Recipe of the Week: French Macarons

So as I mentioned yesterday, I watched Julie & Julia with my MIL. Is it just me, or does anyone else get the undeniable urge to cook French food after watching anything referencing Julia Child? Her love for food is contagious! So with the start of my new business venture, léger macarons, I decided to master the art of French Macarons!

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léger macarons’ Chocolate Hazelnut macarons

Ingredients
3 eggs whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. cream of tarter (if available)
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup almond flour/meal
Gel or powder food coloring
Filling (I used Nutella, but any thick filling will work!)

Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. In a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine egg whites and cream of tarter (if using). Beat until frothy and thickened.
2. Gradually add in granulated sugar until well incorporated, then turn mixer to high and beat until meringue forms a stiff peak. Add in coloring if you choose.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together (you must sift! No shortcuts!) the confectioners sugar and almond flour.
4. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in half of the almond mixture (I sift it in! Sifting twice seems to help!). When incorporated, add second half of almond mixture and fold until batter flows off the spatula in a thick ribbon (about 50-60 folds). Try your best to not over mix!
5. Pour macaron mix into a disposable pastry bag and then snip off the tip of the bag (about half an inch of the bag)
6. Pipe 1.5 inch circles (size of a quarter) onto a parchment lined baking pan. Smack the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles in the macarons. If the macarons look smooth on the surface, but do not spread, the mix is perfect!
7. Let the macarons set on the counter for 30 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
8. Bake the macarons for 15-20 minutes or until crisp, but not browned.
9. Let macarons cool on the pan until cool to the touch (about 15-30 mins).
10. Pipe filling onto the flat side of half of your shells, then top with another half to form the macaron.
11. Eat one, but refrigerate the rest for 24 hours. It really does improve their flavor and texture!

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