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French Macarons

After having Thomas Keller’s macarons I decided that I should try making them. While Mr. Keller’s macarons were good, they were simply too large. Macarons should never ever be American sized. I made five batches and while none of them turned out PERFECTLY the last batch was good enough.

Lets go on this crazy ride, shall we?

The first try didn’t make it very far. When I went to mix the dry ingredients and the egg whites it turned out like this:

Whoops. Oh well. As you can see, it went into a bag and then got trashed. Round two! Ready go:

You have to grind the almonds to make the almond meal, then you throw in the powdered sugar so it doesn’t clump. Then you mix it with the egg whites and then pipe it out on to a parchment paper clad cookie sheet/jelly roll plan:

At this point you bake them for about 18 minutes…and this batch looked like this:
D’OH. Oh well, rinse repeat. Round three, ready goooooo:
These look good, no? Well, take a bite:
D’oh. Hollow. Bugger. Oh well, rinse repeat. The fourth time looked the same, so I’ll spare you the pictures.
The fifth time turned out almost perfectly, so I made a chocolate filling that I was too impatient to wait to harden so they were kinda drippy. Still delicious though!
I have to tinker with these some more before I get them perfect but to the unknowing friend they were absolutely delicious with just a small air pocket at the top of the cookie. There is also a macaron class in San Francisco with Baking Arts that I might take.
I used Helen of My Tartelette‘s recipe as she is the Queen of macarons. She also has a PDF of her magazine article on the right hand side of her blog. Go check it out. Her pictures are swoon worthy.

8 comments to French Macarons

  • thedelishdishblog

    ive also made tartelette's macaroons a few times but have also been getting that air pocket! if you figure out how to perfect them let us know…i have a feeling my oven is too hot but it's been a while since i've tried to troubleshoot!

  • Rene

    I think my problem was that my oven was too cold the first 4 times. On the fifth try while there was still an air pocket it wasn't NEARLY as hollow as the previous times.

    Syrup and Tang has a really good macaron diagnostic page :).

  • Girl-a-broad

    Lovely….I first found something similar when I lived in Switzerland. They were called Luxemburgerli, and they were a favorite :).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxemburgerli

    I'm looking forward to the Macaroon class I'm taking in a few weeks here in London.

    One point to consider – One picture on the web page for this course shows them using a paper form. http://www.atelierdeschefs.co.uk/en/cookery_classes/london-29766.php?inurl=1&datedeb=2010/28/03&datefin=2010/25/04&acocher=on&type_cours=&theme=104&place=0&

    - Helen

  • Rene

    Girl-a-broad I'm going to have to try those Luxemburgerli!

    One day I'll make it to London, until then I'll just envy you :).

  • Lori

    I always use Helen's recipe. Too scared to try anything else. Good for you that you just kept on trying here! In the end it looks like you ended up with a pretty perfect macaron.

    Then next time though that you mix egg whites with ground nuts and do an oops, instead of tossing it, there are a lot of recipes for amazing desserts with those ingredients.

  • KC

    Looks wonderful. I have some almond meal, will make it soon. Happy Easter.

  • KC

    Thanks for your recipe.

  • Rene

    Lori – thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to figure out what you can do with a crumbly mess :).

    KC – You can always grind your own from almonds, which is what I do. As a perk you can also snack on them ;).