Wednesday, December 21, 2011

French Macarons!

Hello blog world! Do you remember me?! I know it's been way too long since I have posted on here. It's been a crazy few months balancing my internship, graduate school, and work. It's left me with no time to bake :( But in addition to my crazy life right now one of the most amazing things happened in November... My boyfriend of 9 years proposed! So I have been kind of wedding planning here and there (but school is most important and I'm trying to focus on that ;-) I'm excited to really get wedding planning when I graduate in May because now I can really gather ideas from all the wedding and event blogs I love to read! hehe...

The fall semester has come to an end and I have a little more time on my hands during my winter "break" (which is less than two weeks! boo).... so I am trying to take advantage of that time. Yesterday was my first day off from the semester so I decided to tackle French Macarons. As you may recall I took a macaron class back in September for my birthday. I finally had time to make them on my own yesterday. I was so nervous! I've heard so many horror stories about macaron making that I researched extensively on the blogs as well before I started my endeavor. I won't bore you with every detail of my macaron experience or with a tutorial (because you can find plenty of them on the blogs out there) but here are a few things I found useful...

1. Prepping is worth it! That includes aging the eggs and weighing ingredients. I did all this the day before.
2. Magic bullet. I love this thing! I do not yet have a good food processor but there is nothing I have done yet that the magic bullet has not been able to handle. I made the almond flour with this amazing kitchen tool. The only thing is you may have to sift the flour a few more additional times.

As for the recipe, I used the recipe they provided us from the class which uses an Italian meringue technique. I made the basic macaron shell recipe - I was too nervous to add extra ingredients for flavor or food coloring that may throw off the recipe so I decided to make the basic recipe for my first time. This way I was also able to make different fillings to try out. Here are the results:

Filling: Grand Mariner dark chocolate ganache
Decor: Painted with diluted gel food coloring

Filling: Mocha swiss meringue buttercream
Decor: Sprinkled cocoa powder before baking

Filling: Dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream
Decor: sprkinkle Wilton gold stars before baking then brushed
with edible gold shimmer dust after

I can't believe my first time was a success!! I'm glad I took that class back in September... I could only imagine if I tried these before then lol. I'm excited to try all the fun flavor combinations. They are a bit time consuming but worth the meticulous effort. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season... if I don't post before then, have a happy new year too! ~Cara Lee

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Trevethan Pastry and Confections Las Vegas
    Chef Thomas Trevethan Secrete to the French macaroon!!!

    It all starts with the filling - butter cream can be traditional, but by far not the best flavor it's dense and firm enough to stick the two cookie halves, but the result you will get is a French Macaroon that is to sweet to eat.
    There are another two options, Pate De Fruit or a thickened fruit jelly, or a cocoa butter based ganache which gets our vote as being the best combination of sweetness from the cookie and acidy from the fruit.

    Basic Macaroon Cookie
    Based on Chef Thomas Trevethan recipe we recommend that you mix the egg whites and almond mixture together gently until it 'soft as silk', or until a peak in the batter will slowly sink back down into the rest of the mix.

    1 1/3 cups icing/powdered sugar
    5 oz (1 cup) almond flour or finely ground almonds
    2 large egg whites
    pinch of salt
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon extract of choice: almond, vanilla, orange, lemon, pistachio... (optional)
    few drops food coloring (optional)

    On four pieces of parchment, trace 1-inch (2.5 cm) circles about 1 inch apart. Flip each sheet over and place under your baking paper.
    Sift almond flour and icing sugar together into a bowl. In a clean, dry bowl whip the egg whites with salt on medium speed to stiff peaks. The whites should be firm stiff and shiny.
    With a soft spatula, fold in the icing sugar mixture into the egg whites until completely incorporated together.
    Fit up a piping bag with a 1.1 cm round tip, pipe in spiral shaped circles and then let sit for 2 hours until a shell forms on the French Macaroons.
    Heat the oven to 165C/335F and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until set and firm on top. Rotate the baking sheets after 5 minutes for even baking.
    Remove the French macaroons from oven and transfer parchment to a cooling rack. When cool, slide a metal offset spatula or pairing knife underneath the French macaroon to remove from parchment.

    Match up your same size French Macaroons and pipe your favorite filling then enjoy.

    Thank you for reading from Thomas Trevethan Pastry and Confections, it is our hope that you will return soon, see more of our Macaroons at