The best way I can describe a macaron would be something similar to an oreo, but more decadent. A filling of choice sandwiched between two meringue based cookies, characterized by a smooth shell top + frilly bottom edge (aka feet or foot), yielding a cookie that is crisp on the outside, but soft/chewy on the inside.
The mac pyramid with C’s prop.
Four trial and error batches later… think I’ve finally achieved something close to the ideal cookie… Yupp, was determined and wanted/ had to get it right.
Nutella, PB&J, and Mango
After reading numerous online tips, tricks, and, techniques, I finally found a recipe that worked me. Many recipes call for the 4 basic ingredients, however, vary in the batter techniques or baking temperature/ times. This recipe and method has been modified from Brave Tart.
Yield: Approx 28 smallish cookies (has been scaled down from the original)
- 36 g egg whites (fresh or pasteurized)
- 29 g Almond Powder
- 58 g Confectioners Sugar
- 18 g Granulated Sugar
1) Preheat oven to 300° F and prepare a pastry bag, fitted w/ a plain tip (1/2 inch) and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2) As you weigh all the ingredients/ prepare everything, allow whites to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes.
3) In a blender, grind together almond powder + icing sugar till well incorporated. Sift mixture to eliminate any almond chunks.
4) Add granulated sugar into egg whites and beat mixture till you achieve stiff peaks.
Following Brave Tart’s Instructions: Whip for 3 minutes on medium, then increase speed to high and whip another 3 minutes. Crank speed a notch even higher and whip another 3 minutes. Once stiff peaks have formed, add in any extracts/flavor/color and whip for a final minute on the highest speed to evenly distribute the color/flavor. The meringue should be very stiff/ dry and clump in middle of whisk attachment.
5) Add all dry ingredients at once and fold in with a rubber spatula. (Batter needs enough thickness that it will mound up on itself, but enough fluidity that after 20 seconds, it will melt back down)
6) Transfer into piping bag. (If making a large batch, transfer half at a time for better control when piping)
7) Pipe batter into small rounds onto parchment. Careful not to pipe too close together, as the batter will continue to spread a bit. Once finished, rap pan firmly against counter. Rotate pan ninety degrees and repeat two more times. This will dislodge any large air bubbles that might cause cracking.
Let batter sit for 20-25 minutes at room temperature, or until the tops of the batter are dry to the touch.
8) In preheated oven, bake macarons in upper 1/3 of oven for about 10-12 minutes w/ oven door slightly open. Rotate pan halfway through baking. Once baked and cool completely on the pans, carefully peel macarons from the parchment (parchment should be able to be cleanly peeled from macs)
Yelled at C: “OMG, they got feet!“
*This method seems to work w/ my oven, but since each oven is different (heat flow, temperature, etc.), this may not work w/ all ovens.
Fill a pastry bag or spoon filling of choice into half of the shells, then sandwich them with their naked halves.
Went with a trio of flavors: PB&J, Nutella, and Mango Custard
Refrigerate filled shells for at least a couple hours (most ppl say at least 24 hrs and up to a wk) to allow flavors to meld together and for the inner shell to become soft n’ chewy. If possible, set macs out at room temperature prior to consuming.
Mango Custard Filling
- 1 cup milk
- 40 mL Bird’s Custard Powder
- 30 mL granulated sugar
- ~ 1/2 cup mango puree, or to taste
1) Combine milk, custard powder and granulated sugar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments until thickened.
2) Add mango puree to mixture. Strain custard if necessary.
3) Refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until cool, then spoon into macaron shells.
Must admit that I only waited about 12 hrs before trying the macs and the texture seemed fine. Out of the three flavors, I enjoyed the mango custard mac the most. Obvious two reasons: mango is delicious and it was a little different from the other two typical flavors.
The trial and error batches were both a challenging and frustrating process… I’d be making them and they seemed to be turning out properly, but ended up deflating or cracking or something weird… always so close, but not quite. I think that was all part of the ‘fun’ in making this cookie because once you find a technique that works, then that’s pretty much it. Not much more to it (I don’t think?), except the endless mixing and matching of colors and flavors.
You know you want to try to make them, good luck =]