Macarons: How Not to Master the Art of French Cooking

Macarons are a gorgeous chocolate delight that proved an absolute nightmare to bake. They require dexterity, time, patience and some more patience. The book I got the recipe from (Ladurée) features pictures of the most sophisticated macarons this planet has ever seen, enough to make you feel bad about how sad yours look in comparison. I found ours had more personality than the uptight pretentious macarons from Ladurée (see pictures below as we attempt to pimp up our macarons with not-so-subtle photography tricks). And out of 30, only one was pure perfection. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when a family member shamelessly ate it before a decent picture was taken, nearly starting WW3. Despite all misfortunes, I kind of enjoyed making these little devils… and more importantly, superficialities aside, found them wholly delicious!

Ladurée’s Macarons Chocolat

Macaron1

[Recipe from Laduree]

You’ll need:
for the Chocolate ganache:
290g dark chocolate (min. 70% cacao)
270 ml heavy double cream
60g butter

for the Macaron shells:
260g ground peeled almonds
250g confectioners ICING sugar
15g unsweetened cocoa powder
65g chocolate, min 70% cacao
6 egg whites + 1/2 egg white
210g caster sugar

  1. For the ganache, finely chop the chocolate and place in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes. Bring the cream to boil in a saucepan.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, mixing with a wooden spoon. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the butter until very smooth.
  3. Transfer the ganache to a baking dish and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 1 hour until thick and creamy.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor. Process until you have a very fine powder. Sift to remove and lumps (VERY IMPORTANT! we did not do this 😦 but you should!!).
  5. Melt the chocolate for the macaron shells over a waterbath.
  6. In a seperate bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites until just frothy. Add 1/3 of the caster sugar and whip until the sugar is dissolved. Add another third and continue whipping. Add the remaining sugar and whip for a few minutes.
  7. Pour the melted chocolate over the whipped egg whites and roughly incorporate using a spatula.
  8. Gently fold in the mixture of ground almonds, sugar and cocoa powder. Beat the remaining 1/2 egg white in a seperate bowl until frothy. (WHAT IS 1/2 AN EGG WHITE?? HOW DO FRENCH PEOPLE MEASURE THESE THINGS?? we decided to whisk a whole egg white and just use half of that). Gently fold into the batter.
  9. Using a piping bag pipe small macaron rounds, 3-4cm in diameter. Lightly tap the sheet so they spread fully. You can also do this with teaspoons if you don’t have a piping bag handy, or if yours decides to not do what you want it to. Let the macarons rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  11. Bake for about 15 minutes until they form a slight crust.
  12. Remove from the baking try onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  13. Once you have baked all shells try to pair them up (so you have always have a top and a bottom). Considering this is probably the first time your making macarons, they will not all be identical and perfectly round, at least ours weren’t. The matching up required a bit of imagination.
  14. Take the ganache out of the fridge. If a thin weird layer of yellowness has formed on top of the chocolate simply remove using a knife and pretend you never saw it.
  15. Spread a coin sized amount of ganache onto the half of macaron shells, either using a piping bag or using a teaspoon. Top with the remaining macaron shells.
  16. And now comes the most UNFAIR PART of this recipe:
  17. Let the macarons set in an airtight container in the fridge for 12 hours before tasting. All that effort and now you have to wait until you can try them? Ze french really, what were they thinking.
  18. 12 hours later….. ENJOY!

macaron2

Rating: 7/10

The taste was amazing but the execution of making the macarons kind of failed…

macaron3

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