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I made macarons!

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
foomacarons.jpg

For our fourth wedding anniversary, I promised my wife I'd make her something. On our honeymoon in Paris, we ate nothing but macarons, so I thought I'd give them a go. I was a bit frightened by their notoriety for fickleness, but once I bought up all the ingredients, I was locked in.

I used this YouTube video as my main guide:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS4DJgFmNFM&feature=player_detailpage

No good reason. The chick's voice was just too hot to pass up. Also, she has some very helpful troubleshooting tips. But seriously, watch the video in private and enjoy.

The first few batches were disaster. The biggest problem was that I kept over-mixing the batter. The macaron lady says 50 folds. But I kept finding that my batter would go from dry and crunchy to watery and soupy within 10 or 12 folds. The batter needs to be right in the middle: smooth and oozy, but more viscous and less liquid. I realized that I must not be beating the egg whites stiff enough to begin with. She says 10 minutes of beating, but in our KitchenAid at max speed, it really needs more like 15-16 minutes. After I tried beating the egg whites longer, I found that the folding-in of the almond meal and sugar went much more gradual and I could control the pace better.

After that, it's all easy as pie. You just pipe the batter onto parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Once the folding of the batter was nailed, I could pump out batch after batch with near perfect consistency. No pancake macarons. No cracked macarons. No stuck macarons. They all looked perfect, like they would in a decent patisserie, including the "feet" (the rough bottom edge of each macaron top).

However, there was a further hang-up. For flavors, I picked red bean and black sesame. To do the red bean, I chose to flavor the filling (a butter cream). For the black sesame, I chose to flavor the macaroon tops themselves (to be combined with vanilla butter cream filling). The latter did not come out as consistently. By adding ground black sesame seeds to the batter, I must have sufficiently messed up the mix such that it didn't bake right. Inexplicably, half the black sesame macarons came out fine, while the others looked good but were crunchy inside instead of pillowy. I will need to experiment with this. Maybe the solution is to reduce the amount of almond meal to compensate for the added black sesame.

For the butter cream, I used this recipe: http://www.yumsugar.com/Basic-French-Macaron-Recipe-21651110

No good reason again. Just looked simple.

Anyway, I'm fairly happy with my efforts and think the next time around will go much smoother now that I know what to look out for. I want to try both flavors again, but am considering others. Suggestions?
post #2 of 41
damn, those look awesome. I envy your commitment to make them, but I'd probably just go to Laduree. They might have good flavor examples for you to follow.


that remidns me, my father loves macarons, so for Christmas last year I bought him a giant box from Laduree with two macarons of each flavor. That's a lot of cookies, and he was ecstatic.
post #3 of 41
Admit it, you bought them. wink.gif

Looks great.
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post

damn, those look awesome. I envy your commitment to make them, but I'd probably just go to Laduree. They might have good flavor examples for you to follow.
that remidns me, my father loves macarons, so for Christmas last year I bought him a giant box from Laduree with two macarons of each flavor. That's a lot of cookies, and he was ecstatic.

The Laduree ones are awesome. We headed over to the UES as soon as they opened up a shop there. We rationalized that the walk across the park burned off at least one or two macarons worth of calories.

My favorite flavors there are the rose blossom, the caramel, and the plain vanilla. My favorite of all time though are the ones we had at Sudaharu Aoki in Paris. As the name implies, many of the flavors are Asian. They had five or six different tea-flavored macarons, for example. They also had cherry blossom macarons, which may be my absolute favorite of all.
post #5 of 41
Great. A 15 page thread about macarons.
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128 View Post

Great. A 15 page thread about macarons.

It's exactly what this sub-forum was missing.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128 View Post

Great. A 15 page thread about macarons.

What, you haven't made them yet?

...

Those look fantastic, Foo.
post #8 of 41
Looks great Foo- nicely done.

I'm a fran of Bottega Louie's as well as 'lette, both in LA.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

The Laduree ones are awesome. We headed over to the UES as soon as they opened up a shop there. We rationalized that the walk across the park burned off at least one or two macarons worth of calories.
My favorite flavors there are the rose blossom, the caramel, and the plain vanilla.

I'm addicted to the lemon ones. Other favorites are blackcurrant violet, pistacio, and vanilla.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomestar View Post

I'm addicted to the lemon ones. Other favorites are blackcurrant violet, pistacio, and vanilla.

Oh man, I saw the blackcurrant ones last time, but my wife vetoed them. Will try.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
By the way, has anyone watched that video yet? Am I right?
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Oh man, I saw the blackcurrant ones last time, but my wife vetoed them. Will try.

I am disappoint. They're awesome because they have a wonderful floral touch, but the firmer texture and depth of flavor from the berry. Very different from the rose which, if I remember correctly, is quite light and sweet.
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Maybe the next batch will be taro. Or green tea.
post #14 of 41
I'd go for an oolong tea in an instant.
post #15 of 41
I'd go for Matcha because it works well with the hype. Nah but seriously, tasted great when I had it at Mariage Frères.
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