Yes, you read the title right…it is a macaron (not to be confused with macaroon- which my mom had already done on facebook). I wouldn’t say they are excruciatingly hard like some people and blogs have made them out to be (though there is quite some patience needed to get the job done)- I did find it to be a good experience and something of a future project. The flavors and combinations are endless for these bite-sized snacks.
The first battle was finding the right recipe or using various sources and coming to a determination. The NotSoHumblePie blog was a great starting point to determine a general recipe foundation.
My recipe is as follows:
130 gram Almond Flour
190 gram Powdered Sugar
100 gram Egg White
35 gram Granulated Sugar
The Egg white and granulated sugar are whisked up until a nice meringue is formed with somewhat hard peaks. As my one friend had been told by his “pastry-experienced” brother…you know when it is done when you can flip over the mixing bowl and it stays inside.” So I did this…and it worked so I was happy.
The almond flour and powdered sugar I put in the food processor and then put it through a sifter. If anything such as cocoa powder is added I do it pre-processor. Added dyes are done in the meringue before adding the flour mix.
After those two steps are done, take a quarter of the flour mix, add to meringue and fold in. You do this quarterly until it is all incorporated and you remove the air out of the meringue. Worth noting that too much folding will leave you with a runny batter and then be unable to make nice circles for the individual pastries.
After folding in, put in a pastry bag, and pipe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if you can get the sheets as the lay out flat-very important for these. Then I let them sit out 30-60 minutes (outer film layer forms and get out air bubbles) before putting in the oven (about 280 degrees) varies on individual ovens for about 16 minutes.
My initial set of macarons (as with everything I do, I go all in), I started with a “dough” that incorporated some cocoa powder in it (flavor and a light brown color). For fillings of these I did a simple chocolate ganache (bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream) as well as other which had a fresh banana-cream I had made up.
Suffice to say however, something went wrong with my first batch as I pulled them out of the oven and they did not look the part (tops were not so smooth). Second time was the charm (and a little extra blending of the almond flour and powdered sugar in the processor).
The next batch, I added some red/yellow dye (turned into a light orange). To these I made a blood orange-Cointreau blend with mascarpone cheese. I also made a mixed berry jam for others in the batch.
So on to day two (wanted to make some more…nice dessert type of dish for a graduation party this weekend). For the first time since I got it for my birthday like 2 weeks back I got to use my dehydrator. I had some mint leaves/stems so I dehydrated them for about 2 hours until dried out. I then took the leaves off the stems and proceeded to grind them in my mortar/pestle. This was incorporated in the mix pre-processor and then I added a little extra “green” by way of dye.
Upon completion of this set, I decided to fill them with a chocolate ganache as they would be a mint-chocolate combination. For best results, they are kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 1-3 days initial (allows the moisture from the fillings to go into the shells). Just take out and bring up to room temperature…time for dessert.
What I love about them is the endless possibilities. Next time around I want to infuse with vanilla and do a butterceam filling with fresh raspberries. There’s just so much to try, so many flavors…