm”…
I’ve never prepared them myself, but this is a good start. I’ve bookmarked it.
Great post! They look so, so, so good! Macaron’s have been on my list to try for so long. I no longer have an excuse.
my melange says
I think these look so fabulous!!! I can’t imagine you needing to change a thing. I think you should call Laduree and ask if they need an expert macaron maker…I think you’d get the job ;)
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions re: egg yolks, everyone!
@Lieludalis – this is not a whole weekend project, though you have to remember to put the egg whites out to room temperature so it can’t be a last minute one! I suspect as I get faster with the pastry bag I will get faster.
@David – doh! You are right, great advice.
@Kate, i think it’s the same with macarons, try pouring a little water under the paper when you take them out of the oven, the steam might loosen it up!
Jessica, Italy Logue says
My mom has two cookie recipes she always makes together, because one uses the yolks and the other the whites. Her yolks go into butter cookies – they’re rich and simple, and a quintessential Christmas cookie (at least in my house). Lemme know if you want me to get the recipe from Mom.
Bravo! Bravissimo! I am so happy that you did such a beautiful job on these! Chocolate, PB and jelly…j’adore!! I am working on a batch tomorrow but this one has me nervous!
A little late to this party, are there still macarons left for me? They look delectable.
I tried this recipe with disasterous results. The batter was a brick. I could stand my spoon up in it. I couldn’t pipe it at all so instead of wasting it i just spooned it out like choc. chip cookie dough, formed little balls and baked them. Not at all a macaron, but they did taste good. Do you have any advise. I really think there isn’t enough wet ingredients in the recipe, or maybe to much dry. What do you think?
Lady Macaron says
Great choco macaron! ohh spicy chili flakes is a great comb with that filling. Chilli chocolate is getting it’s own popularity in Australia. If you want ideas to use the egg yolks I suggest you go to this website http://macarons.info/macaron-fillings/macaron-buttercream-recipes/ and you can make a french buttercream as fillings from the yolks. Or lemon tart is also a good idea.
Yuni Bernadeta says
Hi Ms. Adventures,
I tried to make macaroons but my macaroons didnt have feet and also the uppper shell was cracked. I dont know why?
I didnt use aged white eggs but fresh eggs. My concern is, if I put my white eggs in room temperature in my country who has high humidity, the eggs will be broken.
Need your advice
francisco pinheiro says
Gosto muito das imagens de alimentos atualmente prefiro fotografar objetos inanimados, still!
(From Google Translate: I love the pictures of food actually prefer to shoot inanimate objects, still!)
Regarding suggestions for use of egg yolks: Bread pudding. I use whiskey or brandy to replaced the liquid volume of egg whites.
I mad the chocolate macarons and they came out well, but the shells (when baked) were matte, not dark and shiny at all. Could you tell me why this happened? The egg whites were beaten to the correct consistency and I did not over or under fold the batter.
Ms. Adventures in Italy says
@Ruby – there are so many factors which could have contributed Did you let the shells set before cooking?
Hi Ms. Adentures in Italy – yes, I did, I let them sit for about 45 – 60 minutes, until they formed a skin.
Yours look wonderful; dark and shiny. Did you use dutch processed or natural (regular) cocoa?