|Double Chocolate *Mocha* French Macarons with almond chocolate spread filling|
ABC blog for more information.
Christina has a very nice tutorial on her blog. I still went ahead and looked up some more macaron recipes and also watched some YouTube videos.
Here's what I took away from all that:
- Weigh all your ingredients. Don't use volume measurements.
- Used "aged" egg whites. This means, separate your egg whites from the yolks. Store the egg whites in a glass container, loosely covered, in the fridge for at least 8 hours (up to 2-3 days). I ended up having to let mine "age" for a day and a half.
- Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar mixture to remove any clumps. Discard (or nibble on) the small pieces of almonds in your sieve.
- Let the egg whites come to room temperature.
- Beat the egg whites to very stiff peaks.
- Add the dry almond mixture to the beaten egg whites in 2-3 steps.
- In the end, the batter should be viscose. That means not too runny and not too thick and lumpy.
- Pipe 1 inch rounds of batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. The batter will spread to about 1.5" to 2".
- Rap the baking sheet onto the kitchen counter to remove air bubbles.
- Let the batter sit for 30-60 minutes, until it's no longer sticks to your finger when you touch it. When you test it, don't make the mistake I made which is to touch the outer sides only. Touch it in the middle and see.
- I later learned that if the batter isn't completely dry before baking, it can cause cracking on top. That's what happened to some of mine.
- I didn't find any consistency in the oven temperatures. It ranged from 300 to 350 F. I ended using 335 F.
Some step-by-step pictures:
|Sift the dry ingredients|
|The batter falls onto itself in ribbons|
|Ready to dry out before baking|
|After 14 min in a 335 F oven. Most of them cracked slightly :(|
|Yay. Some didn't crack :)|
|The infamous "feet" of a French Macaron|
|Yes I'm cheating by using an Almond Chocolate Spread for the filling. By this time it was late and I wanted to be done with this :)|
|Ready to be sandwiched!|
- As of this blog posting, I haven't tasted these macarons yet. I will add an update once I do.
- My initial impression is that they are a lot of work. I only got 21 macarons out of this batch but I have to say that mine are bigger than the ones from Trader Joe's. Mine are about 2" across. Maybe that's too big, I don't know.
- I've added 3/8 tsp espresso powder to the egg whites. I figured that since these cookies are typically very sweet, a little bitterness from the espresso would be a nice contrast.
- Would I make them again? I'm not sure. If I do, it would be to figure out why most of them had a hairline crack on them. From what I read (afterwards), that happens when you don't fully let them dry out. I touched mine on the outer edges only after about 20 min and that probably wasn't long enough. I should have checked the middle of the batter.
- Don't forget to check out the other ABC bakers.