Macarons, delicate almond meringue cookies, are a classic of French confectionery. We won’t hide the fact that baking them requires some skill and remembering a few rules, but the challenge is worth it!
According to legend, in medieval Venice, someone changed the recipe of the popular oblates by adding grated almonds instead of wheat. The crisp pastry that resulted was called le macaron because of its circular shape. Macarons appeared in France in 1533 thanks to Catherine de Medici, wife of French King Henry II.
The first macarons were different from the ones we know today – they were individual pastries with a cracked surface and no filling. In 1830, in the Paris workshop of Claude Gerbet, it was invented to fold two macarons together and put them over jam. Varied flavors, aromas and fillings began to be offered only in the 21st century.
Macarons – preparation
When preparing macarons, kitchen utensils are extremely important. Needed are:
- kitchen scale – we need to accurately measure all ingredients, even egg whites, because a few grams less or more will adversely affect the appearance of the macarons;
- a mixer or food processor – needed to whip the egg white foam to stiffness;
- a food processor or blender and a strainer – we need to grind the almonds into flour. Alternatively, we can buy ready ground almonds;
- silicone spatula – for mixing the mixture for the macarons;
- confectionery sleeve with a round tip or silicone bag – for applying the dough;
- silicone mat for macarons or baking paper – the mat makes it easier to make even and round macarons, on the paper we need to draw circles ourselves, which we will fill with dough;
- baking sheet – it must be straight so that the mass does not spill over it.
Macarons – basic recipe
- 100 g of egg whites at room temperature,
- 45 g sugar,
- 200 g powdered sugar,
- 100 g of smoothly ground almonds.
- Measure the exact amount of ingredients and separate the whites from the yolks.
- Blend the almonds to a powder. We can also use ready-made almond flour.
- We pass the ground almonds and powdered sugar through a sieve. We remove all remaining lumps.
- In a separate vessel, whip egg whites to stiff foam. While whisking, gradually and slowly add regular sugar.
- Beaten whites immediately add to sifted almonds mixed with powdered sugar.
- Mix the mixture thoroughly. At first it may seem too dry, but after a while we should get a smooth almond paste.
- Transfer the finished mass to a confectionery sleeve or silicone bag.
- Place a silicone mat or baking paper on a baking sheet. We squeeze out the mass, forming small circles. In this form, we leave the macarons for an hour to allow them to shape.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C and turn on the thermo function. The time and temperature may vary depending on the oven, so we need to watch the macarons while they are baking.
- Bake the macaroons for 13-15 minutes, making sure they don’t brown. After baking, the macarons need to cool down. This takes about 20 minutes. Only after they have cooled down can we put them over with cream.
- Macaroniki can be layered with chocolate cream. To make it, we need 40 g of dark chocolate and 70 ml of 36% cream. Over low heat melt the chocolate with the cream. Cook until the ingredients are combined. We cool the finished cream.
main photo: pixabay.com/pixel2013