Well, it's finally happened. I've caught macaron mania. I've been looking at a ton of different macaron posts on the blogosphere for a couple of weeks now, and have finally gotten around to making my own. We've all heard about how difficult they are to make, how easy they are to mess up, and while these are both true to a certain extent, I don't think they're worth all the fuss that has been made. No, your first few batches may not be perfect (mine weren't), but they're not terribly hard. Although, of course, the only way to ascertain that for yourself is to make them!
, and they turned out very well. She is very thorough and clear, and she also disproves some
These guys are actually the second batch I made (I wanted to make sure that the first time wasn't just a fluke!). The first time around, I made some plain macaron shells with Nutella filling.
For the orange macarons, I added orange food coloring to the macaron batter, and filled them with orange curd. I also painted the shells with a dab of food coloring.
Some things I have observed so far in my macaron adventures:
- While the Bravetart recipe calls for the macarons to be baked for 18 minutes, mine weren't done in that time. The insides were still gooey and wet, and the bottoms stuck to the parchment paper when I tried to lift them. I ended baking them for close to 25 minutes.
- If your macarons are slightly over-baked and too crispy, don't worry! Add whatever filling you're using, and store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a day, and they'll be perfect. Not So Humble Pie discusses maturing macarons in her Macaron Troubleshooting post.
- The row of macarons closest to the oven door tends to crack. I've played with adjusting the temperature, but I'm still not sure why this is.
Update 9-2013: Check out my
for step-by-step pictures!
Orange Macaron Recipe
2 oz. (58 g) Almond Flour or Almonds (with or without their skins)
4 oz. (115 g) Powdered sugar
1.25 oz. (36 g) Granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon (1 g) Salt
2.5 oz. (72 g) Egg whites (about 2 eggs)
Gel or powder food coloring
Orange food coloring (optional)
A few drops of water (optional)
1/3 cup orange curd
- If you’re using whole almonds, you’ll need to grind them. Place the almonds in a food processor and roughly grind them. It doesn’t need to be too fine, but there shouldn’t be any large chunks. Add in two or three tablespoons of powdered sugar and continue grinding the almonds until they are very fine. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and grind for another 15-30 seconds.
- Make the meringue. Mix together the granulated sugar and salt. In a very clean bowl, begin beating the egg whites on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to medium, and gradually add the granulated sugar-salt mixture, and beat until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Increase speed to high, and beat until the meringue is very stiff and shiny, about 2-3 minutes. Add gel or powdered food coloring, if desired, and beat the meringue for another minute.
- Hold a mesh strainer over the meringue, and sift the almond mixture over the meringue. Return any pieces that don’t pass through the strainer to the food processor, and grind them some more, and sift them again. There may still be a few bits that are too big (less than a tablespoonful); just add them to the meringue.
- Begin folding the dry ingredients into the meringue. Be sure to scrape the edges of the bowl. When done, the batter should be think, but somewhat fluid. Do the ribbon and/glop test to check.
- Ribbon test: hold a spatula-full of batter over the bowl, and it should fall into the bowl in a thick ribbon. The ribbon should re-incorporate into the batter within about 30 seconds.
- Glop test: drop a spoonful of batter onto a plate. The peak should smooth out within 10 seconds.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silipat.
- Put the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip about ¼-inch wide. Pipe out 1-inch wide circles, leaving around 1 inch between circles.
- Rap the baking sheet against a counter or tape several times to release any air bubbles trapped in the batter. You should see bubbles rise to the top and pop.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the batter to rest in open air until the tops are set; when you lightly touch the circles with a finger, no batter sticks to it.
- Put the macarons in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies can come cleanly off the parchment paper, and the insides are done. (They should be slightly damp on the inside, but not wet and sticky.)
- Allow the macarons to cool, and fill with orange curd. (See recipe below). Spoon about ½ tablespoon of curd onto a macaron, and top with another macaron.
- (Optional) Mix together about ¼ teaspoon orange food coloring with a few drops of water. Use a pastry brush to brush on some food coloring on the top of the macarons.
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
- Put the orange and lemon juices, zest, and sugar into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter and continue cooking until the butter is melted.
- Whisk the egg yolks until fluffy.
- Slowly pour about ¼ cup of the juice mixture into the yolks, while continuously whisking.
- Pour the yolk/juice mixture back into the sauce pan, and continue cooking until the curd thickens and a spoon leaves a clear trail in the curd.
- Take the curd off the heat and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.