Monday, February 11, 2013

Recipe: How to Make French Macarons with Buttercream Filling

This was my first foray into baking the macaron, and I have to say that I'm ridiculously proud of myself. I had heard that macarons were a difficult prize for pastry chefs, and perhaps I just got lucky: but these worked out! I got my cookie recipe from the lovely book, I ♥ Macarons by Hisako Ogita and my buttercream recipe is the one that I have perfected over the years (born during the cake decorating class that Emily and I took together in the beginning of our friendship in 2007). Awww. I'd love to share, and hope you send us photos of your Macaron adventures!

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

You will need:
1. Parchment paper
2. A nice rubber spatula
3. A flour sifter
4. 2/3 cup almond meal/flour (watch out! This stuff is expensive!)
5. 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
6. 3 egg whites
7. 5 tablespoons of white, granulated sugar
8. A pastry/frosting bag and circular tip, about 1/4 inch
9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10. Food coloring and toothpick to administer (for batter or buttercream)

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Set your oven to 375° and ready two cookie sheets. On your parchment paper, draw 1 inch circles, about an inch apart from each other. If you're confident in your pastry bag skills, you can skip this step. However...I was not.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Combine your almond flour and powdered sugar in a sifter and sift until you have a nice, pretty pile. Set to the side.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling
how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

In a mixing bowl, beat your egg whites with an electric mixer until nice and foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar until they develop stiff, glossy peaks. (Sidenote: use your leftover egg yolks as a face mask. This is an Indian beauty tradition--massage egg yolks into clean skin and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until you can't smile without cracking it. Then rinse with warm water and a washcloth. Perfect, supple skin).

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Add vanilla and mix gently. If the mixture gets a little soupy, mix on high with the electric mixer again for about a minute on high speed.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling
how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

After the meringue is stiff and glossy, add about half of the flour/sugar mixture and stir with your spatula until mixed. Add the rest and stir again. Next is the macaronage process: stir until the mixture is even, then spread the batter against the sides of the bowl, then flip over and repeat. Do this for several minutes--around 15 revolutions. Here is a great video that demonstrates the technique. The batter is done when it slowly "glops" off of your spatula.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Next, fill your pastry bag with the batter (remember to twist or clip the top or you'll have batter all over your hands like me!) Squeeze the bag to fill each circle. Stop when you reach the end of your pencil marks--the batter will spread wider and it will be the perfect size.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Some French pastry chefs believe that this is the most important step in making a macaron: as soon as you are finished filling your tray with little dots of macaron batter, rap the cookie sheet against a hard service several times. This will set the pied or little pastry lip at the base of the cookie (an essential for an authentic macaron). Set your tray to the side and allow to dry for about thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, gently tap the surface of one of the dots of batter. If it does not stick to your finger, it's ready for baking. If it does, allow a bit more time.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

While you're waiting for the macaron batter to dry, let's make the buttercream.
You will need:
• 1 stick of softened butter (8 tablespoons)
• about 5 ounces of powdered sugar, or 2/3 cup (have a bit on hand to add if it is too runny)
• about 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

Stir all of these ingredients together until you have a light, tasty paste. Then add a touch of food coloring if you would like some color. I chose red for a nice Valentine's Day treat! There are a variety of flavors that you can add to all buttercreams and macaron batter, but for my first try, I decided to keep it simple.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

After your macaron batter is dry, stack your cookie sheet onto the second cookie sheet to ready it for baking. Using two cookie sheets will keep the bottoms of your macarons from burning. Place in the oven for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, turn the sheet so that the front-facing macarons are now towards the back of the oven for an even bake. If after 16 minutes, they are still super-soft, reduce heat to 325°, cover in aluminum foil and bake for 2 more minutes. Only bake ONE sheet of macarons at a time.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

When the macarons are done baking, take them out of the oven and let sit until relatively cool, then very carefully peel them from the parchment paper. Fill a new pastry bag (or wash the old one) with the buttercream and create about 1/2 inch dot on one macaron cookie, then sandwich another on top. Be careful not to squeeze the buttercream out on the sides.

how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling
how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

A macaron! Or many! They are definitely better on the second day, as the butter has a chance to seep just a bit into the cookie and soften it. Delightful! Please let me know how you do, I thought that this was so much fun. Good luck!
how to recipe for macarons and buttercream filling

18 comments:

  1. These look great! Macarons are so difficult to make, but they are so cute, and the perfect sweet bite. I tried making macarons once, and it took me three tries to get a decent, solid meringue cookie. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hearing that from you is an honor! Thanks!! Pastry chef ^

      Delete
  2. Andie! Dang! This is great work : )

    ReplyDelete
  3. i messed up idk what went wrong i cant make the batter!!! hel[ :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks really fun, and super yummy!
    I'm so gonna try this!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd like to try making these for a family reunion.
    How many days beforehand can I bake them?
    I was thinking of making them on Thursday - the reunion is Saturday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should be just fine! Keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature.

      Delete
  6. I tried making these a few times, but the batter Is always too soupy. :( Any advice how to get them non soupy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sophia! Keep mixing your batter on high with an electric mixer until it's not as soupy. It should hold peaks.

      Delete
    2. So if you have mixed the flour mixture into the egg mixture and it gets too runny I need to use the mixer on it again?

      Delete
  7. They came out perfect thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  8. First try and they're PERFECT! Thank you so much -- great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  9. These look great, but how does this kind of recipe vary from the kind where you make a sugar syrup? Have you ever made that kind, and do you notice a difference?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did try that way and ended up burning the syrup! That's mostly why I prefer this way, but I'm sure they're just as tasty!

      Delete
  10. I screwed it up somehow and I'm really upset about it. I had my stiff peaks and added my flour mixture and it got runny I don't know what I did wrong or how to fix it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I said, this was my first try with the macaron, so I'm not sure what to tell you. I do know that the macaronage process is key though.

      Delete
  11. Are these measurements in australian cups or american?

    ReplyDelete
Blogging tips