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Posts tagged “almond

French Macaron Tutorial

A while back I had a request to post a detailed “tutorial” on my French Macarons. Now, I’m by NO means a pastry chef, but I do bake as part of my event business. I am completely self-taught, loads of trial and error. My French Macaron recipe is tweaked to work for me, I cannot promise it will work for you. I altered and tinkered with about 7 different recipes, and this is my “this works well 90% of the time” outcome.

Recipe:

150 grams ground almonds
150 grams powdered sugar (I do not sift)
150 + 35 grams granulated sugar
50 grams water (I use filtered)
60 + 60 grams egg whites

I buy slivered almonds and process them myself, but you can buy pre-made almond flour. It’s just more expensive. I get slivered almonds for about $3/lb at Winco.

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I process about a pound at a time, as I’ll be making more Macarons next week. You don’t need nearly as much as shown above!

Then I measure out (food scale, digital, best $20 I have ever spent! Okay, maybe it’s neck and neck with my $20 Williams-Sonoma flour sifter!) 150 grams powdered almonds & 150 grams powdered sugar. Set this aside for later.

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Here’s the tricky part. Take 60 grams of egg whites and start mixing in large mixer until slightly foamy. While the egg whites are getting foamy, measure out 35 grams if granulated sugar:

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Add the sugar to the egg whites, put on medium (I have the larger kitchen aid mixer, I put it on a 5).

Now you will make the sugar syrup. (I use the Italian meringue method, it’s much more stable, and we are right at the high altitude marker) measure out 150 grams granulated sugar + 50 grams of water. I use this cute little 1.5c metal measuring cup, it fits perfectly on the stove and the size is splendid for this purpose. This sugar syrup will cook to 248-250 degrees. (Must use candy thermometer!!!)

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I tend to turn the stove up so this cooks quickly (I’m impatient!). The egg whites should have soft peaks by now. Turn the mixer down to low (I turn my off, apparently a huge no-no), and slowly ass the sugar syrup to the egg whites. Once well mixed turn that mixer up to med, and let it go for 10-15 minutes, or until it cools down (the bowl is warm not hot to the touch outside) and you have stiff shiny meringue!

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Now for the fun part! Take the bowl you set aside, and dump the other 60grams of egg whites in. This is where I add colour and flavour. Make it darker than you want, as when you add the merengue it gets pale. This batch is a pale blue-green and almond flavoured.

Mix until it’s all one smooth mass of goo. (No other way to describe it really!)

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By now your egg whites should be done. Probably good to turn that oven on to 325 (I use convection!!). I set my rack on the bottom half and only cook one sheet at a time. I also prepare my heavy pans with sil-pat mats. (You can also use parchment paper, I prefer the mats)

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And now, the fun. You add the merengue to the coloured mix, and give it 40-50 decent whips around the bowl. The consistency should be like a lava flow:

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You can’t go too wrong with the Italian method, it’s fairly stable. But be somewhat gentle. Too gentle and you have very bubbly cookies. It takes practice, so don’t worry if it comes out wonky the first time!

Now to fill the pastry bag and pipe onto the mats! Some people use a template, I just free form it. It works.

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Now tap the pans to catch the air bubbles, and pop them. Let it settle and they will smooth out.

Time to bake! I bake mine at 325 for 10 minutes. But your oven may vary. Cooking times is soooo scattered. Play around with it!

And voila! Ruffled feet!

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Now to fill, these are filled with an almond white chocolate buttercream. Mmmmmm!

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I fill the “macawrongs” too, the kids love them!

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Sooo. There ya go. Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and how my tinkered with recipe works for you.

Until next time,

Jules


Macarons!

Mmmmm, I have a new love, macaron cookies! Not the American coconut ones, the French pastry ones!

It took 4 tries (and 3 failed batches!), but I got it right. Delicious!

I made them in almond with almond white chocolate buttercream. So delicious! And gluten free!! I really should be careful with my gluten intake, but I do love my breads!

The batter, looks good!

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All lined up, my piping skills need work, but not bad!

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In the oven, success! Nice shell and feet!

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And finally after two days of fiddling with recipes, measurements (a kitchen scale is essential!!), voila! gorgeous pale blue Macarons!

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I love the color, in fact it’s the color of my kitchen walls and my bedroom walls! Such a pale, soothing blue, love it!! In fact I was so convinced of my success today, I even wore pale blue earrings. (blue topaz, $9.99 with a matching pendant on 1SaleADay)And they just taste, well, incredible! I’m trying to talk myself out of, oh, cookie number 7 or 8 right now?

I’m going to tackle another batch tomorrow, as I have egg whites aging on the counter. My husband will be enjoying creme brûlée in the next week, all those yolks!

Until next time,

Jules