What is Macaron
A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection.
It is made by combining icing sugar and ground almonds into a fine mixture. In a separate bowl, egg whites are beaten to a meringue-like consistency. The two elements are then folded together until they are the consistency of “shaving foam”, and then are piped, left to form a skin, and baked Sometimes, a filling is added.
The macaron is traditionally held to have been introduced in France by the Italian chef of queen Catherine de Medici during the Renaissance. Since the 19th century, a typical Parisian-style macaron is presented with a ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two such cookies, akin to a sandwich cookie.
The confection is characterized by a smooth top, a ruffled circumference—referred to as the “crown” or “foot” and a flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth.
Differnt Methods of making macaron
There are two main methods for making a macaron – the “French” method and the “Italian” method. The difference between the two is the way the meringue is made.
In the French method, egg whites are whisked until stiff-peaked meringue forms. From there, sifted, ground almonds and powdered sugar are folded in slowly until the desired consistency is reached.
The Italian method involves whisking the egg whites with a hot sugar syrup to form a meringue. Sifted almonds and icing sugar are also mixed with raw egg whites to form a paste. The meringue and almond paste are mixed together to form the macaron mixture.
I followed French method of making macarons .As it is the Christmas season, I made beautiful red macarons with white frostings to represent the festival.
- Preparation time: 45 min
- Baking time: 15 min
- Serves : 10 macaron sandwiches
- Difficulty level: medium
- 2/3rd cup Almond flour
- 1 cup powdered Sugar
- 2 large Egg whites
- 1/4th cup granulated Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red food colour (I used powdered food colour)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon white Vinegar/lemon juice
For the lemon buttercream frosting
- 6 tablespoon unsalted Butter in room temperature
- 1&1/2 cup powdered Sugar
- 1 Lemon
- 1 pinch of Salt
- Some powdered sugar for garnishing
In a food processor or blender, mix together 2/3rd cup almond powder and 1 cup powdered sugar.
Pulse for 2-3 minutes. This will help to mix both the ingredients nicely.
Sieve the mixture to discard any big particles and set aside. This step is necessary to get perfectly powdered mixture.
Seperate egg yolk from whites and take only egg whites to a mixing bowl.
Take an electric hand mixer and start whipping. At first whip in slow speed. Gradually increase the speed to high until the egg whites become white and thick.
Now add in granulated sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and whip in medium to high speed. Adding sugar in batches will help to stabilize egg white nicely and quickly. So have patience and do the whipping process by adding sugar in 3-4 batches.
Gradually the meringue (egg white mixture) becomes thick and cloudy.
When the mixture comes to soft peak consistency, that means if you take out the whipping blade, a semi hard peak forms on the blade.
Add in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and whip for a minute. This will help to make the meringue stiff. You can use lemon juice also in place of vinegar.
8.Add in 1/4th teaspoon of red colour(I used powdered red food colour) and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence. Try to use gel or powder food colour, liquid food colour may dilute the meringue.
Whip again just to mix the colour and flavour. Your mixture should be thick, fluffy and glossy.
Now add in the almond flour and sugar mixture in batches and fold with a spatula. Again here also fold lightly the dry ingredients in 3-4 batches to mix nicely. Don’t whip in this stage.
Mix until the mixture becomes flowing consistecny. That means if you pour the batter it should flow slowly without breaking apart. You check by pouring some batter, if you can make figure”8″ in one continues flow, that means your macaron batter is ready.
Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. I sketched small circles on the back side of the baking paper so that I can pipe same size of round macarons on the sheet.
Take a piping bag with round nozzle of 1 cm size.
Pour the prepared batter to the piping bag.
Pipe the batter on the baking sheet to make small round cookies. Keep little gap between each cookie.
Tap the baking tray several times to release any air bubbles from the cookies.
Keep the tray aside at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until the top of the cookies become dry to touch.
Preheat oven at 150 degree C for 10 minutes.
Bake the macarons in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes at 150 degee C.
Keep the macarons in the oven after done for 15 minutes to cool them inside the oven.
After 15 minutes remove from oven and set aside to cook them completely.
In the meantime make the lemon buttercream frosting. For that take 6 tbsp room temperature unsalted batter to a mixing bowl.
Whip the butter for 3-4 minutes to make them light.
Now add in the powdered sugar in batches and whip in low to high speed gradually until the mixture becomes white and fluffy.It may take 4-5 minutes to make mixture fluffy and white.
Now add in freshly squeezed juice of a lemon and a pinch of salt.
Whip again to make the frosting stif and fluffy.
Place the frosting in piping bag. I used the same piping bag(cleaned) which I used for macarons.
When macarons are completely cool in the baking tray, carefully remove from the baking sheet. They will slightly stick to the sheet. You can see the texture of the macarons. They are smooth on the top with ruffle or crown edges.
27.Now pipe the frosting on the back side of a macaron and cover with another macaron and press lightly.
Beautiful and delicious Christmas special macarons are ready to enjoy now.
Dust some powder sugar to garnish and enjoy.
If you want to store the macarons, don’t use frosting. You can store them without frosting for 2-4days. Use frosting before consuming.
The macarons are cruncy from outside with little chewy inside. It tastes awesome with the buttercream frosting. You can use whipped cream also in place of buttercream.
Note:Tips to get perfect macarons
- Ensure your mixing bowl , food processor, spatula etc are grease-free. Grease or oil is the enemy of macarons.
- Always sift the dry ingredients together even if you see no lumps.
- Use Almond flour and not almond meal.Almond meal are made of unbalanced almond and they are not very fine texture.
- Measurement should be exact.
- Break your egg whites properly. It is very very important that your egg whites have no trace of egg yolk or they will not get to stiff peaks.
- And don’t forget to tap your macarons after you pipe them. Tapping the baking sheet at least a few times helps remove the trapped air pockets. If these air pockets stay in they tend to break in the oven and cause holes or lumpy macarons.
- Before baking don’t forget to keep the macaron tray in room temperature until the top becomes dry to touch. There should form a dry skin on the top of the macarons before baking. This helps to get smooth top with ruffle edges.
- Don’t overbake them . Macarons are crunchy from outside with little chewy from inside. Overbaking may lead to crumbly macarons. Generally, macarons are baked from 12-15 minutes in 150 degree C.
If you follow all the steps properly, you will surely get perfect, delicious and beautiful french macarons each time.@barakkitchen
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