I worked as a pâtissier and a sauté chef for a while in a exclusive club and made many desserts but one of the most requested desserts were the French Macarons that a senior pâtissier taught me on how to make. They do take a bit of skill and the first batch might not turn out how you expect, but practice makes perfect.
Note: Some of the measurements are imperial standard and some of the measurements are in metric. I have tried to convert them all to one system but it just does not work correctly when you are making them but I will try my best to simplify it for you.
Step 1: The Ingredents
- 85g (3/4 cup roughly) of Almond flour (you might be able to find at Wal-mart, or Meijer, but I know you will find it at a natural foods store such as Rainbow Blossom or even Trader Joe's)
- 225g (2 cups roughly) Confectioners sugar
- 4 eggs - at room tempature <-- very important!
- 50g (1/8th cup roughly) Caster sugar (can be made by running normal sugar through a food processor, it just makes the crystals very small, Do Not substitute confectioners sugar)
- 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
Step 2: Preperation and Mixing
- Mix together the almond flour, the confectioners sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl place the egg whites and whip them untill it begins to foam.
- Add in the caster suger slowly.
- Whip the egg whites and caster sugar to form it into meringue.
- After the meringue is formed fold the almond flour mixture into the egg mixture carefully. You want to keep as much air in the meringue as you can.
Step 3: Piping & Baking
You have to either use parchment paper or a silpat mat, Wax paper will not work as a subistute.
You are going to spoon your macarons mixture into a piping bag with a 1/2" tip. When you are piping these onto a silpat/parchment paper you are going to want to bring the tip of the bag straight up and make a little clockwise twist to flatten the peak that will form. here is a video of the technique. You will want the dots to be about 2 cm across or about the size of a US nickle, and about 2" apart. (This is not my video, just one I found on YouTube)
After they have been piped onto the silpat/parchment paper, lift the tray up slightly and let it drop to bring any large bubbles that may have formed when piping. You will want to let them sit for about 10-20 Minutes for a skin to form on the top of the dots, this way when you bake them they will have a round top to them and have a bubbly ring at the bottom.
Midway through the skin formation you can heat you oven up to 300ºF (150ºC).
You will bake them for 12-15 minutes, you will know when they are done by the formation of a bubbly ring around the bottom of the macarons. If you are baking in an electric over place them on the bottom or middle rack.
After they have baked take them out and let them sit for about 5 minutes before removing them from the baking trays and transfer them to a wire cooling rack. If you are using parchment paper, take a spray bottle with water and lightly mist the pan underneath the paper and the resulting steam will loosen them up for easy removal when the time comes.
Step 4: The Filling
- 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz of your choice of chocolate either white, dark, or semi-sweet. It has to be baking chocolate, chocolate chips will not work.
- 1 tbsp of butter
Step 5: Other Ideas
- Almond: Substitute the 3 tbsp of coco powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour
- Coconut: Substitute 2 tbsp of unsweetened finely ground coconut for tbsp of the almond flour and add 1/2 tsp of rum
- Pistachio: Substitute 1/2 cup of finely ground unsalted pistachios for 1/2 cup of almond flour
- Vanilla Bean: add 1/2 tsp of extract and 1/2 of a vanilla beans pulp