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delights

Macarons – The delicate French invention.

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2k TPT

is this equal parts almond meal and powdered sugar? i.e. 1K almond meal and 1K powdered sugar?

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2k TPT

is this equal parts almond meal and powdered sugar? i.e. 1K almond meal and 1K powdered sugar?

you got it! TPT (tant pour tant) means equal weight sugar and almond flour/meal. :wink:

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Anu   

PS - Does anyone know how long these will last refridgerated? I just brought some back from Paris yesterday but was curious about how long they would be tasty for....

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i wouldn't keep them in the fridge and i wouldn't keep them over 3/4 days in an airtight container.

when using a parchment sheet, u can let them cool completely. then turn the paper upsidedown and carefully peel it away from the undersides of the macs.

i usually let mine sit until they are well crusted. the time neccesary depends on the humidity index, but having the a/c fan blowing on them helps if u're in a hurry.

rose water scented pink ones sell like mad on valentines...

i might add that using a low oven will insure they will not take color, important for the pastels...


Edited by artisanbaker (log)

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they can be frozen for quite a while...some bakeries (which will remain un-named do this regularly).

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FoodMan   

I’ve never had let alone make a French Macaroon, but this thread really made me want to try to make some. The Nigella Lawson recipe for Pistachio Macroons sounded simple enough and delicious. It took me two tries to make something resembling my idea of what they should be. The first batch was pretty horrible, they were soft all over and stuck to the paper like crazy…down the trash they went. The second batch came out decent, I think. For the second one I aged the whites for 24 hrs. and made sure the pistachio is very fine (no easy task using a food processor and a sifter). The result was good albeit a little flatter than expected and the crust was not as crunchy as I expected it to be. They did come off easily after a few minutes in the freezer. My other criticism with those is that they were very sweet especially with the buttercream. For the next time I am thinking about trying one of the advices on this thread and make an Italian meringue. Anyways here is a picture of my result. What do you think?

i3592.jpg

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I made a batch myself. I recall I used a plain meringue, chocolate buttercream, and smeared the top with ganache. They were tasty, but thanks to the humidity, within 12 hours they were soggy.

I suppose I could enjoy one with a cup of tea once in a while, but since the recipe ended up making a dozen (with lots of leftover French buttercream), it didn't seem like anything I should bother pursuing.

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GG Mora   
I’ve never had let alone make a French Macaroon, but this thread really made me want to try to make some. The Nigella Lawson recipe for Pistachio Macroons sounded simple enough and delicious. It took me two tries to make something resembling my idea of what they should be. The first batch was pretty horrible, they were soft all over and stuck to the paper like crazy…down the trash they went. The second batch came out decent, I think. For the second one I aged the whites for 24 hrs. and made sure the pistachio is very fine (no easy task using a food processor and a sifter). The result was good albeit a little flatter than expected and the crust was not as crunchy as I expected it to be. They did come off easily after a few minutes in the freezer. My other criticism with those is that they were very sweet especially with the buttercream. For the next time I am thinking about trying one of the advices on this thread and make an Italian meringue. Anyways here is a picture of my result. What do you think?

Those look perfectly delicious, but they don't look anything like a French macaron. A macaron should have a smooth, nearly shiny top and a sort of ruffly rim around the outside. To put it bluntly, they should look a approximately like a diaphragm (the birth-control kind).

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FoodMan   
they should look a approximately like a diaphragm (the birth-control kind).

Thanks, now I know what to look for in a Macron :biggrin:. I am planning on trying a different recipe next time around.

Elie

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Those look perfectly delicious, but they don't look anything like a French macaron. A macaron should have a smooth, nearly shiny top and a sort of ruffly rim around the outside.

After an exhaustive quest, I have achieved near macaron nirvana in my own kitchen. A visit to Bay Bread in SF prompted me to buy chef/owner Pascal Rigo's book The American Boulangerie. The Macarons de Paris recipe is relatively simple, and produced not only the frilly edges, but the shiny, smooth tops and the crackle-sinking-in-of-teeth qualities I miss from my favorite macaron-erie in Paris. Did a batch of hazelnut---divine! Another batch of raspberry---swoon. Both disappeared before a photo could be snapped, but I will try to have camera in hand when the next batch (and there will be many---I must try my hand at all flavors!) emerges from the oven. This recipe alone is reason to buy the book, but the croque monsieur is killah! Can't wait to cook my way through this book! Eureka!

