I do know how frustrated making macarons can be; I, too, read books, and attempted to make it, but failed miserably many times. Finally, I decided to take a “French Macarons” cooking class at Sur La Table, and it was worth every minute & every dime. 3 hours of class and $69 later, I was armed with knowledge, tricks & tips, and confident that I could possibly “make it.”
For me, this is not “just a cookie,” this is “the kick-butt-cookie.” There are not many ingredients for this french macarons, but each needs to be meticulously prepared. Each steps need to be done properly. It took days to make perfect macarons. So when they came out well, I was so happy I felt like a star on the Oscar night receiving the award. Ummm, I want to thank the academy, my husband, my oven and all the egg whites that make these macarons possible. Oh, and my parents who believe in me to make these super cookies successfully.
Here is what I learn from that class, and this is the first macarons I make after that class.
Raspberry Macarons with raspberry curd filling (make about 35 cookies)
- 7 oz. confectioners’ sugar
- 4 oz. almond flour/meal
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberries, finely ground into powder (more to decorate)
- 4 large (4 oz.) egg white, at room temperature
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 3+1/2 oz granulated sugar
- pink gel food colouring (optional)
- pre-made raspberry curd (click here for recipe if you want homemade)
3 days before serving: the egg whites must be aged. Separate the white from the yolks at least 2 days in advance. Store the egg whites uncovered in the refrigerator or in room temperature. You can age the egg whites up to 10 days.
2 day before serving: make a template. To keep macarons consistent in size & shape, make a circle template by drawing 1-inch circles spaced at least 1 inches apart on the reverse side of a parchment paper
2 day before serving: In high humidity location, you should dry almond flour and powdered sugar overnight. Evenly spread almond flour and powdered sugar on a baking sheet and leave them in the oven overnight with the oven light on, the oven door closed, and oven turned off.
1 day before serving: make macarons & filling.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Line baking sheets with silicone mat and top with parchment paper templates.
Pulse 2-3 oz of confectioners’ sugar and all almond flour in the food processor to form a fine powder, then sift the mixture twice. Sift the remaining confectioners’ sugar 2 times. Combine all dry ingredients- confectioners’ sugar, almond flour, 2 tablespoons raspberry powder– in the bowl, set aside. (Note: make sure that dry ingredients have a powdery texture with no lumps by sifting them multiple times and/or pulse almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor to make the texture finer before sifting.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar. Once all sugar is incorporated, and the mixture is thick, add cream of tartar. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Add food colouring and increase speed to high, whisking until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form.
Add dry ingredients in 3 batches to the egg whites, fold by hand using a large spatula until mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all almond flour mixture is incorporated, check the batter. The batter should be firm and drip slowly from the spatula. Be careful NOT to fold too much that it will cause batter to be too runny.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (#12) and pipe 1-inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. You must hold the pastry bag 90 degree angle while piping.
Once done piping, gently tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 30-45 minutes or until a slight crust is formed on the macarons; the macarons should not stick to the finger when lightly touched.
To prevent macarons from burning, use a double-layered baking sheet by stacking two baking sheets on top of each other. Bake one sheet at a time. Once place the baking sheet in the center rack of the oven, then reduce the heat to 300 F (150 C). Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the macarons cool completely before attempting to lift them. Increase the oven temperature to 350 F (180 C), and repeat the process from piping to baking.
Once the macarons are out of the oven, sprinkle raspberry powder on top, and let cool. (option)
Once completely cooled, turn half of the macarons upside down. Use a small offset spatula and gently spread raspberry curd between two macarons. Gently press them together, then refrigerate macarons in the air-tight container overnight. Macarons are best after being refrigerated overnight. Macarons can be kept sealed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.