French Baking

Macarons. The Achilles heel of many bakers. Notoriously finicky but all the hard work and precision pays off, resulting in a delicate little cookie packing a punch.

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I still remember my very first time experiencing the magic of a macaron.

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My friend who had just returned from a trip to France, came home with a box of macarons from McDonald’s. Yes, I know what you’re thinking.

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McDonald’s in France sells macarons?! Are they any good?

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Why yes. They are AMAZING. It was a magical experience biting into such a sweet, tender yet chewy cookie. That moment has left its mark on my tongue forever.

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Today’s recipe is provided courtesy of my friend Breanne. From baking delicious cakes to making perfect macarons, she is a baking whiz and she has taught me so much. (Thanks Breanne!)  These macarons aren’t quite as sweet as a typical macaron but they are just as delicious. Crisp on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside.

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This recipe can be customized with different flavours. I have added a few of our favourite variations at the end of the recipe.

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Tips and Tricks for making successful macarons

  1. Use a digital kitchen scale to accurately measure out the ingredients. This is key for making macarons. For this reason, all amounts are provided in weights.
  2. Invest in an oven thermometer. Sometimes the digital display on your oven can be very inaccurate. Using an oven thermometer ensures an accurate reading of the oven temperature.
  3. Make sure all equipment being used is clean and dry. You do not want any grease because that could result in a variety of problems.
  4. NEVER use liquid colouring agents. This can turn your cookies into terrifying green monsters (Believe me, I’ve tried and the result really looked like green monsters)
  5. The weather can have an effect on the resulting cookie. Rainy, cold days are not good days to make them because it is difficult for a crust to form.
  6. Save egg yolks to make creme brulee, mayonnaise and other delicious foods.
  7. Be patient!
  8. Practice makes success. Macarons are notoriously finicky so don’t give up.

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Good luck!


French Macarons

Ingredients:

  • 13g Granulated sugar
  • 93g Confectioner sugar
  • 55g Almond flour
  • 45g Egg whites
  • A splash liquid flavoring*

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with a silicon mat**. Prepare piping bag by inserting a large circular tip, twisting the end, and folding over a cup.

2. Measure out and sift confectioner’s sugar and almond flour in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

3. Place the egg whites in another large/medium bowl beat until foamy then gradually add in the granulated sugar. Continuing beating until stiff peaks form. Add in vanilla extract and give one last whirl with the beaters to mix it in evenly.

4. Add 1/2 of the almond mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula until mostly combined. Add in the second half of the mixture and continue folding. Fold until the batter falls off of the spatula in thick ribbons resembling molten lava. This is the trickiest part to perfect so go slowly and don’t worry if it’s a little under mixed.

5. Gently transfer the mixture into the prepared piping bag. Pipe out rounds about 2.5cm in diameter. Try to make them as evenly sized as possible.

6. Rap the baking tray hard against your counter or table***. Allow cookies to rest for about 30 mins-1 hr to allow a thin crust to form. . Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 300°C and make your desired fillings. Test for readiness by gently touching the top of a cookie. Cookies should feel dry to the touch and should no longer appear shiny and wet.

7. Bake for 12 mins. Remove from oven to let cool. Gently peel cookies off of the mat. Match cookies in size and fill the cookies with your desired filling using a piping bag.

8. Allow cookies to mature overnight so that the flavours combine. Enjoy!

Flavour suggestions
  • Matcha cookie with matcha white chocolate ganache: In the cookie, add 3g of matcha powder into almond flour and confectioners sugar mixture.
  • Espresso cookie with chocolate mousse or dark chocolate ganache: In the cookie, add instant coffee powder into almond flour and confectioners sugar mixture.
  • Black sesame with white chocolate ganache: In the cookie, use 45g of almond flour and 10g of finely ground black sesame.
  • Vanilla with vanilla buttercream: In the cookie, add 1 vanilla bean to the egg whites.


*All liquid flavorings go in at this point. Some suggestions depending on your flavour profile are: vanilla extract (most common and versatile), almond extract, lemon extract, orange blossom water.


**You can use parchment paper as well but the heat distribution isn’t as even.


***Tip when rapping baking sheet: lay a tea towel down to rap against to protect the surface of your counter or table.

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