Macarons or Victim of a Food fashion — Les macarons ou victime d’une mode culinaire

macaron French

Macarons

The Macaron Story

The truth is that I fell for them too. It was simply impossible not to. After discovering Parisian-style macarons not even too long ago, after tasting the Pierre Hermé’s or Ladurée’s et j’en passe, after seeing so many blogs presenting delectable recipes on the how-to, or reading pastry cookbooks including recipes, I had to try to make macarons, the very macarons parisiens that look like mini-hamburgers. I am a victim of a fashion trend when I am not even known to be a meringue fan. But what could I do? When I discovered these colorful lines of beautifully arranged macarons in the shop windows every time I was on a visit in Paris, like many I had my mouth open in awe. They were just too pretty to eat!

I waited for quite a while until I decided to finally make Parisian macarons, and it was not even something I had thought of that week. Until last Thursday night. As someone planning ahead with plenty of food supplies of the just-in-case type, I had all the required ingredients at home when the urge to make macarons seized me around 5 pm.

I experimented with flavors and ingredients until I settled with my first recipe that follows. Surprisingly, I wondered why I had waited for so long as they are not necessarily difficult to make. They require some attention, this is a given fact since you have to be careful about a few things, but they return it back to you when they rise and come out round and smooth. I am sure that there are many things that I can improve with them — could it have been that I was lucky that day — and I look forward to many more experiments now that I have started because of course, I am now hooked. While not too sweet as could sometimes be the case, I loved the orange ganache balancing the sweetness of the meringue — what can I say, I am a citrus fruit sucker — and the subtle taste of cardamom with wattle seeds. And then of course, there was chocolate and Matcha tea, a classic association that I never resist.

Les macarons de Paris

I made two three macaron batches, playing with colors. Just like chemistry: add more yellow, more red, more yellow again and see what happens. My first batch came out on the light orange side while the second was more pink. I also added Wattle Seeds which I was sure would be a good addition, for looks and taste. These delicious nutty and crunchy seeds, if you do not know about them, come directly from Australia, and are available online in the US. For the third batch, I changed color and flavor theme, choosing chocolate and Matcha tea as I have always liked these two together. Once the three batches assembled, I looked at the macarons arranged on my kitchen countertop, and only then did it occur to me that we were only two people living at home. What was I thinking? All this color and sugar must have gone to my head.

Morale of the story 1: make sure to have a crowd to feed or else you could be the victim of a sugar coma.

Wait…

Morale of the story 2: I am already ready to do more. They are just like this.

Addictive.


Wattle Seeds

A few things that helped me:

1 - Sift well and finely the dry ingredients
2 - Make sure to pipe regular amounts of batter to get macarons of the same size. They work in pairs.
3 - Leave the macarons to rest for 1 hour after they are piped on the baking sheet (some people do, some don’t, I will have to experiment more to see whether it makes a difference)
4 – Crack the oven door open roughly two thirds into the cooking time.
5 - Run some water under the silpat once they are cooked. They won’t stick as much, should they stick.
6 - Wait until the filling is sufficiently cold before using, but not at fridge temperature.
7 - Leave the macarons to cool down on racks before assembling them.
8 - Make sure to have plenty of friends to help to eat them. Well maybe not.

The Step-by-Step Assembly

Cardamom, Wattle Seeds Macarons with Orange Filling

For the Orange Filling, recipe from Gérard Mulot

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 oz butter
  • 2 1/3 oz fine sugar
  • Juice of 3 oranges + Zest of 1 orange
  • 0.5 oz cornstarch

Steps:

  • Squeeze the juice of 3 oranges and grate finely the zest of one. Place them in a pot with the butter and half of the sugar, and bring to a boil.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolk, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar.
  • Without ceasing to stir, pour slowly the hot orange juice, then add the rest and transfer to the pot again. Bring to a boil again and cook for 2 to 3 mns while stirring.
  • Transfer the cream to a bowl placed in a container full of iced water. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge until colder.

