Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring is in the air

It is unseasonally warm here in Seattle and while walking my sweet Hailey I was surrounded by pink blossoms all along our walk.  It is so beautiful.  After our walk I made a quick trip to my favorite market , Metropolitan Market, and being in a pink frame of mind , I couldn't help but notice the beautiful raspberries on display. I could hear their sweet little voices crying out, take us home, take us home. I found one very chatty and said what would I make with you my plump little red angel? She answered, I don't know but I want to go home with you. I don't want to sit on this shelf among those blueberries, I’m tired of hearing them talk about how easy their life is, no thorns you know! Just take me home, something will come to you and I’m sure it will be beautiful and sweet and a wonderful. So I brought my sweet little friends home and this morning while perusing some of my favorite blogs low and behold Tartellete had published a Raspberry Macaron recipe. Serendipity! I have egg whites aging now and almost ready to become marvelous macarons and now I have a place for my plump sweet little red raspberry friends.

Basic Macaron Recipe
Adapted from Pierre Herme’s PH10 – Via Foodbeam  and Pierre Herme's Macaron Recipe from his Chocolate Desserts Book



 125g Icing Sugar (powder sugar)

 125g Ground Almonds

 125g Caster Sugar (very fine Baker's Sugar)

 31g Water

 47g Aged Egg Whites (that have been sat out for 48-72 hours)

43g Fresh Egg White(I used the aged egg whites for this portion too )

Food colouring

 1. Put the Icing sugar and Almonds in the food processor and blitz for around a minute or so until you have a fine powder. Sieve this mixture twice.

2. Preheat your oven to 160c

3. Put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and over a medium heat bring to 120c

4. Just before the syrup gets to 120c (around 114) start the aged egg whites going in the mixer, set to high,  Whisk egg white till they are white and foamy. Turn the speed up to high and whip them just until they are firm but still glossy and supple - and when the syrup gets to 120c pour it into the mixer, down the side of the bowl avoiding the whisk, and keep it going until the bowl is cool. The meringue should be thick and glossy.
when you lift the whisk, the whites should form a peak that droops just a little.

5. In a seperate bowl mix the fresh egg white into the almond/sugar mix until you have a thick paste add the colouring to this. bear in mind that the meringue and the baking will make the final colour paler.

6. Mix a third of the egg whites into the second bowl just to lighten the mixture. You dont need to be gentle on this addition.

Tips from Tartelette for folding the meringue:

Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns

7. In two seperate additions fold the meringue in gently until your mixture just begins to shine.. It will seem like a lot of dry ingredients to go into a relatively small amount of whites, but keep folding and you'll get everything in. Don't worry if the whites deflate and the batter looks a little runny - that's just what's supposed to happen. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, the mixture will look like a cake batter, if you lift with your finger, it should form a gentle, quickly falling peak.

8. Pipe the mixture into small rounds onto a lined baking sheet and then bake for around 9 mins

9. Remove macaroons from the parchment - they should be removed as soon as they come from the oven. You will need to create moisture under the cookies. Carefully loosen the parchment paper , lifting the paper, pour a little hot water under the paper. The water may bubble and steam.Allow the macaroons to remain on the parchment for about 20 seconds, then peel the macaroons off the paper and place them on a cooling rack.

10. Sandwich with the filling of choice and if you can resist, refrigerate overnight to get better flavour.

This is what step 5 looked like for me !

My little sweethearts drying while I do the offering to the macaron gods that they grow feet !

For the filling

Adapted from Tartelette

4 oz mascarpone, room temperature

2-3 tablespoon good quality raspberry preserves , I used fresh raspberries instead.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and preserves together until well incorporated. Fill a small piping bag with a large plain tip (Ateco #809) with it and pipe in the center of each shell. Press a fresh raspberry into the filling and cover with more of the filling . Cover with another shell. Let the shell mature at least 24 hours in the fridge so all the flavors have the chance to meld together.

Not too bad for my first attempt ! Tiny little feet caused by underbeating-I was so afraid of overbeating !

PS. Serious Eats has everything you wanted to know about macarons but were afraid to ask. And desperately seeking macarons is a very good site for even more information.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You did an amazing job! I have been too shy so far to try baking them, but you are inspiring me. I'm sure they were excellent...

  3. I felt like I was handling explosives when I was mixing my batter ! But now that I've done my first batch I've been pouring through recipes for my next batch. Go for it,just read everything you can find before you start there are a lot of helpful sites and articles out there ! Good luck.