As mentioned in my previous post, I think I have definitely a case of macaron-fever. This is a disease most prevalent in bakers. Common symptoms include: buying mass quantities of almonds or almond flour, eggs, and powdered sugar; kneeling in front of the oven for 15-18 minutes at a time in supplication to the fabled macaron-gods; crying and laughing alternately in an overall instability of mood.
But! Now I’ve really got it! I finally figured out the correct consistency needed for the macaron batter (it took about three tries). Also, I figured out that I needed to whip the crap out of the egg whites— no bec d’oiseau for us! Lastly, I messed up a couple batches trying to get the oven temperature and positioning of the trays correctly.
Now, just to reiterate and add to BraveTart’s macaron myth-busting. Fresh eggs, old eggs, it doesn’t matter. I used both old eggs as well as eggs that had come out of our chickens that same morning. The main point of making a good macaron is good technique: whipping the meringue and doing the macaronage correctly.
French Macarons Recipe
from Bravetart (http://bravetart.com/recipes/Macarons)
115g blanched almonds or almond flour
230g powdered sugar
144g egg whites— temperature, age, and farm-freshness or store-bought, all not important.
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Place the almonds and powdered sugar in the food processor. For the mango mascarpone macarons, I just used the normal macaron batter but added a bit of yellow/red food coloring. Blend and put through a sifter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add salt and the vanilla extract to the egg whites. Whip on low speed and when it gets foamy, add the sugar. Increase the speed to medium and then medium high.
Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. It should have the consistency of shaving cream.
Place the meringue in the almond mixture and perform the magical art of macaronage.
When you get to that perfect molten-lava consistency, pipe your precious macaron batter on a cookie sheet.
Place in the oven at 300F for 15-18 minutes depending on the size of your macs.
For the filling, blend 1 cup mango, 1/2 cup mascarpone, 1 Tbs heavy cream and 1 Tbs powdered sugar. I really enjoyed this flavor. The filling was light, delicate and balanced well with the shells.
The sesame seed red bean paste macarons were quite simple. I just blended a handful of sesame seeds and added it to the dry ingredients while making the macaron shells, and filled them with red bean paste that my mom had made a while back.