For the Cardamom Meringue (for about 15 small macarons), my own recipe

  • 2 egg whites (2 oz), at room temperature
  • 3.5 oz confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 oz almond flour, sifted
  • 1 oz fine sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 tsp Wattle seeds (optional)
  • A few drops of yellow and red coloring
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Steps:

  • Sift the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar. Add the sifted cardamom powder and Wattle seeds, if using. Keep.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start to mix on medium speed with 1/2 Tbsp fine sugar and the cream of tartar. Once slightly foamy, increase the speed. After a few mns, when they are almost firm, add the rest of the sugar, and a few drops of coloring. The egg whites should form nice firm peaks. Keep.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites in two or three times, making sure you fold them in carefully (Make circular movements using a rubber spatula). Once the preparation homogeneous, it is ready. Do not overwork the meringue batter.
  • On one (or more) baking sheets, place a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. With a decoration bag, pipe small amounts of batter 1 inch in diameter, 1 inch apart. Leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven at 320 F.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 12 to 13 mns, according to the macaron size (if you make bigger ones, increase the cooking time). After 7 to 8 mns, crack the oven door open (keep it open inserting a wooden spoon for example) and reduce the heat to 290 F.
  • Take the macarons out of the oven (check whether they are cooked by touching them lightly) and pour a thin stream of water under the Silpat to create some steam. The macarons will be easier to remove. Wait a little before removing them from the Silpat (use a flexible spatula if they stick). Let them cool down on racks before assembling.
  • Once the filling cold — but not at fridge temperature — pipe some on one macaron half and stick the other half on top.

Variation with Matcha Tea and Chocolate Ganache:


Matcha Tea and Chocolate Macarons

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 1/3 oz dark chocolate, 65 % cocoa

Steps:

  • Grate the chocolate and place it in a bowl.
  • Heat the cream and bring to a simmer. Stop and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 mn, then mix together to get a smooth paste. Let cool before using.

To make the Matcha tea macarons, replace the cardamom with the Matcha tea powder and add a few drops of green coloring instead of red and yellow.

Le coin français
Macarons à la cardamome et graines de Wattle, ganache orange

Pour la ganache parfumée à l’orange, recette de Gérard Mulot

  • 2 oeufs entiers
  • 1 jaune d’oeuf
  • 85 g de beurre
  • 65 g de sucre en poudre
  • Jus de 3 oranges + zeste d’une orange
  • 15 g de maïzena

Étapes :

  • Pressez le jus de 3 oranges et rapez le zeste d’une très finement. Mettez-les dans une casserole avec la moitié du sucre et le beurre, et portez à ébullition.
  • Dans un saladier, mélangez les oeufs entiers, le jaune d’oeuf, le reste de sucre et la maïzena.
  • Sans cesser de fouetter, versez doucement le jus d’orange chaud en filet. Ajoutez ensuite le reste et remettez le tout dans la casserole. Portez à nouveau à ébullition et faites cuire 2 à 3 mns, en remuant.
  • Transférez la crème dans un bol placé dans un bac contenant de l’eau glacée. Couvrez avec du film alimentaire et laissez refroidir au frigo.

Pour la meringue à la cardamome et graines de Wattle (pour environ 15 petits macarons), ma recette

  • 2 blancs d’oeuf (60 g), à température ambiante
  • 100 g de sucre glace
  • 60 g de poudre d’amandes
  • 30 g de sucre en poudre
  • 1/2 càc de cardamome en poudre
  • 3 càc de graines de Wattle (facultatif)
  • Quelques gouttes de colorants alimentaires jaune et rouge
  • 1/8 càc de crème de tartre

Étapes :

