this past fall my husband and i travelled to France and this is where my obsession with macarons all began. i would buy 6 macarons every day in paris and keep them in my bag for a little snack throughout the day as we were hustling around the city. ever since we returned from france i am constantly on the hunt for the best macaron in the city! and of course we all have those friends with special talents and i just happen to have a very good friend who is a damn good baker. so one friday afternoon we poured a big glass of red wine and put her macaron baking skills to work! Lindsey has tried numerous recipes and has truly put hours into nailing this talent! and we love her for it because nothing is better than a beautiful homemade macaron right from your very own kitchen;)
how to create the macaron shells - italian meringue method
step 1: almond paste: combine these ingredients in a bowl to form paste. It is best to use a scale which you can buy for $10 from Walmart to be bang on.
180g of almond flour
210g of icing sugar
60g of egg whites
* once you have all these ingredients together in a bowl you can set aside.
step 2: making the syrup (you'll need a pot for the stove): mix together the following ingredients:
180g of sugar
40g of water
on medium high heat, cook the mixture until it looks clear and bubbly so you can no longer see the sugar.
step 3: froth: while the syrup is heating, beat 60 g of egg whites on medium speed for 2 minutes.
step 4: add the hot syrup to the frothy egg whites in the mixer and increase speed to medium-high beat for 2 minutes. then beat on high for 2 minutes more.
the beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. (add flavouring or food colouring if desired and then beat again for 30 seconds on high speed)
step 5: combine your almond paste (step 1) and meringue (step 4). do this by putting the egg white mixture into the paste 1/3 at a time using a spatula to fold it in (see below).
step 6: making your own piping bag! place a plastic sandwich bag into a coffee mug and pour the mixture you created from step 5 above into the bag. when you take the take the bag out of the mug cut the corner of the bag with scissors and there you have your new piping bag!
with the piping tip 1/2 inch above the sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4 inch round circle on the macaron baking sheet (you can buy this from Bed Bath & Beyond) or use parchment paper on a cookie sheet. do this in a circular motion then swirl it off to one side. once all circles are full tap the bottom of your pan with your palm then tap sheet firmly on the counter 2-3 times to remove any air bubbles. they should look fairly smooth and flat (if they flatten out too much, use a knife to 'trim' the edges).
let them set for about 20 minutes before baking so they form a slight crust on top so they heat doesn't escape when they bake. set the oven to 325 F at this point *it is best to use a thermometer to check your oven temp as every oven is slightly different. bake them in the oven for about 18 minutes.
now the delicious butttercream filling - butter, icing sugar & vanilla
beat to a cream (slow-fast);
1/4-1/2 butter (it can vary depending on consistency) start less then gradually add
1.5 cups of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
*if it is not creamy enough add a touch of milk.
create a second piping bag (step 6) to ice.
and there you have it! homemade macarons. one thing I will say is that the first time is never easy and it takes many attempts to figure out the perfect consistency to create your beautiful macarons. but they are so delicious and so worth it!
presentation presentation presentation! one of my favourite things about making these delicious treats is how beautifully they can be presented. there is just something about the final presentation that brings it all together. they are the perfect treat for any occasion and can truly make a room look beautiful. with wedding season just around the corner these are the perfect addition to make your decorations complete!
with Easter coming up this weekend we also had some fun playing with some new flavours. below are our mini egg flavoured macarons which look too beautiful to eat but they are extremely hard to resist. crush up some mini eggs into tiny pieces and them sprinkle on top and into the filling. add in food colouring of your choice and you have the perfect Easter treat!