Yesterday, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new… traditional French Macarons. I know what you’re thinking, macarons are crazy difficult and are a huge undertaking. They intimidate almost everyone who tries them.
ARE YOU CRAZY?!?
I know that’s what you’re thinking.
The answer is no. I’m not crazy. I needed a new challenge. I was getting bored in the kitchen and I needed to test my skills with something new, creative and outside the box.
Mindy Cone recently published a new cookbook, Gourmet French Macarons: Over 75 Unique Flavors and Festive Shapes, that everyone in the bloggersphere is talking about. So, I knew this was the perfect challenge for me. Mindy generously offered to send me a copy of her book so I can try out her recipes. I seriously can not wait to get it!
But, until Mindy’s book arrived, I wanted to see if I could at least get the basic recipe and technique down for French Macarons before I tried new flavors and shapes.
Yesterday was that adventure.
I began my research with Mindy’s blog, Creative Juice. She’s got several links to videos, tutorials and recipes that I spent an entire day watching and reading. LOTS of information to take in.
Next, I read the blog of my friend Jen who is a UK baker and a macaron expert! She’s got a great tutorial on her blog Jen’s Just Desserts with lots of tips on how to make French Macarons. I love how Jen’s tutorial goes into great detail on exactly how many folds, minutes, etc it took to make the macarons. VERY helpful.
I also watched the first part of this video and I used the weight measurements from this recipe on Giver’s log. The Food Nouveau has a ton of great info about macaron making including templates for piping and a video tutorial. Definitely check out this blog!
And finally, between the blog Bake it Off and Jen’s Just Desserts – I learned how important counting the number of times you fold the batter is. This was very helpful when it came time to actually making the batter.
During the process of research and in actually making the macarons, I found a few things stood out as being very important. I’ve listed below what I found the be the most helpful.
JavaCupcake’s Top 5 Things to Know Before Making Macarons
- Prep everything before you begin making the batter. Gather all your tools then weigh and measure all ingredients. This will ensure a smooth baking process. Wash, clean and dry all your tools. Make sure no grease is on anything that will touch the egg whites.
- Use older, room temperature egg whites. If you have time, crack and separate your eggs. Cover and leave them out overnight to age.
- Use a food scale to weigh ingredients. I know a lot of recipes list ingredients in cups, but it’s best to have a more accurate measurement by weight. This will ensure you have the proper texture and flavor.
- Use a template to create consistency in the size of your macarons.
- BE PATIENT – do not try to rush the process. Fold the batter slowly & count the number of folds/strokes. Set a timer for at least 20 minutes & walk away from the macarons while they are resting. Patience is what will make your macarons successful!
Now, this was just my first attempt. I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means. My goal here is to share this process with you so that you can feel confident to try making macarons yourself! It’s much simpler than you think!
So, if you try my method, please let me know. I’d love see pictures and hear how they turned out for you!
Good luck and Enjoy!