This is my second time making macarons. I was at first a bit intimidated when I came across Not So Humble Pie's troubleshooting guide. I mean, there are so many things that can go wrong. Now that I've made them a couple of times, though, I think that they're pretty simple.
A lack of certain materials prevented me from making macarons earlier. To make them, you'll need a kitchen scale (to make exact measurements), a piping bag, a mixer, and almond flour. Almond is kind of expensive and hard to find. I got mine from a health food store. You can make your own by putting almonds in a food processor, but you'll need a nice machine to make it fine enough.
Also, superfine (or castor) sugar is suggested for this recipe. It will make the texture of the macaron less grainy since it has smaller grains. However, it's almost impossible to find in stores, so you can just pulse regular sugar in a blender or food processor for a minute until it's powdery.
Another side note: many macaron makers suggest that you use aged egg whites. These are egg whites that are put in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator for a few days. This isn't essential, though, and I just used room temperature egg whites.
To be honest, though, even if they don't look perfect, there's a 99% chance that the macarons will taste good and that everyone will forgive you.
Anyways, I made these for Valentines Day, as you may have guessed. Also, you may not know this, but they satisfy not one, but two of the things on my list in the 2013 tab. Namely: "something red velvet" and "macarons." I don't really like using food coloring (how I was raised), but red velvet and macarons both need it. By combining them, I have saved myself the trouble of using a lot of food coloring twice :).
Before you make the macarons, make sure you remember these things:
- Make exact measurements and measure by weight, not volume.
- Wipe your bowl and beaters with lemon juice to help the egg whites whip up better.
- Don't over beat the egg whites; it'll make the macarons grainy.
- Don't over or under mix the batter. The batter should drip off the spoon in ribbons when you lift it, but shouldn't be too liquidy.
- Tap the pans after you pipe the batter to prevent cracking.
- Let the piped macaron batter sit on the baking sheets for 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on humidity) until it is firm on the outside.
- Only bake one sheet at a time.
- Refrigerate for a couple of days before eating to improve the flavor.
Now you're ready to make an awesome macaron!
Enjoy! I hope that you have a wonderful Valentines Day filled to the brim with chocolate!
|This is what superfine sugar should be like.|
|Batter should drip in ribbons.|
|Pipe the shapes with a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.|
|I printed out some heart shapes on paper and put them under the parchment paper to make piping easier. Don't forget to remove the templates after the macarons have set for 30 minutes!|
|Make sure you let the batter set for at least 30 minutes (depending on humidity) until the surface is firm.|
|After baking. See the feet!|
|Really simple ganache filling.|
Red Velvet Macarons with Chocolate Ganache filling
makes about 25 heart-shaped macarons (50 cookies, more if shaped like circles)
modified from Edible Mosaic
8 oz powdered (confectioners) sugar
4 oz almond meal (almond flour)
1/2 oz (12g, 2tbs) unsweetened cocoa powder
A couple pinches of salt
5 oz egg whites (from 4 eggs) room temperature
3 oz superfine (castor) sugar (or blended granulated sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp red food coloring (I used Wilton icing colors--it's more concentrated)
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Line two pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift together almond meal, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Discard any almond pieces that are too large.
- In a glass or stainless metal bowl, whip the egg whites for a few seconds until frothy. Gradually add superfine sugar while still beating the egg whites. Whip egg whites to soft peaks.
- Add vanilla and food coloring to egg whites and beat for a few seconds just until incorporated.
- Add a bit of the dry ingredients to the egg whites and gently fold in with a spatula. Fold in a circular motion until incorporated. Keep adding the dry ingredients this way until it's all incorporated. Fold the mixture until it's thin and drips from the spoon like a ribbon, but isn't too liquidy.
- Place batter into a piping bag with a large, round tip. Pipe the batter in even sized shapes onto the baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Lift the pans a couple inches above the table and drop. Repeat about five times to eliminate air bubbles and prevent cracking.
- Let pans rest for 30 minutes to an hour until a dry shell forms on the surface. One it is formed, preheat the oven to 300*F.
- Bake one sheet at a time, for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the macarons. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- To make the filling, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and blended. Whip with a beater until cool and stiff.
- Pair up cookies with similar sizes. Pipe or spoon some filling onto one cookie and gently press the other half on top.
- Refrigerate for a day or two to improve the flavor before serving. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.