March 2, 2010 in cookie
Sometimes I like to bake things just to see if I can and these macarons are a perfect example. It seems like all of the blog world has been talking about how finicky these little thing are which, of course, made me curious.
Are they difficult? No, but you do have to be pretty precise in following directions and having the right equipment. I didn’t have the right piping tip causing some to be larger than others. I also had some that were completely hollow and sticky.
They were a lot of fun and even my 3 year old was cheering for me when I started squealing about the “feet” that my macarons had. I’m already itching to try again but I definitely want to get the right tip before I attempt it.
- 90 grams egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
- 25 grams to 50gr (2 Tb to ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 200 grams ( 1.5 cups + 2Tb) powdered sugar
- 110 grams almonds ( ¾ cup) (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
- Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Sift a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. Regrind if necessary. You can also use a coffee grinder for the nuts. Once your nuts and powdered sugar are mixed together, rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
- Add the nuts and powdered sugar to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
- If using convection: preheat the oven to 280F. If using regular electric or gas, preheat the oven to 300F. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
- Heat the cream in a small pot until just before boiling.
- Place morsels in a medium bowl and pour cream over. Let sit for a few seconds and then stir until smooth.
- Let cool slightly and spoon a small amount on the bottom of a macaron and then sandwich with another cookie.