So I finally braved the Macaron! I must confess that I haven't even tried one up to less than a month ago. I went to Paris with two of my friends and practically our first stop was at Ladurée to taste them!
The one I got there was the Salted Caramel one- or Caramel Fleur de Sel- and I haven't been able to take it out of my head since.
It's actually mesmerizing, to see all the beautiful cookies all aligned, with their pretty colors and amazing flavours- you could find the classic ones such as Raspberry to more rare ones like the Praline Sesame or Liquorice.
Oh, and all those beautiful cakes! They were like little works of art. I played it cool and only took a million photos, I may show you one day ;)
Making Macarons has not been easy for me, it has not been one of these recipes that you get on the first try. I found a recipe on Pinterest that seemed easy enough to me and tried it, and although some of them turned out OK, a lot of them did not. I had no idea why, since I followed all the steps. And then I found Food Noveau's "
" and it saved my sanity. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit but, seriously, she has answers to all the questions you may have regarding the making of Macarons.
Praline and Salted Caramel Macarons
yields 50 macarons
- 3 egg whites (aged for 3 days)
- 125g almond meal
- 210g confectioners sugar
- 30g granulated sugar
- 3 drops of praline extract
- Orange food coloring
- Three days before you make the macarons: separate the whites of three eggs and place them in an open container in the fridge, without covering them.
- Mix the almond meal and the confectioners sugar, triturate it in the food processor for some minutes and sift it.
- Beat the whites until they reach a fluffy consistency. Add the granulated sugar while beating until they are glossy and opaque, and they form peaks.
- Add the praline extract and the food coloring, mix them carefully with a spatula, with movements from bottom to top.
- Add the almond meal and sugar mix little by little. You should do it in 4 or 5 times, always mixing carefully with the spatula with movements from bottom to top, in order not to deflate the whites.
- Once all the ingredients are incorporated, pour the mix in a pastry bag with a round tip.
- Make circles with the mixture, about a little less than 3cm diameter. It's better if you have done yourself a template with the circles drawn, so you can put it under the parchment paper. Once you have finished piping the mix, hit the tray on a flat surface three times. The air inside the mix in the macarons will come to the surface, puncture the bubbles with a toothpick.
- Let the macarons sit until the surface has dried (you can test it by lightly touch them with your finger- it must come out clean). They can be done in 20 minutes or 2 hours, depending on the humidity of the ambience. You must wait, however, otherwise the macarons will not rise when baked.
- Preheat the oven at 150ºC (300ºF).
- Bake for 15 minutes. After this time, open the oven door and, carefully so you do not get burned, touch the upper part of one of the cookies. If the top can be slide off the bottom, let them bake for 5 more minutes, testing them again after.
- The baking time will depend on the oven and the temperature. It is better to let them cook longer than to rise the temperature too much; I have baked them for a little more than 25 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven and let the parchment paper slide off the tray onto the table or the kitchen marble. Wait for them to cool down completely before peeling them off the paper.
- 280g sugar
- 130g heavy cream
- 200g salty butter (cold)
You will need a thick-bottomed saucepan and a candy thermometer.
- Pour 95g of sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Melt it at medium heat. Add 95g more and repeat. Add the rest of the sugar. Cook until it has a rich caramel color.
- Lower the heat and pour the heavy cream slowly. Be careful! Due to the big temperature change, the mix will bubble up so mix carefully so you don't get burned!
- Keep on cooking, controlling the temperature with a candy thermometer until it reaches 108ºC (226ºF). Take out of the heat and add the cold butter, cubed, in order to stop the cooking of the caramel.
- Mix well with a spatula, until it is completely incorporated.
- Pour in another recipient and cool down in the fridge.
Assembling the Macarons:
- Match the cookies by size. Put a small ball of caramel on one of them and put the other half on it, gently. Twist the halves until they are separated only by some milimeters.
- Let the macarons sit in the fridge, in an air sealed container for at least 24 hours before serving.
And now breathe. They are done, and even if they do not look perfect, they will taste great anyways.
Experts say that you should let them sit on the fridge for at least 24 hours, so be patient. The time will help the flavors settle and the humidity of the filling will help the cookie to get the desired consistency.
Here are the pdfs with the recipes for the
Thank you for reading!