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Macarons – The delicate French invention.

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This thread took a long time to go cold, so I thought I'd add something... I've just worked on a series of articles about making macarons and it seems that overmixing is the biggest killer (wrinkly and cracked), followed by high temperature (if you're using the more reliable Italian meringue method). There are illustrative pics on my site if anyone is curious.

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This thread took a long time to go cold, so I thought I'd add something... I've just worked on a series of articles about making macarons and it seems that overmixing is the biggest killer (wrinkly and cracked), followed by high temperature (if you're using the more reliable Italian meringue method). There are illustrative pics on my site if anyone is curious.

Duncan,

That is a fabulous series of articles. A very enjoyable read. I await with bated breath the next installment.

Can I enquire about what you like to use to colour your macarons? Also have you tried any recipes with added egg albumin?

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These are some pictures of macarons I made for my recent wedding. It was the first time I had made them and I was pretty pleased.

Rose macaron shells. The crushed pink stuff on the top was crushed candied rose petals bought on a trip to Paris.

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Black sesame shells

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The finished macarons.

gallery_52724_4470_506869.jpg

Some flavours were more sucessful than others. The pistachio, while delicious, were very hollow. The lemon ones, to which I added lemon curd, came out wtih a very odd shell. The coconut ones, while they tasted lovely, did not resemble macarons at all, and would need to have a much finer coconut in another attempt.

Can't believe I was taking photos to show you lot in the middle of our wedding reception :biggrin: this was the black sesame and coffee one.

gallery_52724_4470_1522786.jpg

These were the rose petals with which the ispahan style desserts were garnished, thankyou to everyone who told me how to achieve the dewdrop.

gallery_52724_4470_144049.jpg

All in all I was pretty pleased wtih the macarons, and will be making some more for Christmas. I used the PH recipe with meringue italienne and most were filled with buttercream. The salted butter caramel ones had a light sprikling of maldon salt and the caramel filling. They were delicious, so delicious in fact that they never made it to the reception as I ate them all in the morning :shock:


Edited by Fibilou (log)

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Duncan,

That is a fabulous series of articles.  A very enjoyable read.  I await with bated breath the next installment.

Can I enquire about what you like to use to colour your macarons?  Also have you tried any recipes with added egg albumin?

Thanks Kerry! Glad you enjoyed them. I'm hoping to post a light overview of fillings in the next 24 hours.

I use liquid colourings mostly (other colourings (such as powders) are fairly hard to obtain in Australia unless you have professional connections). I find fresh, very finely grated citrus peel can do wonders as well.

I haven't tried working with extra egg white (I assume you mean in powder form) as I prefer the Italian meringue technique and that is less touchy. And, again, egg white powder is harder to find in Australia for non-professionals than it is in the US and some other places. If I were stuck with the French meringue method then I'd have a cupboard full of egg white powder!

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Has anybody tried making a very large, gateau sized macaron ? I'm thinking a full sized gateau might be nice for my Boxing Day dessert buffet - any advice on timings etc ?

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Thanks to all of you for your hints -- I decided that my New Year's resolution was to learn to make Macarons. On my second try tonight (last night was my disastrous first), they came out as something I am mostly proud of, but I do have a mystery:

I piped them out onto three different sheets of parchment paper, one after the other. The first batch held its shape too well -- the Macarons are more domed and the tops didn't sink back into them. The second batch was better -- more spread out, but still a little too puffy. The third batch spread out perfectly, and I ended up with beautiful Macarons.

Any idea what I might have done so that this would have happened? I made the entire batch together -- the only thing I could think was that perhaps the first batch that came off the top of the bowl was not mixed enough, or had too much egg white in it? Any hints on what to do better next time would be lovely.

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First of all welcome - great topic for your first post! Did you let the batter sit long between mixing and piping? Is it possible that some separating happened? Can we assume the sheets were all the same temp, they were all allowed to sit in a comparable draft/non draft? Sun? etc? With sinking, my first guess would be inconsistency in the batter for some reason. It could also be the macaron gods making sure you didn't get too cocky.

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I was thinking the warmth from your hands may have affected it. Did you fill the bag each time before piping or was it all in the bag the whole time?

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I filled the bag several times, although it wasn't exactly consistent with the different sheets. They were all sitting out on my kitchen table where there is no draft and made at night, so I don't think it was that. I think that separating could be an issue, since they did sit for a little bit before piping. My other idea was that they were just a little undermixed -- maybe another stir or two could have evened it out?

I'm going to try again later this week, and I'll let you know how it goes!

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Again, thanks to everyone for the tips.

I think the problem with my previous batch was that I hadn't mixed everything together -- the later batches had a different consistency because, well, the batter had a different consistency.

I made two batches this weekend, neither of which had my previous problem. I made sure that everything was well incorporated and I was prepared to start piping as soon as I was done folding so that no separation would take place.

Of course, I ran into other problems. My first batch was way overbeaten -- flat, runny Macarons. In an attempt to correct my first problem, I created a much larger one. So the next morning I made a second batch -- these were underbeaten, but at least servable.

Now to find the happy medium . . .

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Here's a small addition to the thread:

gallery_57390_5611_347357.jpg

Blackberry Macaron - Milk chocolate ganache piped around the outer edge with a centre of blackberry coulis stiffened up slightly with agar agar.