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ludja   

Wow chezcherie; those look great! Thanks for sharing and good endorsement for the book too, I'll definately check it out!

For the hazelnut ones are there hazelnuts in the cookie or just in the filling?

Please keep us posted on other flavors you try for cookies and fillings. :smile:

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Wow chezcherie; those look great!  Thanks for sharing and good endorsement for the book too, I'll definately check it out!

For the hazelnut ones are there hazelnuts in the cookie or just in the filling? 

Please keep us posted on other flavors you try for cookies and fillings.  :smile:

thanks, ludja. i'm ridiculously pleased with the result, as i have been trying to get a good result for years...this is by far the closest i've gotten.

funny you should ask about the hazelnut ones, because i believe the book contains an error on that flavor variation. it states " in step 1, substitute 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely ground, toasted hazelnuts for the ground almonds." (then goes on to enhance a standard buttercream with hazelnuts for filling.) BUT the master recipe calls for 4 ounces of almonds...i'm no chemist, but even i recognize that that's (forgive me) a recipe for disaster. i went half and half (almonds and hazelnuts) and they worked well.

the coffee ones were great--filled some with espresso buttercream, and some with ganache....dreamy. i have a great batch of lemon curd (made from my lemon tree, and my own chickens' eggs...how could it not rock?!) that needs to be gently sandwiched between a lemon variation (oddly not included in the eight variations listed in the recipe). so the weekend will certainly include a batch of those!

one of the great things about the recipe (besides the fact that it works..) is that it is sooo easy to split a batch and make a couple flavors, which i always think loks nice. i am spoiled (and inspired) by my favorite macaron-erie in paris, where a display of at least a dozen gorgeous flavors are always on offer. in fact, i have a bakery box from laduree (brought fresh pastries home for the famly in it from my most recent trip), and i have a little fantasy of filling it with an array of my macs! cassis! lemon! pistachio! and how spring-like would those be?

excuse me--gotta go grab the pastry bag!

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Those are some nice lookin' cookies ya got there, chezcherie. :smile: The "feet" (which is what the frilly bottom edges are called) look especially good.

If you want to do a lemon variation, you should know that most patisseries don't actually flavor the cookie part with lemon. They just use a bit of yellow color and the lemon curd filling is so powerful that is makes the whole cookie tast like lemon. Same for many other fruit flavors like raspberry.

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Those are some nice lookin' cookies ya got there, chezcherie. :smile: The "feet" (which is what the frilly bottom edges are called) look especially good.

If you want to do a lemon variation, you should know that most patisseries don't actually flavor the cookie part with lemon. They just use a bit of yellow color and the lemon curd filling is so powerful that is makes the whole cookie tast like lemon. Same for many other fruit flavors like raspberry.

okay. first i get some good mac results.

then, i manage (no small matter for tech-challenged moi) to get those photos onto the eG site. (still not sure how that happened...)

and then-

nightscotsman compliments my feet.

if i print that out, will you autograph it? :wub:

inspired by your gorgeous macarons, i re-launched the quest, which i had abandoned in frustration. especially after dorie greenspan (whose book paris sweets i purchased in hopes of unlocking mac secrets) dashed my hopes by saying that proper macs really couldn't be made at home.

thanks for the tip on the lemon macs--would a bit of zest be amiss? and, moreover, thanks for the kind words....now working on the smoooooth tops...my piping focus last time was on size consistency.

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ludja   

quote from chezcherie:

thanks, ludja--just came over here to rave (espresso and chocolate with fleur de sel macs baking right now--just to see if the magic holds...) about this book, and i see that you have helped me spread the word. financiers are next!

I've heard people fleur de sel macs (and also on Laduree's and Herme's web sites)--in what part of the dessert is it incorporated? (buttercream?, sprinkled on top?)

