French macarons, what a delight! Cute, little, fluffy, delicious sweets. For months I have dreamed of making these little delicacies fit for kings and queens. In my head, I envisioned myself gliding through the kitchen to the sound of “D’où vient cela, belle“, while creating perfectly shaped dusty rose macarons. My hopes and dreams shattered in less than five minutes.
I know what you are thinking… How naïve of me to think this was going to be easy. I have done enough research to know that this was going to be a hard recipe to master, yet the complexity of this dish was nothing compared to the utter inconvenience met while trying to gather all the ingredients!
1. The Almond Flour Curse:
I spent most of my Saturday driving around town trying to find some mythical almond flour. Yes, mythical… on every other day/week finding almond flower would have been the easiest task ever. Drive to the closest grocery store, find flour, buy it, and voilà! The trick is done. This Saturday, for reasons still obscure to me, any trace of almond flour seemed to have vanished from this town. Finding a unicorn would have been easier! Now that I think about it, I bet Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty whom I met at the farmers market— yes, they were there and, no, they weren’t five-year old girls — could have told me where to find some. After four stores and still no trace of almond flour, it was time for plan B.
2. The Almonds Predicament:
What do you do when you cannot find almond flour? You make your own, right?
I am not sure if I was burnt out from driving across town on A-day (Alabama football = lots of fans in town = half of town shuts down = traffic is unbearable), or that I was so hangry (don’t even argue about it. Being hangry is a thing and I am living proof), but the fact is I bought the wrong kind of almonds. Technically you can make almond flour with any kind of almonds, bleached or unbleached; but apparently unbleached almonds are best for macarons, as the almond skins tend to make the flour heavier, more coarse, and altogether not as pure. As you can see my macarons did not have a smooth plain texture.
After several hours of searching, and after feeding the She-Hulk and putting her back in her cage (I am not kidding I get vicious when I am hangry), it was time to bake!
Overall, the macarons were not as pretty as I hoped they would be, but they were still deliciously sweet. To make them even tastier, I filled them with some simple buttercream frosting (store-bought).
100 gr almond flour
200 gr confectioners sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 egg whites (separate the whites from the yolks, and let the white sit at room temperature for a few hours. This “ages” the eggs and helps with the process).
1/2 inch tip
- Mix the almond flour and confectioners sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds.
- I a deep bowl, mix the salt and egg whites. With a egg beater, beat the eggs on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn speed to high and beat the egg whites for 3 more minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
- With a rubber spatula, fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites. Be very gentle and slow. Fold until fully combined. The mixture will result in a sticky and puffy.
- Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Again, this will help the eggs age some more.
- Line up 2 cookie sheet and cover them with parchment paper. i usually cut my paper to fit with the cookie sheet and use a bit of cooking spray to let thee parchment paper stick to the pan.
- Pipe away! You want to create roughly 2 inches wide circles. If you see any air bubbles on your macarons, gently tap you pan on your working area. This will eliminate any bubble.
- Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Do not skip this step as this will create a sort of outer shell on your macarons which will help during the baking process.
- Bake at 320°F for 10 minutes. Let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet.
- Spread your desired frosting on one cookie and lay another one on top of it as if you were making a sandwich.
Et voilà! You have baked your own french macarons!
Do you have a favorite frosting you like to fill your macarons with? Do you have any similar funny stories with macarons, or any other baking adventure? Share a few words 🙂