French Macaron

I adore these beautiful French Macarons. They are finicky to make, however. If you live in the Northwest as I do, moisture is your enemy. They can not develop skin on the top and when you bake they will crack. That is a nasty problem that I get often when I have a desire for this delectable cookie and bake them when it’s raining. But I’ve figured out a solution. My oven has a dehydration setting, the temperature is 150 degrees, with convection air flowing. You can try doing the same thing in a convection oven with a very low temperature for 3-4 minutes.  Never give up on producing a perfect macaron, you’ll get it right when the weather is sunny and hot!

100 grams almond flour

75 grams powdered sugar

75 grams caster sugar (extra fine granulated)

70 grams egg whites, aged, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla or other flavors of your desire

Gel color of your choice

 

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. (depending on your oven it may change)

Prepare two parchment sheets of paper with a macaron template

In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar three times. 

Use a stand mixer or handheld with a whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and mix on low speed until foamy, add the cream of tartar, mix to combine.

Begin to beat the egg whites, once there are tracks in the whites, lower your speed and add 1/3 of the caster sugar, increase the speed to medium, Kitchenaid is #8. Once combined add another 1/3 and continue the process one additional time.

Once all the sugar has been fully added, before it reaches stiff peaks, add 1 to 3 drops of gel color to your liking. Continue whipping on med-high, #8  until hard peaks, this can take 10 to 15 minutes. You will notice a ball up on the inside of the whisk, and when you lift the whisk, the meringue should hold a pointed end and have sharp ribs on the whisk attachment.

To test the meringue stiffness, it should have pointed peaks when pulled up from the bowl. 

Sift the almond-powder sugar mixture again into the egg whites. Gently fold it into the egg whites starting the macronage process. Approximately 50 folds.

Folding the dough is called macronage, it is simply folding until the dough makes a lava style consistency where figure 8 can be made.

Take a large pastry bag with a Wilton number 12 for the 0.25″ tip. Place into a cup and fold over the edges, fill the batter into the pastry bag. You may need two bags depending on the size of the bags. 

Begin pipping the dough using the template for consistent sizes. Remove the template from underneath the parchment paper. Rap the tray several times on the counter to rid the excess bubbles. Pop any remaining bubbles with a toothpick. 

Let them rest on the counter for 30-40 minutes and have developed skin. This helps the shells from cracking during baking. A blow dryer can help speed up the drying process. I use the dehydration setting in my oven, 150 degrees with convection air for 4 minutes.

Place one tray at a time into the oven, place it on the middle shelf. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Test for doneness, the feet should push back and the shell should not be wobbly. 

Let them cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper. 

Fill the macarons with your desired filling. Nutella and jam are fast yummy additions.

Once made it’s best to allow them to mature in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Bring them back to temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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