  • Tamisez la poudre d’amandes et le sucre glace. Ajoutez la cardamome en poudre tamisée et mélangez. Ajoutez les graines de Wattle si vous vous en servez. Réservez.
  • Mettez les blancs d’oeuf dans le bol d’un mixeur à pied. Commencez à mixer sur vitesse moyenne et ajoutez 1/2 càs de sucre en poudre et la crème de tartre. Une fois les blancs un peu mousseux, augmentez la vitesse. Au bout de quelques minutes, ajoutez le reste de sucre en pluie et quelques gouttes de colorant alimentaire, rouge et jaune pour obtenir la couleur désirée. Les blancs doivent être bien fermes. Réservez.
  • Ajoutez délicament les ingrédients secs aux blancs d’oeuf, en prêtant attention à ne pas les casser (décrivez des mouvements circulaires en utilisant une maryse). Une fois la préparation homogène, c’est prêt. Ne la travaillez pas de trop.
  • Sur une (ou plusieurs) plaque(s) de cuisson, posez une feuille de silicone ou du papier alimentaire. A l’aide d’une poche à douille, faites des petits tas de 3 cm de diamètre. Laissez les macarons croûter pendant 1 heure.
  • Préchauffez votre four à 160 C.
  • Mettez les macarons au four et cuisez-les pendant 12 à 13 mns. Au bout de 7 à 8 mns, entrouvez la porte de votre four (maintenez-la ouverte en faisant glisser une cuiller en bois par exemple), et baissez la température à 145 C.
  • Sortez vos macarons (vérifiez s’ils sont cuits en touchant doucement) et passez un petit filet d’eau sous la feuille de silicone pour créer de la vapeur. Laissez-les un peu refroidir avant de les démouler à l’aide d’une spatule souple. Laissez-les refroidir sur une grille avant de les assembler.
  • Une fois la ganache froide — mais ramenée à une température supérieure à celle de votre frigidaire — répartissez-en une noisette sur une coque de macaron. Collez la deuxième coque.

Variation au thé matcha et à la ganache au chocolat :

Pour la ganache au chocolat

  • 120 ml de crème liquide
  • 150 g de chocolat noir à 65%

Étapes :

  • Rapez le chocolat et mettez-le dans un bol.
  • Faites chauffer la crème jusqu’à peine ébullition et versez-la sur le chocolat. Laissez reposer 1 mn et mélangez. Laissez refroidir avant d’utiliser.

Pour réaliser les macarons au thé Matcha, remplacez la cardamome par de la poudre de thé Matcha et ajoutez quelques gouttes de colorant vert à la place du jaune et du rouge.

Posted in Chocolate, Dessert, French Inspired, Fruit, Gluten Free | 71 Comments

71 comments

  1. C’est moi qui suis addict, mais à ton blog, à tes photos à ta façon incroyable de toujours innover, même face à la mode des macarons! so beautiful!!

  2. superbes! j’ai une légère préférence pour les macarons matcha-chocolat, ils ont l’air divins

  3. tiens c’est marrant, aujourd’hui j’ai aussi fait des macarons… les tiens sont superbes en tous cas et l’association matcha chocolat laisse me laisse réveuse..

  4. These are beautiful Bea! And the recipe seems easy enough. Hope to try this soon.

  5. C’est “macaroon” en anglais, et c’est tres beau, tout cela.

  6. Gosh, these are beautiful, Bea. I’ve always wanted to try them too. but having seen some failed despite several attempts, I held back.

    But you’ve proved that it’s not. First attempt can be equally successful. Way to go, girl!

  7. Je pense tous cet addiction, c’est la faute de Miss Macaroon! LOL
    “Bethca by Golly Wowww Bea” yummmm!!
    I promised i have to realize my own cannelé first before trying the macaroon.
    I am still waiting for your book to be publish! “Dedicacé”

  8. Bea,

    Again another beautiful and elegant post. Your pictures are mouthwatering as usual!

    Wow, wattle seed, something I’ve heard about but never seen in a recipe!

    So is there going to be a book, m’dear? Sign me up, I’ll buy one!

    I really enjoyed your Peru post, btw, gorgeous! it makes me all the more wanting to visit such a fascinating culture (I even have an excuse to go, a wedding, but we’ll see…requires a hefty plane ticket!)

  9. Bea, they are beautiful and colourful. I have been contemplating on trying to make macarons for quite some time and have been really nervous about it. You trully are an inspiration.

  10. I’m so impressed. I’ve fantasized about making these, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten (and probably will get.) But I will be in Paris(!) for a week in Jan., and will do some further er…”research” while there. Do you have any posts with Paris recommendations?

  11. Adorable! I love the matcha/choc combo- the Nipponophile in me. Mais, je ne comprends pas- what do you mean by
    “they work in pairs”? I remember these from the photos from your trip- They look entirely delectable and I personally adore macarroons [eng sp!]