I'm really intrigued by the ones that mention caramel fleur-de-sel; again wonder how that is put together re: flavorings in cookie vs in buttercream...

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i have had bittersweet choc ones with fds sprinkled on top. i did that on a couple yesterday, with good results. wasn't sure whether the tiny sprinkle would melt in the baking process, but it did not. (also, the macs are too dry on top when baked to sprinkle it after baking.)

the caramel ones, i think, have the fds in the caramel. i do so love a slightly salty caramel, and while you lose the texture when you use the pricey salt in the caramel, it doesn't take much. i suppose you could garnish with a few grains on top of the cookie, as a visual clue?

not macaron-related, but on the subject of fleur de sel. i recently had the opportunity to taste some artisanal chocolates (lucky me!)--i think they were fran's (seattle)? there were several types that incorporated different salts, including one with smoked salt (be still, my heart!), and i knew i was in for a treat when the fellow who was talking them up (and giving the samples) suggested that i put the caramel in my mouth upside-down, to better appreciate the salt on my tongue....yeah! oooooh yeah.

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ludja   

Thanks for the speedy info chezcherie.

Not too barrage you or others with questions but I have another one if you or someone knows... :smile:

How is the caramel incorporated into the mac? Added to the buttercream, used instead of buttercream? Is the cookie plain almond?

Mille grazie...

The chocolate tasting sounds incredible too.

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Ludja-- according to my new guide for living (American Boulangerie), caramel is used in place of buttercream for filling. Rigo suggests (somewhat oddly, I thought) to add a pinch of chopped hazelnuts on top of the piped macarons before baking, for the caramel ones. Not sure whether that is to enhance caramel flavor, or as a "marker" to distinguish what flavor it is, like the chocolate squiggles on the sampler chocolates?

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tsquare   
Here you'll find some delicious macaroons,pure ,with lemon,with pistachio nut,and others----

Really very good!

This shop is one of my favorites!

I think that the macarroons are back in style

And here in Seattle, you can stroll in the Pike Place Market to "Le Panier, Very French Bakery" and buy chocolate, mocha, vanilla, or pistachio macaroons. Lovely.

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ludja   

I finally dove in and made macarons at home. :smile: I used a recipe from Healy's The French Cookie Book (egullet-amazon link) for lemon gerbet macarons.

They came out pretty well! Tops were smooth with few cracks and the insides nice and soft--got a few ruffled sides but not as much as I'd like. Anyone have hints to improve the ruffling?

The cookies seems to come out better when I piped them small, about 1 inch diameter. I followed the recipe pretty close to the letter but used parchment paper rather than plain newsprint. Although I was initially intimidated by the steaming method for removing the cookies; I used it with success.

I made and filled them the day before serving, storing in the fridge in a sealed tin. The filling was a little different than the few I've tasted at bakeries; beside butter, sugar, lemon and lemon juice there are also ground almonds. I brought them to a party where they were well received---even by a Frenchman who declared (probably to be nice...) that they were very good. He was pretty surprised that I made them at home.

Thanks for everyones suggestions and comments on this thread!

and chezcherie, I still plan on buying Rigo and Moore's American Boulangerie. (egullet-amazon link) Thanks again for the tip!


Edited by ludja (log)

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nafnaf   

Has anyone successfully made gerbets or the larger size macarons/oons using liquid or dried egg white instead of fresh eggs? Heresy, I know, but if Laduree makes 5000 a day, do his chefs break 15,000 eggs? Maybe not.

Or used commercial almond flour?

Hey, je vous remercie beaucoup.

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tchorst   

I could see using wholesale egg whites, by the container full. However, I'd like to imagine some young apprentice spending day after day cracking huge amounts of eggs under the guise of learning. :shock:

I use commercial almond flour pretty much exclusively. I go through too much to make my own. Nice products as long as they are stored properly.

Tim

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halland   

Is that how you get such finely ground almonds? I just cant grind them fine enough in my food processor for my tastes.

Hal

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Is that how you get such finely ground almonds? I just cant grind them fine enough in my food processor for my tastes.

Hal

Exactly. "Special Machines" and all that, you know.

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