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.