Ah, passover is here once again! Luckily, there’s only three days left, so to those of you observing…YOU CAN MAKE IT! If you’re looking for a snack a little different from traditional coconut macaroons, almond cookies, and (come on, we all secretly loathe them) passover jellies, these macarons are entirely “chametz-free” and a blast to make. I’ll admit, making macarons is a little difficult and fairly time consuming, however the end result is extremely fulfilling. They’re finicky, but also very fun to make.
This summer, I was lucky enough to travel to Paris with my family and taste the “real-deal” macarons of Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, and countless other professional bakeries. While there, we spent a delicious afternoon with the lovely Aurélie of Succulent Paris. Together, we baked these chocolate macarons and madelines, feasting afterwards while discussing French politics. Though I had made macarons on my own once before, I picked up so many great baking tips from this wonderfully Parisan experience, and it was something I’ll never forget. Macarons are daunting, but this recipe is delectable, and realizing these exquisite treats were made by you (vous) is extremely fulfilling.
From Succulent Paris
- 100g egg whites (3 or 4 days before)
- 60g caster sugar
- 125g almond powder
- 225g icing sugar
- 20g cocoa powder
- 125g liquid cream
- 100g good quality chocolate
- 16g softened butter.
- Preheat the oven to 165°C (329°F).
- First make the ganache by heating the cream in a sauce pan and pouring it over the broken up chocolate. When the temperature of this mixture has lowered, add in the butter and let this mixture cool in the fridge.
- Next, begin to make the macaron shells by mixing almond powder, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor until they are very finely ground and then sift.
- Beat egg whites with salt and a tablespoon of caster sugar at medium speed until soft peaks. Add the rest of the sugar and then increase to high speed until whites hold stiff and glossy peaks.
- Add almond mixture into meringue in thirds with a rubber spatula until completely incorporated, and then keep combining with a dough scraper until you obtain a smooth and glossy ribbon.
- Spoon the batter into a pastry bag, pressing out excess air.
- Print out these awesome macaron stencils and place them underneath parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pipe peaked mounds of batter on these circles, or if you cannot print them, on parchment paper on a baking sheet about 1/2 inches apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly to flatten the macarons and get rid of any bubbles within the batter. Let the macarons sit uncovered at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky (minimum 30 minutes). This creates the “feet” on the macarons as they bake.
- Bake the macarons for 4 to 5 minutes until the feet develop, and then lower the oven temperature to 135°C (275°F) and bake for around 10 minutes.
- Remove the macaron shells from the baking sheet by filling a jelly sheet with a small amount of water, and slowly sliding the parchment paper, with the baked shells, onto the water. Peel the shells slowly from the paper. You could also peel the shells very slowly from the parchment paper, but the shells have a tendency to stick to the paper. Let the shells cool.
- Remove the ganache from the fridge and scoop it into a piping bag and fill and sandwich the shells.
- Let the macarons stand or put them in the freezer for at least a day before serving. This enhances their flavor.