So unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, you know that French Macarons (pronounced ‘macarone’ in your best French accent) are the new “chic cupcake”. I’ve seen them on magazine covers, in specialty bake shops, and… I’d never had one. Ever. And as a girl who has a serious sweet tooth, I was curious not only as to if I could make them look as pretty as I’ve seen, but I was also anxious to bite into one to see if they are just as delicious as they look!
So I set out on a mission to make a batch of macarons. And I made a total of three.
Count them. 1-2… Three.
Most of them stuck to the pan, which is why I only ended up with so few. Note to self: Every oven is different. To ensure that you have the right baking temp., get an oven thermometer to double check. My oven is a 1989 model (don’t be jealous), with a rotary dial for the temp. So it’s pretty hard for me to get the exact temperature that I want.
A couple of days later, I decided I was going to try it again. Practice makes perfect, right? This time, I had my little helper in the kitchen with me. She would have tried to make them by herself, or anything for that matter, if I had let her.
We went by a different recipe than before, and we made delicious chocolate macarons with a ganache filling. I’m here to tell you that you can’t just whip these together willy-nilly. You have to be exact with your measurements and follow the directions to a tee. But guess what? If you do that, you can make delicious macarons also!
It was quite impossible to take pictures of the process as I made them myself. So I called up my friend Lauren, who is owner of Meringue Macaron Kitchen and was able to capture the process of her baking these beautiful cookies.
So let’s get to it. I’ll show you how you, too, can be a pastry star by following these directions to make a delicious double chocolate macaron!
If you’re using the ganache filling, make sure you have that made ahead of time. You’ll use equal parts of heavy cream and chopped chocolate (I used 100g of each). I always use Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chips, because it’s the finest chocolate that Kroger carries. Bring the heavy cream to a boil on the stovetop and then pour over the chocolate chips in a separate bowl. Let sit for 2-3 minutes before mixing until smooth. Let it cool in the fridge.
You’ll need 5 ingredients for the actual cookie: almond flour, eggs, sugar, confectioner’s sugar and cocoa. And you’ll need a kitchen scale, a stand mixer, a piping bag and parchment paper.
Making macarons is a methodical process, and you have to be prepared for the next step as it comes. To start off, you’ll want to go ahead and line your baking sheets with parchment paper and get your piping bag ready by securing the tip in the bag. You’ll want to use a half-inch round tip.
Next, we’re going to weigh all of our ingredients into separate bowls. Yes, it’s kind of a pain, but is best if you want to achieve a really pretty macaron. Use a sieve to sift your ingredients as you measure them and throw out any larger almond meal grains that won’t pass through. You want 110g of almond flour, 200g of powdered sugar and 50g of white sugar. Once weighed, you can mix together the almond flour and powdered sugar, but keep the white sugar separate. You need 4.5 Tbl of cocoa as well (I didn’t weigh/sift the cocoa).
Lauren had a full morning of baking and had all of her ingredients weighed and measured in her beautiful bowls. I love these bowls. So country chic. I now want to replace all of the dinnerware in my kitchen.
After you have your dry ingredients weighed and measured, it’s time to make the meringue.
Weigh out 100g of egg whites. The number of eggs you use will be based on their sizes, but you will use anywhere from 3-5 eggs. Be careful not to get any yolk in your egg whites so that they will whip properly.
Place the egg whites and white sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until they start to foam and form stiff peaks.
Once the meringue is ready, it should be glossy and stiff. The standard way of making sure you have a nice meringue, is by holding the bowl over your head without the egg whites moving. Don’t feel like a fool. I speak the truth!
Remove the bowl and then fold the egg whites a few times to smooth with a rubber spatula. *Note: If you want to make a regular macaron, you can add in any food coloring at this point and then omit the cocoa in the next step. Lauren’s meringue had a caramel color because she added a little brown food coloring to hers. Your meringue should be white at this point if you are making the chocolate macaron.
Next you’ll add in the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa. Fold the mixture into the egg whites 40-50 strokes until the mixture runs like lava. You don’t want to under mix, but you also don’t want to fold it too much. As with making the meringue, this is one of those steps where practice makes perfect. And Lauren has it down to a science!
Once your mixture is smooth, you’ll put it in your piping bag to pipe on your pans.
Pipe them in 1″ rounds. They’ll flatten out some before you bake them, and you don’t want them to be too big.
You’ll then let them sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature so that they can form a skin for the outer shell. At this point, you can preheat your oven to 285 degrees. If you’re lucky like me and have an older oven, you might want to double check your temperature by using an oven thermometer.
Put them in the oven, one tray at a time and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep your eye on them towards the end of the bake time to make sure they don’t start to burn on top. As they bake, they will puff up and form little feet. I just think they look darling!
After removing them from the oven, let them cool before removing them from the parchment paper. You can then pair them up in size and add your filling to the middle.
I used a ganache filling. Umm yumm. Am I right? I could eat my weight in this stuff. But you can experiment with all sorts of different flavored fillings and macaron colors!
And that’s it! Easy peasy, right? Once you make them for the first time, you’ll realize that they are not as difficult as they first appear. It just takes practice! If you’ve never had a macaron, they are soft cookies with a thin outer shell and are simply delectable!
And they actually taste better after sitting in the fridge for 2-3 days, or you can freeze them until ready to serve.
Lauren makes a variety of beautiful macarons that she sells locally, but the “Wills Macaron” is by far my favorite. How adorable are these?! You can read about her precious Wills and amazing testimony on her blog.
This article was written by Jenn Rutledge.
The printable macaron recipe is below. Enjoy!
Double Chocolate French Macaron
A divine chocolate macaron recipe with a ganache filling.
- 100g egg whites
- 50g white sugar
- 110g almond flour
- 200g powdered sugar
- 4.5 Tbl cocoa
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C chocolate, chopped
- Bring the cream to a boil over the stovetop and then pour over the chocolate in its own bowl. Let sit for 2-3 minutes before stirring until smooth. Keep in fridge to cool.
- Weigh out all of your ingredients into separate bowls beforehand. Place the egg whites and white sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until they are glossy and soft peaks start to form. Remove bowl from mixer and fold egg whites a few times to smooth. Add in the almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa and fold 40-50 times until it is smooth and flows like lava. Place batter in piping bag and pipe into 1" rounds on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let sit for 20-30 minutes and preheat oven to 285 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let cool before removing them from the parchment paper. Match together cookie sizes and fill with the ganache. They taste best after sitting in the fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze them until ready to serve.
- *This recipe is for a chocolate macaron. To make the standard cookie (if you're going to use food coloring), omit the cocoa from this recipe.
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