Friday, May 20, 2011

French Macarons

There have been few recipes that have exhausted my patience as much as these tiny French delicacies have.

The French Macaron. It's on my list of "culinary feats", and has been for quite some time now. The recipe seems simple: a basic meringue folded into a mixture of powdered sugar and finely ground almonds. The technique however, seems like nothing less than rocket science. In theory, these cookies are simple, but the unsuccessful batches preceding these speak for themselves.

It's actually quite funny how this batch turned out relatively decent. (I say that because anyone who knows macarons, knows there are processes and techniques, neither of which I paid much attention to, but the end result was deceivingly close to the real things!). While preparing a meringue for some chewy meringue nests, I noticed that the consistency of the meringue was just what I was failing to achieve while attempting the macarons. The smooth, glossy mixture was disappearing just as it should and was holding it's own, instead of melting away. On a whim, I decided to throw technique to the wind and experiment. I sprinkled some almond meal right into the mix (I can hear the gasps of pastry chefs near and far!). I filled my piping bag and began to quickly pipe out perfectly round little tops and bottoms. To my surprise they formed perfect little circles in true macaron fashion. I let them rest and baked them, estimating at the time and temperate based on the numerous other recipes I have tried previously. I don't think anyone was prepared for my excitement when I pulled them out of the oven to discover that they have puffed perfectly, while staying smooth, with perfect little "feet" as they call them (the ruffled bottom)! You would have thought I had won the lottery!

But, to be honest, I was ecstatic! This was a challenge, that time after time, continued to get the best of me. Batch after batch, I produced nothing but mis-shaped, flat or overcooked blobs of meringue. So when by accident I was able to produce one good batch of perfectly dainty macarons, I was obligated to celebrate!

I filled them with Vanilla Bean Buttercream, and sandwiched them together, finding satisfaction with each one. They tasted amazing - they tasted like victory. I enjoyed every bit of them, which is a good thing because I won't be attempting them again in the near future. But, at least I can finally check them off my list!


  1. Hey Maria, glad to hear you've had success with your macaroons they can be a bit tricky for such a small cookie, but very rewarding with all kinds of delicious flavour combinations. Any tips I can give you let me know :)

  2. LOL
    ''They tasted amazing - they tasted like victory''.

    This made my day. they look amazing Maria! Cheers to your success! haha

  3. These look amazing! I have yet to try to make these, it seems I'm a bit scared/nervous to attempt this hehehe! Xoxoxo

  4. I used the Martha Stewart recipe and had several flops before I realize that I when it says to beat the mixture to stiff peaks, it was wrong. Stiff peaks made mine fall apart when they came out of the oven...I was over beating!!
    So glad you had a success! It is so great when they finally turn out like you want them to!!!

  5. That looks delicious !!,....happy weekend

  6. Good for you, I failed when I did them with my dil, then she finally got them right and gave some to me for mothers day, it was a real treat!

  7. Yeay!!! I have been wanting to try making them but truly, I am afraid. Yours turned out beautiful, and I love that blush color.

    Linen & Verbena

  8. Oh Yum! I am now wishing I had some right now~Cheers Kim

  9. Those look amazing!! Yumm...glad you finally conquered them!!

  10. The look darling too!;) Great job~ Hugs,Rachel

    French Farmhouse 425

  11. If they taste half as good as they look, you most certainly should be proud of yourself!

    I gave up trying to make macarons long ago, my hat's off to you. :-)

    Happy Weekend!

  12. bravo! they look amazing... and i am happy to have found you...
    will look forward to more... xo pam


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria