Ah… macarons. What makes you so special? What have you done to capture the interests of human beings? To take center stage in bakeries all over the world? To epitomize French sweets?
Sure you’re cute. But looks alone don’t get you anywhere in this world. Not today.
Macarons are indeed the daintiest of dainty lil fellas in the cookies category. I mean, a quick glance at one, and you won’t want to eat it and ruin its beauty. But then, one bite of one, and you won’t want to stop eating it.
The truth is though, I don’t even like them that much. Yes, I spent $6.75 on three quarter-sized macarons from a macaron café in NYC. And it’s true that I describe them like they’re my besties. And yes, I’m quite aware that I’ve blogged about mararons before. TWICE actually (the posts can be found here and here). But truth be told, I don’t think they’re worth all the fuss. I’d much rather indulge in a good chocolate chip cookie.
However, there’s just something about them that justifies spending 2 hours in the kitchen. Or maybe it’s simply that I’m never satisfied with the results. I know now for sure that the first time I made them, the texture was not right at all! But I did not let myself think that. Rather, I lied to myself, thinking that that was the way they were supposed to be. The second time I made macarons, the chocolate flavor was not quite rich enough. I also took a short cut by using marshmallow fluff to sandwich the cookies together instead of making a buttercream or chocolate ganache. And while I won’t say that I’ve nailed them this time round, I’m definitely improving. My macarons are finally starting to have “feet” and stay soft and chewy on the inside, while being crisp on the outside.
Be on the watch out though, for “Macarons, Fourth Time Lucky.”
Macaron batter:1 ¼ cups icing sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds
6 tbsps egg whites (approximately from 3 large eggs)
pinch of salt
¼ cup white sugar
red food coloring
Jam buttercream:2 tbsp jam (I used rose)
½ stick butter
2-3 cups icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Combine the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl.
3. In a large dry bowl, beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add in the white sugar, beating until stiff peaks form and the whites are firm and shiny. Add a few drops of red food coloring and mix the color in well.
4. Gently fold the icing sugar mixture into the eggs whites, until incorporated and the mixture leaves a ribbon on the surface.
5. Pipe the batter onto parchment lined baking sheets. Tap the baking sheet to remove air bubbles. Let dry for 1 hour to allow skins to form.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until the top is completely dry. Transfer parchment to a cooling rack.
7. When the macarons are completely cooled, sandwich macarons with the jam buttercream. Store in the refrigerator.
For the jam buttercream:
Whip the butter and jam together. Beat in small amounts of icing sugar, until the desired consistency.