to make a macaron

to make a macaron

so you want to make some macaron. first, let’s say it right. not macarOOn. it’s not even technically macarahn or macarohn (although those are both better than macaroon). it’s frenchie. macaroh – and end on a nasally frenchie sound from the front of your throat.
the first two batches of macaron i made were bad. yes, they tasted good, but the macaron is as much about the aesthetic as the taste. you’ve got to get that foot on there. without the foot, you’ve got a bad macaron. on my third try, i found a good recipe, and i had watched a tutorial on youtube on how to prepare the batter. my feet arrived.
the first and foremost thing you need to make macaron? a kitchen scale. this makes all the difference in the world, because you can get your ingredients exact. and macaron are picky, so you need exactness.
the ingredients are pretty minimal.
120 grams egg whites, divided
35 grams white sugar
150 grams almond flour
150 grams powdered sugar
you will also need to make sugar syrup:
150 grams white sugar
50 grams water
making macaron starts the day before. as much as conventional wisdom says not to, you need to let your egg whites sit out on the counter overnight. this thickens them up and helps maintain the meringue. you can cover them – they just need to be room temperature for about 24 hours.
start off by whipping 60 grams of egg whites in your mixer until you get soft peaks. then add the 35 grams of sugar. let this whip away while you make the sugar syrup.
you can use your smallest pan for the syrup. throw in the sugar and water and whisk to combine. let it come to a boil and once it reaches 230F on a thermometer, you’re golden. pour the boiling syrup slowly into the mixer as it’s still whipping your egg whites and sugar.
syruplet that whisk for about 10 minutes or so while it cools down and creates a nice, shiny meringue.
in the meantime, you can get your almond flour and powdered sugar measured out. it helps to push the almond flour through a sifter, just because there are occasionally still larger chunks of almond in it.
once everything’s measured, combine the almond flour, powdered sugar and remaining egg whites (60 grams) in a bowl. mix it together.
this is also a good time to prepare your pans. i use cookie sheets with parchment paper. you can also use those silpat things.
by this time, your meringue should be pretty cool. fold in the almond/sugar mixture into the meringue. this is where diligence is key! once everything’s combined, you need to continue to mix the batter. this is called “macaronage” – you push the batter up against the side of the bowl until it runs off your spatula like magma. too little and your foot is nonexistent. too much and your foot will run all over the place (hahaha).

not quite there.
not quite there.

once your batter is good to go, stick a little bit into a pastry bag to pipe onto the cookie sheets. i put some food coloring in the bag itself to get the swirly look. had a couple weird ones when some of the food coloring splattered out. if your macaron don’t flatten out to a smooth, shiny surface, you haven’t macaronaged your batter enough.
in the past i’ve made my macaron about 1″ wide – this time i made them wider because i hate filling so many macaron. smaller macaron take up 3 of my cookie sheets, but these wider ones only took up 2 sheets. woo! now it’s time to let them sit. yes, leave the macaron out on your counter for about an hour – the top should turn from shiny to matte.
once they look like this, time to turn the oven to 320F. put them in for 15-25 minutes. the smaller macaron i make take about 13 minutes, while these guys took close to 23 minutes. you can test them by grabbing the top of a macaron and shaking it to see if it kind of slides against the parchment. if the top comes off and leaves the foot on the parchment, not done yet! (i did that today…oops.) check in 2-minute intervals until they’re good.
look at the foot!
look at the foot!

let them sit on the parchment for a while before unsticking and filling. i made a cream cheese/almond butter/powdered sugar filling this time. try to match up the cookies with like sizes and fill away. this time i used a piping bag to fill – much easier than a knife!
doneput them in the fridge for the first 24 hours at least. and above all, make sure you don’t store them with any other kind of cookies – they will take on the flavor of the cookies around them. and if you don’t have a perfect macaron the first time around, my experience has been there are always many people willing to eat your mistakes 🙂

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