Macaron Obsession

This is a blast from the past posts from December of 2014. I was absolutely obsessed with making a great Macaron and after multiple attempts managed something I thought was pretty darn good.

I’m a strange person. When something defeats me, I want to try even harder to make it work, if only to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything. Macarons have definitely become that challenge for me in the kitchen. They are amazingly complicated little cookies that are stupid temperamental. Of course I take this as a challenge.

Attempt three was a success! I owe the honor to a new book I am fascinated with, The Art of French Pastry. Before I get too far into this post, I want to take an aside and talk about this book. It is amazing. The author obviously has years of experience making pastry, but even more importantly, teaching it. Every recipe is broken down into the actual recipe, technique, and a section of what can go wrong and how to fix it. Sometimes, he even includes a nice story about the dish when he was learning to make it. I finished reading it in a couple of days and it read like a novel. This is definitely one of my favorite cookbooks . It’s fairly new, but deserves every 5 star rating it has received.

So, on to the macarons. I won’t go into an incredible amount of detail as many things are the same as previous post, however there were a few specific differences.

First, the recipe was scaled in metric. I measured every ingredient by weight, including those that normally called for tablespoon/teaspoon. Second, I aged the egg whites in the refrigerator, overnight.

Here’s my mise en place. You will notice a few additional ingredients for both the dry and wet preparations. On the dry side, 95 grams of egg whites were reserved (mostly dry anyway). On the wet side, we have water and corn syrup.

First I mixed and sifted the powdered sugar in with the almond flour, as normal. Separately, I started mixing 95 grams of egg whites on low. This was just to get them to the foaming stage.

Then I started the sugar syrup, which is the major difference in this recipe. Sugar syrup is used when making an Italian style meringue. Basically, you bring water, sugar, corn syrup and food coloring to a boil and take it up to 244 degrees. When it hits 244 degrees, you slowly pour it into egg whites which are being whipped on high speed. This VERY quickly forms a meringue which has a consistency of soft marshmallow. I was honestly surprised by just how strong and stable the meringue was.

On the dry side, I mixed in the egg whites and prepared to fold the wet ingredients in.

Then I folded the meringue into the dry ingredients in a couple of steps. At this stage, I probably should have folded longer as the tips of the piping did not quite melt into the piped cookies.

Then I piped the cookies and let them sit to dry out. Finally, I baked them for 15 minutes at 315 degrees. One tray at a time, three trays total.

I made a quick strawberry buttercream and filled the cooled cookies. I let them sit in the fridge for about 36 hours and then let them come to room temperature.

Lessons Learned: Italian meringue is much more stable than the French method. That being said, it takes more whipping to fold the ingredients in and get to the right consistency. The overall difference was a more stable cookie that baked wonderfully, didn’t stick to the pan or become hollow, and ended up with a wonderful texture. This method is WAY more forgiving and I highly suggest it for the beginner.

One thought on “Macaron Obsession

  1. BRAVO! I have nothing even approaching your cooking prowess, but with this post you have me thinking (maybe delusionally) that I too can make a macaron. But kudos to you for figuring out this most vexing of recipes.


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