French macarons, what can I say? I haven’t really jumped on the bandwagon for these little circles of enchantment. After failing once before trying to make them I’m a little embarrassed to say I kind of gave up which is not like me. They came out all wrinkly on top and just looked more like a meringue than a macaron.
I like to try and post as frequently as I can to my blog and now I’m understanding I feel like that because I actually really enjoy it, so this morning I was racking my brain to come up with a post for today. The macaron came into my thoughts and after doing some reading about them I found a recipe and got started. I must admit to rushing the recipe and again they came out of the oven peaked and as they cooled cracks appeared. Failed again….
It was still fairly early and this time I felt like trying again! I looked for another recipe and found a great tutorial about making macarons from AmberLee. Her blog, Giverslog is packed with great recipes and her own macarons looked awesome. After reading her list of tips and troubleshooting I set out once again to try to conquer my macaron misgiving. I’m happy to say that third time lucky worked for me. The biggest change I made was to leave the macarons out to dry far longer than I had been doing previously. This is the stage where after piping them onto your cookie sheet they will become dull looking and develop a skin on top. This skin prevents the insides pushing up when baking and helps keep the bubbly part called the foot around the bottom of the macaron. Previously I had been leaving them out to dry for about 15 minutes but this time I waited almost a full hour before putting them into the oven.
I feel now that I can go on and experiment with some more flavors and unique fillings without the cracked meringue cloud following me. I used a white chocolate ganache flavored with peppermint as a filling for these and they were pretty darn good!
Here’s the recipe adapted from Giverslog: Yield about 20 shells,
1 Cup of confectioners sugar
3/4 Cup of almond flour
2 Large egg whites at room temp
A pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 Cup of superfine sugar (I used granulated)
Sift the confectioners sugar and the almond flour. Whisk the whites on medium until they get foamy, add the cream of tartar and mix a little more.
Add the sugar gradually and when all added crank up the mixer to high and whisk until you get stiff peaks. If you want to color your macaron’s this is where you would add the coloring, a couple of drops.
Take your bowl from the mixer and sift the flour/sugar mixture again into the egg whites. Start folding the mixture with a large flat spatula gently turning about fifty times.
Transfer the mix to a piping bag with a half inch plain tip and start piping onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I piped to about the size of a quarter and then drag the tip to the edge quickly to avoid leaving a peak on the macaron.
Once they are all piped, leave them sitting at room temp for at least 45 minutes until you see them become dull on top. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and when your ready to put them in drop the temp to 325 degrees. Put them in the oven making sure the door is cracked open with a wooden spoon handle. Bake for 10 minutes turning once after 5 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes when they come out of the oven and then gently lift the whole paper sheet form the tray to your counter.
Have your filling ready and fill once they are cool.
Recipe for white chocolate ganache adapted from The LA Times:
10 oz of white chocolate chips
2/3 Cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tbs of butter divide into 3 pieces
Peppermint to flavor
Heat the cream in a pot until just boiling, add it to the chocolate chips in another bowl and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until smooth. Add the butter and stir again until smooth and shiny. I added 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract at this point. Keep stirring periodically to avoid lumps until cool and ready for piping.
Grab two shells and pipe the ganache on one shell, you wont need a lot as these are really sweet. join the two sides together and eat!