Here it is, my new column for those not so interesting wednesdays! Don’t we all need a break and a little help to finish our week? What better way than making ourself a small treat!? I mean, wednesdays don’t have to be boring! This week’s recipe is all about macarons! I have a thing for these little cookies/cakes/biscuit or whatever it’s suppose to be. They are incredibly delicious and it always feel like a party for your mouth. They are light and fluffy : Two of my favorite characteristics for a desert. I found this great recipe at Martha Stewart’s website and I love it.
- 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners™ sugar
- 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
- 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- To make the macarons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
- Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
- To fill the macarons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling (for the filling recipe scroll down the page). Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Variations: To make coffee-flavored macarons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaron filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macarons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macarons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaron filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.
3 large egg whites | 1 cup sugar | 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.
- Variations: To make hazelnut-honey filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of macaron filling with 1/3 cup finely ground hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons good-quality honey.
You can serve your macarons with napkins that match your treat or with a nice cup of latte! Be creative with your presentation and everyone will be blown away! They might even think you’re better than La Durée (maybe not, but hey! we can dream).