Monday, February 22, 2010

le French Macarons.

Friday Evening I tried my hand at French macarons. These petite beauties are all the rage right now.

And so after trying one for the first time, reading the ingredients: egg whites, sugar, powdered sugar, and nut flour (I mean, really, how could anything not be delicious with those ingredients! nut flour as a base for anything is always so good), and being completely inspired by other women venturing into this baking art I decided to try it.

So I went to my go-to baking diva Cristie at The Table Runner. I had already studied her latest "mac" blog post, but had just a few questions before I began. I'm so glad I called her because she gave me tips such as:
  • Make sure your nut flour is very fine. (I ground my blanched almonds as fine as I could then ground them further once I added the powdered sugar).
  • Don't double the batch before you test it out a few times- different ovens vary in how they cook the macs and changes might need to be made in baking time/temperature for your particular oven.
  • Macs really do look better with some color and spunk. I was going to omit any coloring but they really do look fun and fancy with some.
  • Add a little flavor to the cookie in the middle of beating the eggs (this goes for color as well) I added 1 teaspoon almond extract.
  • Pipe the macs on parchment paper with a pattern underneath- this was extremely helpful as my macs would have been a wide assortment of overconfident sizes without the pattern (pull the pattern out before baking).
  • Add sprinkles or sanding sugar before baking.
  • The macs are done when they pull off easily from the parchment. If they are sticking at all they are not done yet.
  • Pipe instead of spread ganache and fillings as macs are pretty delicate.
I used this recipe on Passionate About Baking.

Cristie has even more tips on her blog post. She is in a group called Mac Tweets- a group of dedicated French macaron bakers. They have challenges and stuff and I kind of want to join!

Also very helpful was Bonnie's macaron post on City Home/ Country Home. She has some wonderful pictures of the process.

All in all I'm very happy with the end result of my macs. They were a bit lopsided but they did have some "feet" (the ruffle on the bottom) which made me happy. I filled mine with a milk chocolate ganache.

Dashing Boy ate a bazillion of them and said they were the best. In fact, he almost made himself sick he ate them so fast. I'll definitely be making these again!


candace said...

wow, Jenny! those look amazing!

Anonymous said...

way to go Jenny! What a fun hobby to get into. It sounds so refined -- of course, you are so refined. can't wait to see what you come up with. I'll try to learn to eat them more slowly and daintily :)

- Dashing boy

Gigi said...

i will take some more!

Cristie said...

Jenny your mac's were wonderful, thank you for sending one home for me! You did such a great job on your first attempt! Mine were such a failure the first time. Please join the group!! You would love it!

Bonnie said...


Your Macarons look wonderful for a first try. I speak from experience, they are not quick and easy. You have to be very meticulous. I'm still trying to perfect them. My first batch technically was pretty good, but they needed more color. They looked like mini, hamburgers. Yours are much prettier.

Nell said...

Oh my goodness macarons are the greatest treat on the earth! i bet yours are even better! yummmmm