macarons

DSCF2408Supposedly one of the most challenging pastries to make at home, macarons are famed to need extreme precision and effort. But in my typical way, I lazied this recipe down to its very minimum, and it came out delicious and with really good texture! Great success for a first effort, and I will be working on other flavors! Hojicha macarons, anyone?

Recipe:
from a friend whose cousin took a macaron workshop!
takes about 2.5 hours
makes about 30 normal-sized macarons
You need:
kitchen scale, baking sheet and silicone mat
pastry bag and round tip (1/2 inch preferred)
large sifter or sieve
egg beater, large spatula
2 large bowls
Vanilla macarons:
7 oz powdered sugar, sifted
4 oz superfine almond flour or meal, sifted
4.25 oz egg whites, from about 4 eggs, at room temperature
pinch cream of tartar
3 oz granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

DSCF2385DSCF2388DSCF2389DSCF2391DSCF2394Line baking sheet with silicone mat and set aside.

In one bowl, combine 7 oz powdered sugar, sifted and 4 oz superfine almond flour or meal, sifted.

In a second large bowl, whisk 4.25 oz egg whites and a pinch cream of tartar until just foamy. Gradually add 3 oz granulated white sugar while whisking until all sugar is incorporated and egg whites make soft peaks. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and continue whisking until egg whites make stiff, glossy peaks.

Sift about 1/3 of the dry ingredients onto the egg whites. Fold until incorporated. Repeat two more times and fold only until mixture has a consistent, thick texture. Batter should hold its volume easily.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag with a round tip, then pipe from 90 degrees onto the silicone mat to make consistent drops, about 1 1/2″ in diameter. When one sheet is complete, lift and drop the sheet a few times to release air bubbles. Wet fingertips slightly and smooth down the peaks on each unbaked macaron. Allow formed batter to sit at room temperature for about 15-30 minutes, until a slight crust forms – touching with a dry finger should not leave a mark.

While crust is forming, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. I baked mine for about 6 minutes each rotation.

Let macarons cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with a buttercream or ganache (thickened with a bit of butter, at room temperature) frosting. About 1/2 c frosting was more than sufficient to fill 30 macarons.

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Edit 6/17/16: Reduced sugar in egg whites from 3.5 oz to 3 oz. Could probably afford to be even less sweet, but will test again.

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