  12. gorgeous photos, fantastic products! they sure look like little hamburgers, maybe tastier than them, though :)

  13. Dear Bea, so simple and so perfect. You are amazing. I have never been to Paris but I want to go so much. I hope my husband takes me there and then I will eat many macarons every day. Oh well, now it is to stop reading food blogs and go back to work. I am close to getting fired for reading blogs at work!
    Dianka

  14. those are absolutely gorgeous!
    i dont know if im ambitious enough to attempt those tho…maybe one day when i graduate to your level!! =)

  15. I don’t think I can pick a favorite without a bite or two. Based on looks I’ll go with the pink and yellow. When can I come over for a few bites? I hope they are as small as they look so I can have many of them.

  16. Tes photos me laissent reveuses…Le probleme ca va etre de trouver des wattle seeds. Plus qu’a prendre l’avion pour l’Australie.

  17. Thank you very much all for your comments. I hope you try to make them! They are fun to work with, after all!!

    Merci à tous pour vos commentaires!

  18. Bea, you really are a master! I know many serious cooks who’ve tried to make these and it took them some time to produce macarons half as beautiful as yours. Brava!

  19. oh my gods! these look amazing! rosa of rosa’s yummy yums and i were just contemplating taking on the infamous macaron. i think i’ve just been inspired ;) thanks! i’ll let you know how they work out.

  20. hi there bea. tried out this recipe…can u help me out…

    then ended up not really having feet, and they crushed almost instantly as they ended up being hollow…pls help me! thanks

  21. Hello Sue,

    Thanks for your note. I am so sorry that you had these misadventures with the macarons. I am going to try to help, but this is going to be a harder exercise than one thinks as I have not seen all the steps you went through ( and I am not necessarily the macaron expert either, perhaps just lucky!). After 7 to 8 min, the first cooking time, they should have developed feet. Yours didn’t then? They also need to be removed from the baking sheet when cooled, so that they get harder too (but the inside will always be softer). Let me know whether this helps.

  22. Just returned from Paris 2 days ago! Et Voila! I can still taste the Laudree macarons! Cest wonderful!

  23. Hiya!

    Well, when i used the temperature stated in the recipe, they all cracked. So for the second batch I Tried 160celsius with the oven door ajar. They developed feet then, and did not crack. But they still were crushed :(

  24. Baked 3 batches of macarons last week and they turned out almost-perfect. Have to improve on my wobbly piping skills. Don’t have problems with the finish but seriously have issues with my rather irregulary-round shaped chewy shells. Any tips on piping?? Do i really really have to draw circles on my parchment paper? (as i use a silpat ) Do I spiral the batter when piping? or just pipe them from the middle and leave it to spread out on it’s own? Please help. Thank you.

  25. Hi Meg,

    Drawing circles can definitely help to give you a better idea about sizing the macarons like you want. I usually pipe trying to use the same pressure, in one go, to make sure I do not have to pipe down twice for the same macarons. So, I make sure the bag has enough and roll the end to make sure the pressure will be sufficient to make a nice round. At the end, I try to remove the tip of the bag quickly. Hope this helps.

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  29. This comes a little late, but FABULOUS post. You are such a wonderful photographer and a beautiful inspiration. Cheers from Sunny Singapore :)

  30. Hi!

    I’m living in singapore and have tried out your recipe. my macarons developed feet but were burnt! so i had to take them out before the stated time was up.

    I only put it into the oven for like 5min? they developed feet jus after a min or two after i put them in.

    Also, my batter didn’t look as thick as your. Was wondering if it is due to overfolding? or the hot and humid weather here in singapore.

    your help is very much appreciated =p

  31. I just tried to make the matcha version. As others experienced, mine too did not develop feet. If I were to try these again, I’d bake them at 375° the entire time like David Lebovitz’s chocolate macarons recipe. When I made those, the results were perfect. I just don’t think my oven got hot enough for the batter to produce feet. Zut!

  32. I saw a link to this section of your blog on Twitter today & followed it as I’m a “fana de macarons”, and I fell in love with your beautiful fresh photos, the flowers, the passion in your words, & the life & joy in all of it! Delicious blog, Béa. I hope I can do half as well with mine some day :-> Marie de Montréal

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  42. Superbes Bea. Tu peux meme les congeler si tu ne veux pas craquer et tous les manger…en plus, ce processus les bonnifie!

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