Monday, April 9, 2012

Oui Oui-French Macaroons

You will need: 1 cup of ground almonds,  1/4 cup of super fine (bakers sugar), 3 egg whites (or egg white alternative), and 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Preheat 
As you may already know, I am in love with all things French. There is just something the French have, (especially with food) that no one can seem to replicate. Everything they do is just so...chic. There is a certain femininity that is essentially French.

Finely grind Almonds in a food Processor. ( Be careful not to over grind, or it will turn into almond butter)

The complexity of French food is fascinating in its own right. There is such precision and passion behind their food. It such a key part to their way of life. They have mastered and perfected the art of cooking, to such a degree that no other culture could even come close. 
Add Powdered sugar, and pulse until it becomes a smooth mixture.

I have always wanted to make French Macaroons. After seeing the elaborate bakeries in France, I knew it was something that needed to be added to my baking bucket list.  Now that they have become so fashion forward, it has made me want to pursue them even more.  
Beat Egg whites (or alternative) until frothy, then add superfine sugar.

 Pierre Desfontaines Ladurée (Creator of the infamous Ladurée Bakery) thought to put two meringues together, thus, creating the first French Macaroon. He originally used ganache to bind the two, now a number of different fillings are used. Some of them are: buttercream, curd, jam, and salted caramel.

Whip on high until rather stiff peaks form. ( Warning: do not over beat)

They are often served with coffee or tea. They can even be found at high teas, and other special occasions. Macaroons have a distinctly nutty taste, with pairs well black tea and even espresso.

Fold almond flour mixture into the egg whites with a spatula. (Egg whites will deflate a bit)
French macaroons have developed a high status, and have even been named number seven in the ten most expensive desserts. This is because of Macaroons Haute Couture's $7,000 price tag. It is hard to believe that someone would charge that much for almond meringues. They allow the customer to choose all of their macaroon flavors. 
Divide batter in separate bowls and add food coloring.
Usually, Macaroons are colored in light pastel hues. I decided to make mine brightly colored for a creative fun twist. 

Put batter into piping bags, and pipe onto a LINED baking sheet. (I used a SILPAT, but parchment paper works great. This is a must!!)

If you do not line your baking sheet, the macaroons will stick to the pan, and crack when you attempt to move them.
Let Macaroons sit for 45-50 minutes before baking. Once they are no longer tacky/sticky, they should be ready to bake. 
Letting the meringues sit is vital to their success. By doing this, a skin is able to form over the top of them. When they are baked, it forces the air to leave through the bottom creating "legs", which are a distinct characteristic of French Macaroons. They are the little ridge area at the bottom of the macaroons.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm to touch.
If you macaroons come out cracked or without "legs" it is probably because, they weren't able to sit long enough before baking them. It could also have to do with the whipping of the egg whites, but it is more likely due to the sitting time. 

Add filling, and put two macaroons together, creating a sandwich.  I used a simple buttercream
If you are not serving your macaroons immediately, you can keep them in an air tight container, layering wax paper between each macaroon. Makes about 16 macaroons (depending on size).


1 comment:

Amy said...

These are gorgeous! You make all of these things look too easy!