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Here's a small addition to the thread:

gallery_57390_5611_347357.jpg

Blackberry Macaron - Milk chocolate ganache piped around the outer edge with a centre of blackberry coulis stiffened up slightly with agar agar.

wow your blackberry macarons look fantastic! very interesting choice of filling, too, but i love it! wish i could try it :)

mind me asking what recipe you used for your shells?

thanks!

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wow your blackberry macarons look fantastic!  very interesting choice of filling, too, but i love it!  wish i could try it :)

mind me asking what recipe you used for your shells?

thanks!

Thanks. Blackberries were the only fruit I had knocking about in the freezer at the time :)

The shell mixture was 2 units each of almond/sugar tant-pour-tant to one of fresh egg white. This was then coloured/flavoured and combined with Italian meringue (two units sugar/one unit aged whites+1tsp egg white powder). The shells were rested after piping (60mm rounds) for about an hour. They were baked at 160 for about 20 mins.

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I've been reading this thread for two years, and I finally worked up the courage to try macarons. I guess they aren't terrible for a first attempt, but I want to get them to be a little more domed and with bigger feet. I think my batter was a bit too thin so I'll try to fix that next time. They sure do taste good though.

gallery_22732_1836_179689.jpg

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Those are excellent for a first try, it certainly took me more than a few tries to get them right.

Did you do the Italian meringue or plain beaten eggwhites with sugar ?

The Italian meringue method outlined by Syrup and Tang is very reliable

and you can split the meringue to use later with diff color etc.

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Those are excellent for a first try, it certainly took me more than a few tries to get them right.

Did you do the Italian meringue or plain beaten eggwhites with sugar ?

The Italian meringue method outlined by Syrup and Tang is very reliable

and you can split the meringue to use later with diff color etc.

I used plain beaten egg whites for this but will try the Italian meringue next time. I wanted to try it both ways to see what worked better for me.

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After a long absence, macarons made an appearance in my kitchen. The result was the best I've done. Thanks to JGardner for the recipe!

gallery_26333_732_3753.jpg

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Hi,

thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread along the way. I've tried to read all the posts but there really is a lot of information and I am very frustrated at the moment so I'm going to post my question.

I've had several goes at making macarons now. I seem to be able to get a nice smooth shape, shiny dome, right amount of rise, good feet but then the macaron half sticks to the baking paper. I try leaving them there for a few hours (even overnight) and am very careful when removing them.

What causes macarons to stick to the baking paper? Is it excess egg whites? Am I better using a silpat mat? Should I use an italian meringue recipe instead? Should I cook for longer? Is my recipe prob out and I'm better trying a different one? Please, any help appreciated.

It really is soul destroying when I pull out 4 trays of great "looking" macarons and end up throwing out half of them because they just pull apart when I try to lift them. PS: it seems to be the ones in the middle that mostly stick, could it just be to cook them longer??

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So, I tried my hands at macarons for the first time today. Was a bit disappointed when I tasted them and discovered they were just regular almond meringues. Should have known from the recipe of course, but I have never seen or tasted macarons before.

They were pretty easy and I had no problems with getting them off the paper. But since I know next to nothing about macarons, it would be nice if anyone could point out the flaws and maybe tell me how to avoid them next time :biggrin:

gallery_56283_5302_22221.jpg

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Hi,

thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread along the way. I've tried to read all the posts but there really is a lot of information and I am very frustrated at the moment so I'm going to post my question.

I've had several goes at making macarons now. I seem to be able to get a nice smooth shape, shiny dome, right amount of rise, good feet but then the macaron half sticks to the baking paper. I try leaving them there for a few hours (even overnight) and am very careful when removing them.

What causes macarons to stick to the baking paper? Is it excess egg whites? Am I better using a silpat mat? Should I use an italian meringue recipe instead? Should I cook for longer? Is my recipe prob out and I'm better trying a different one? Please, any help appreciated.

It really is soul destroying when I pull out 4 trays of great "looking" macarons and end up throwing out half of them because they just pull apart when I try to lift them. PS: it seems to be the ones in the middle that mostly stick, could it just be to cook them longer??

Stick the pan in the freezer for several minutes. The macarons should come off much more easily. I tried it without freezing and had a lot of sticking (I used parchment).

I have also read about steaming them off the parchment but I am way too chicken to try that.

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Does anyone have a recipe for a peanut butter macaron? I'm not having any luck finding one.

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Does anyone have a recipe for a peanut butter macaron?  I'm not having any luck finding one.

since macarons are made with tant-pour-tant (is there an 'e' in tant(e)?...wait, that would be 'aunt'), equal parts of nut meal and powdered sugar, you could try peanut meal. this is available at asian groceries. i think that if you tried to grind it yourself (even with adding sugar) you'd end up with peanut butter.

that would be a start, then you could make a nifty filling with peanuts or peanut butter.

rob: pm me if you want me to send you some peanut meal


Edited by alanamoana (log)

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I was actually asking my question obtusely. I have black sesame paste, and I thought that if I had a recipe for a peanut butter macaron, then I could sub the sesame paste. Ii want to a do this filled with grapefruit curd.

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Here is my first attempt at larger macarons. These are 3 inches across. The feet didn't hold up but they're perfectly baked and ready for some fun fillings!

gallery_41282_4652_4311.jpg

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did you use a single baking sheet or did you stack two together ?

I also did some and did not stack one set and the feet came out just like yours

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