Hey, take a look at that URL above this post. Notice anything different? Yep, we finally got our own domain! I'm feeling so fancy and professional right now (:
In other news, I finally got around to doing step-by-step photos of macarons. I meant to do it earlier with the other two macaron posts, but I'd always get distracted somewhere between grinding the almonds and whipping up the meringue.
These rose macarons are the definition of class. Pretty, delicate, and with a light flowery flavor (and no, the rose does NOT taste at all like hand soap), these are the perfect tea-time treat, and definitely something to make if you want to impress people.
And off we go! Here are your ingredients. Egg whites, granulated sugar, salt, powdered sugar, almonds or almond flour. Yep, that's all you need to make some magical macarons.
Oh, and be sure to measure out your ingredients with a scale. Measuring by volume isn't accurate enough for macarons.
Grind your almonds in the food processor until they are finely ground.
Mix in about half of the powdered sugar and continue grinding the mixture for about another two minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to give it a good stir.
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and repeat this process.
Now, make the meringue. Whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
With the mixer on, gradually add the granulated sugar. Mix on medium speed for another 2 minutes, then increase to high speed and beat for another 4-5 minutes until you get stiff peaks.
Add in the food coloring if you're using it. Make the color a little bit darker than you want it to be, because it'll fade a little in the oven. Beat for another 30 seconds.
Sift in the almond-powdered sugar mixture.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Here things get a little tricky. The macarons won't turn out right if you over-mix or under-mix, and it takes only a few stroke to go from good macarons to shapeless blobs. People describe the consistency of the batter as "magma-like." When you lift some batter out of the bowl, it should fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon.
Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a 1/4-inch tip and pipe 1-inch circles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 1 inch between them. Then, tap the baking sheet against a surface a couple of times to break any air bubbles. You'll see bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
You can make these macarons extra decorative by sprinkling on some dried rose petals.
Let the macarons rest for 30 minutes to an hour, or until a thin skin forms on the top of the macarons, and you can touch them without getting batter on your fingers.
I recommend double stacking the baking sheets. Place another baking sheet under the one with the macarons, and bake the macarons for about 18 minutes at 300 F.
Now, while the macarons are cooling, make the filling. Beat the butter until light and fluffy. This is actually cream cheese in the picture, but I decided that butter would be better, since the cream cheese gives it a weird tang.
Beat in your powdered sugar, jam, and food coloring.
Pair up macarons of similar sizes. Spoon the batter into a Ziploc bag, cut off the tip, and pipe about 2 teaspoons of filling onto a macaron, and top with another one.
And there you have it! Rose Macarons!
And if you don't have macarons, and they didn't turn out right, don't worry. It takes a couple tries to get them right. Don't give up, try again, and remember that they taste good whether or not they're pretty!
110g Almond Flour or Almonds (with or without their skins)
200 g Powdered sugar
25 g Granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon (1 g) Salt
100g Egg whites (about 3 eggs)
Red food coloring gel or powder (optional)
8 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons rose jam (or ¼ cup powdered sugar and ⅛ teaspoon rose water)
pink food coloring (optional)
- 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 thick, 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 for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, or 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.)
- While the macarons are cooling, make the filling. Beat the butter until it is fluffy, then beat in the rose jam, sugar and food coloring.
- Pair up macarons of similar size. Spoon the batter into a piping bag, and pipe about 2 teaspoons of filling onto a macaron and top with another one.