Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Could macarons be the new cupcake? asks Icing Designs

This delightfully French post is brought to you by Melissa and Kellie of Icing Designs - the same two sweet ladies who are also offering a giveaway of their Cupcake Couture line here at the Cupcake Carnival. So as soon as you finish reading this post, head over to the giveaway here and be sure to enter!! Kimberly


We are in LOVE with macarons!! We hope you get a chance to read our previous posts about the history of the French Macaron!
Could macarons be the new cupcake? Part 1
Could macarons be the new cupcake? Part 2
Now we want to share with you HOW to make French Macarons. They can be a little tricky to master, so if you don't get them perfect the first time don't be discouraged! We are going to share Martha Stewart's recipe with you (with some notes that we added to make the process a little easier.)

French Macarons
1 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites (let eggs come to room temperature before you use them)
pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar

Fillings can be seedless jam, buttercream or ganache

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper

Combine your almond flour and confectioners sugar then sift two times. This can be a process, so we use a wooden spoon to get everything sifted through.

This is what it should look like after the sugar and almond flour are combined correctly

Whisk you egg whites with a mixer until foamy

At this point you can add your cream of tartar and food coloring if you want to make them a certain color. (We add the food coloring at this point because the egg whites can not be over whipped. If you add it after they are whipped you have a chance of over whipping them and this will cause the tops of the macarons to crack when they are baking) Whisk until soft peaks form. At this point add your sugar and whip the eggs whites until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks are when the egg whites are mixed enough the stand up like a peek with out dropping over. (Martha Stewart's recipe says that this takes about 8 minutes, but it usually only takes us about 3 minutes) As we stated before over whipping will cause the tops of the macarons to crack and under whipping will cause the macarons to spread and not be a shaply cookie.

Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in until the mixture is smooth and shiny. We usually end up doing about 40-50 folds. Do not stir the mixture, make sure you fold it, if you stir you will end up over whipping the egg whites.
Transfer your batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip. Pipe 3/4 inch rounds about 1 inch apart. (If this is your first time pipping you can take a 3/4 inch cookie cutter and trace it on the back side of your parchment paper an inch apart. Remember to turn your paper over before actually pipping so that the pen or pencil side is down against the baking sheet...then you can see through the paper and pipe your circles) Tap the bottom of each baking sheet down on the couter, (just lift it slighty off the counter and drop it) to release any air bubbles. Let the unbaked cookies stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Your oven should be heated to 375 but turn it down to 325 and put the baking sheet in right away. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating half way through until macarons are crisp this should take about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase your oven temperature to 375 heat for 5 minutes and then reduce to 325 and put the baking sheet in the oven right away. This is done so that the macaron creates an egg-shell like outter shell and has a chewy moist inside.

Let macarons cool for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Sandwhich macarons with filling of your choice. Serve right away or freeze unfilled macarons between sheets of parchment paper for up to 3 months.


Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

Mmmm, those look good! And anything pink is definitely right up my alley!

Christy said...

I've always wanted to make a macaron....thanks for the tips!! These are just too cute! I'm moving this project up on my to do list!


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