Have you ever had the stressful but delicious pleasure of making macarons?
Not to be confused with their American, less diva-like cousin, the macaroon.
A few weeks ago I was naively was like, I want to make a macaron that tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream. I didn’t think they’d be that stressful. OMG was I wrong.
I knew they were gonna be fickle, I just didn’t know how fickle they’d actually be.
Here are some tips I learned along the way:
1. Buy almond meal. It saves a big step and just makes the whole process go so much faster and easier by being able to skip the step of making almond flour.
2. Collect all of the ingredients beforehand. I always say this but with these, I actually really mean it.
3. If you’re oven is fickle, i.e, an old oven or an electric oven, these might be more stressful than usual. You should still make them! But they’ll make you realize that your oven might have more hot spots that you thought you had.
4. Weigh everything. This recipe is in grams because precision matters A LOT with these.
5. If you fail. Like, they crack or don’t develop a foot for whatever reason, they’ll still taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream. Still eat them. Just don’t instagram them. :/
P.S. I realize that my dollops of frosting look a bit like this. :/
The filling is a swiss chocolate buttercream and it’s thick and delicious and I really really want to put it on a cake. But another day.
If you have any macaron secrets and/or war stories, PLEASE SHARE!
- 130 grams almond flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
- 234 grams powdered sugar
- *10 grams chocolate cookie crumbs, see note below
- 4 large egg whites
- 106 grams white granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 6 drops of green food coloring
- 4 drops of blue food coloring
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 2 large egg whites
- 133 grams sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 150 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2.5 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a 1/2-inch round tip into a piping bag and set it inside a pint glass.
- Place a sieve atop a medium bowl. Sift in the almond flour, powdered sugar and cookie crumbs. Work all of them through the sieve. You’ll end up with little bits in the sieve; discard those! Set the bowl aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites, sugar, pinch of salt and peppermint extract. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the food coloring and beat once more until combined.
- Remove from the bowl from the stand-up mixer and in one batch, add the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture. Fold the mixture with a spatula. Repeat just until the batter resembles the texture of lava. It took me about 30 folds to reach this consistency.
- Transfer the macaron batter to the piping bag. Pipe the batter into 3/4-inch rounds, swirling the tip off to one side. You have to do this with a bit of flick of the wrist. Repeat until you’ve formed about 15 to 18 macarons per baking sheet. Smack the baking sheets onto your kitchen counter a few times. This will help even out the batter and eliminate any air bubbles in the macarons.
- Transfer to the oven to bake for about 6 minutes. Immediately turn the oven down to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- To make the Swiss buttercream: In the bowl of a stand-up mixer set atop a medium saucepan filled with a few inches of water, add the egg white, sugar and salt. Turn the heat to medium and whisk until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Dip your finger in and if it’s still gritty, continue mixing until it completely dissolves.
- Transfer the bowl to the stand-up mixer with the whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue appears very glossy, about 5 minutes. While the mixer is running, add cubes of butter, one at a time. Next, pour in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix until combined. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag (no need to add a tip). Snip off the edge of the piping tip with a pair of scissors.
- To assemble the macarons: flip over half of the macarons. Pipe the buttercream onto the macarons and then add the top. Repeat with the remaining macarons.