Week 4: French macarons. Oh you fancy, huh.
If you had asked me several years ago what a macaroon was, I would have described a happy pile of snowy, sticky coconut. Now my first instinct is to spell it “macaron,” while visions of colorful polka dot trees of cookies dance through my head. These really are the dainty masterpieces of any bakery window.
I was very surprised to learn how similar they are to meringues, especially in execution. Whipped, glossy egg whites, low oven temperatures to fluff them up, and lots of time to dry them enough for that happy crunch. As you can see from the picture, I love chocolate buttercream too much to be stingy with the filling. Next time I make them, I really want to do a fruit flavor and a coffee flavor (not combined, though that could get interesting?)
The mise en place for this recipe satisfied my love of patterns:
In order to keep the egg whites as manageable as possible, this recipe called for separate whippings, with a sugar syrup in the middle. The first attempt at the sugar syrup crystallized. I took my eyes off it for two seconds and the water evaporated. *Second times the charm*
I think of pastels when I think of macarons, they’re so little and cute! I happened to have pink and blue gel coloring on hand. The gel coloring makes the colors vibrant and consistent. It also takes less dye, so no gross dye flavor.
I winged it without a stencil, but next time I definitely want to try drawing one out.
Happy little dots! Next up: chocolate buttercream for the filling. This is the first time I’ve added egg yolks to buttercream – I didn’t notice a large difference, tastes good either way. I don’t have a bain-marie, but I discovered a metal bowl works perfectly. It looks a little silly, but what about baking doesn’t, ya know?
Melty chocolate, mmmm.
This recipe is all about piping, gotta love piping bags. While they are the worst to fill (so much buttercream everywhere), they’re super fun to use. You have more control over the size and shape of your pastries.
After a forever-stay in the Oven Sauna, they were ready to fill. It was really hard to not to eat all of them as I completed them.
Here are the final cookies:
Verdict: can’t wait to make these again! Bring on the different colors and flavors.
Recipe from: Bake! The Quick-Look Cookbook by Gabriela Scolik + Team