If you think you can work relatively fast, preheat oven to 320 degrees first. Since this was our first time trying this, we wisely decided to wait until we thought we were close to baking before turning on the oven. Over all, I think the whole process took about 2 hours, start to finish. I can see the whole process taking a lot less time once you are experienced.
Oh, and having a stand mixer and food scale is REALLY helpful.
PART I: the Mass
Ingredients for the Mass
100g almond flour
100g powdered sugar
3 drops of food coloring
Add food coloring if desired.
Part II: The Italian Meringue
57g aged egg whites
Heat sugar and water in a pot until 230 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just above the boiling point of water, and the solution will turn clear a little before reaching this temperature.
Mix egg whites in a stand mixer until you have soft peaks.
Combine Parts I and II (Colored Mass and the Italian meringue) to form the batter for the macaron cookies!
Pipe out circles onto parchment paper for baking.
Some recipes recommend “whacking” the pan against the counter to flatten out the batter. This aids in the development of “feet”, the signature little layer of air-bubbles at the bottom of the macaron. Other recipes recommend letting the macarons sit out for at least 30 minutes so that the tops can dry out a bit, thus developing a “skin” that prevents cracking.
We did not wait 30 minutes before baking our first batch. As a result, the first batch had much more cracking than other batches that did sit out for 30 minutes. Lesson learned. We whacked all of the batches, but I’m not sure if that made any difference or not.
Bake for 9-11 minutes depending on the size of the macaron (just watch carefully!) remembering to rotate the pan halfway through. To further prevent the macarons from cracking, use two pans, one on top of the other to protect the macaron from the high heat.
Yay little feet are forming!
[Note – I did find that these macarons still taste quite good after being stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The baker at Bouchon bakery had told us that their macarons would last at most 1-2 days after purchase, which is consistent with my experience]
Some sad cracked ones!
Lessons learned – aka “if I were to do this again”
– I would actually buy almond flour instead of almond meal. Almond meal works fine, but it is less refined and therefore gives the macarons a much more substantial “chew” when you are eating it. Still delicious, but tastes slightly less professional.
– Definitely let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes to form a skin, thus reducing the possibility of cracking.
– Make more cool flavors! The next plan: Ispahan Macaron!
Recipe in English Measurements
for the mass:
– 1-1/4 cups almond flour
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1-1/2 egg whites or 3 tbsp. of egg whites
for the meringue:
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup water
– 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of egg whites
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