(Photos by Anna Wilt)
In honor of my long-lasting love for macarons, I’d like to present to you a recent macaron recipe that led to an empty plate with few crumbs.
I’ve loved experimenting with recipes and tweaking favorites for years, but my love of cooking stems from generations of family (my grandmother, my mother and my aunt & uncle) following recipes. They’ve technically mastered how to perfect ganaches, make lamajouns, and braid kourinjahs.
These macarons are inspired by Martha Stewart’s classic recipe, but I also got to witness a ganache (my first ganache experience!) blossom under the talented hand of my Uncle Ed.
Macarons are light, French clouds of heaven. Although it’s a delicious option to add flavor to your macarons (and switch up your fillings!), this recipe is the basic edition. Hopefully, my macaron expertise will grow this summer into flattened tops and fluffier filling.
2/3 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine almond flour and confectioners’ sugar with a whisk, and then press through a fine strainer. This step is important! You need to make sure the sugar and almond flour are distributed evenly throughout, as well as aerated for the perfect consistency. Press all those lil clumpies out.
Wipe out a mixing bowl (make sure there’s no oil in there – hands or otherwise!) and start beating those egg whites. Martha suggests beating on medium speed for two minutes, medium-high for two minutes, and high for two minutes.
I say, beat ’em on high for all the minutes. Either way, they’re gonna form stiff peaks. When you’re at the medium-high stage, also known as the mostly-whipped-but-not-quite-stiff stage, add the sugar in gradually. Whip egg whites into glossy, stiff peaks. If you’d like, add a few drops of food coloring to spice up the looks of those babies.
Add the almond flour/sugar combination on top of the egg whites, folding them into the mixture gently with a spatula. Martha says to “repeat just until batter flows like lava.” This is the most ridiculous cooking analogy when applied to macarons. Does Martha know what lava flows like? Because, it is certainly not like the batter of these macarons. It’ll be a thick-ish liquid that flows just like macaron mixture should. Try 40-ish spatula strokes.
Put down parchment paper on your baking sheet. Transfer your non-lava mixture into a piping bag. Try using a tall glass cup to make this transfer easier! Pipe the macaron batter into 3/4″ round circles. Space them about 1″ apart. Try not to leave little tops on your macarons – this is always my downfall.
Once you’ve piped all the batter out, smack that baking sheet against the counter three or four times to get the air bubbles out. I also leave the pans on the counters for 20-ish minutes so the macarons can form a skin on the tops. Bake for 13-ish minutes, until risen and set. Let the macarons cool before piping in filling.
Good Gosh, What A Ganache!
Take a cup of heavy whipping cream and slowly melt in 9 oz. chopped semi-sweet chocolate. Slowly is key – if the cream gets too hot, the chocolate will break up and then you’ll have to start over. It doesn’t need to be hot, just warm it enough to gradually melt the chocolate.
And voila! Ganache. Wait til this delicious mixture cools before spooning it into your mouth. And, of course, piping it into the middle of your macarons. Enjoy!