I’ve baked hundreds of French macarons this year. Some are exotic flavors that are not sold in stores. I’m obsessed with baking these cute confections because it’s a challenge every time. Every detail in baking these babies are handled with extreme caution. The measurement of the confectioner’s sugar has to be precise. The almond flour has to be finely ground or the macarons will develop bumps on the surface. Egg whites must be room temperature before it’s whipped with the electric mixer. Waiting for stiff peaks to form can be nerve-wracking because the egg whites may be stiff but not glossy as it should be. Adding flavor and food color is tricky because too much moisture can ruin the batch. When folding the dry ingredients into the meringue, the number of folds matter or else the batter is too thick or too runny. Piping the batter in perfect rounds seems impossible. The room temperature determines how quickly the batter sets. It can take up to 6 hours. Finally, when the macarons are ready to bake, you have to keep a close eye on the temperature because not all ovens work the same way. Some require rotating the baking sheet for an even distribution of heat while others are too hot and will burn the macarons. When you finally get it right the filling is a whole new story.
Check out this site to see the characteristics of the perfect macaron.
As you can see, I’ve made enough trial and error to eventually discover ways to avoid the little mistakes. As a result, my macarons look and taste better each time. I can share with you my tips but where do I start? How about you email me your questions?
In the meantime, I made sweet potato macarons for the first time. It’s perfect for a Thanksgiving treat. I followed the recipe below using a food scale rather than a measuring cup. It’s more accurate that way. The filling is much easier and saves time because I used Jet-Puff Marshmallow Cream.
Sweet Potato Macarons
100 grams confectioner’s sugar
100 grams almond flour
2 medium egg whites room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
55 grams pure sugar
Orange food color
1/2 teaspoon sweet potato extract
1/2 cup Jet-Puff Marshmallow Cream
- Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on slow speed.
- Add cream of tartar when the bubbles begin to form
- Add pure sugar, extract and food color and turn on high speed.
- Continue beating the egg whites until a smooth, glossy texture and stiff peaks have formed.
- Sift confectioner’s sugar and almond flour into the egg whites and fold the mixture approximately 50 times.
- Place parchment paper on a flat baking sheet. Pour the batter into a piping bag and pipe the batter in consistent round macarons. Be sure to leave space between the macarons because the batter will expand slightly. You don’t want the macarons to touch.
- After the parchment paper is filled with macarons, tap the baking sheet on the table to release the air bubble from the batter.
- Set aside to “cool”. When the surface of the macaron is thick and not sticky to the touch then it is ready to bake.
- Turn oven to bake at 350 degrees.
- When the oven is ready, turn the heat down to 325 degrees and place the macarons in the oven. Set the timer to 11 minutes. Do not open the oven for the heat will escape.
- After the macarons’ “foot” appears, keep an eye on the macaron. Browning along the foot of the macaron is an indication it is about to burn. Take the macarons out of the oven if this occurs.
- If the macarons bake evenly for 11 minutes then it is ready. Take it out of the oven and leave it out to cool.
- Peel the macarons off the parchment paper ONLY when it has cool completely.
- Fill the center of the macaron with any filling you like.
- Sandwich the macarons together and enjoy!