Recently I was lucky enough to get invited to a Yelp Elite event at Macaron Bar in Over-the-Rhine to learn how to make my favorite french delicacy…macarons! I thought I would share the recipe so that you can make them yourself.
For the uninitiated, macarons are not those coconut and condensed milk cookies your grandma used to make…No, these are deliciously light almond meringue cookies, filled with a flavored ganache, and then dyed beautiful colors to match the filling inside.
Macarons are a favorite among bloggers and girls that look like they don’t actually eat cookies because they’re almost too pretty to eat, and they make a great Instagram (see my gram below).
Up until I took the class, I almost felt like they were too expensive (the ones at Macaron Bar are a whopping $2 each!) to really enjoy, and that they weren’t worth the money. But now that I’ve taken the class I can see why they’re so expensive…These are truly a difficult French pastry to make, and it takes a true master in his craft to learn how to make them. Nathan from Macaron Bar has devoted the last several years of his life just to honing his technique, and we were able to learn how to make them directly from him!
This was a three hour class, with free champagne, and a bunch of foodies so you know it was fun. I would highly recommend the class to anyone else that is interested in learning how to make these beauties! If you are interested in learning more about the class, you should check out this blog post from Out+Outfit.
Below is the recipe that they gave us in the class, plus a few of my notes from Nathan’s instructions. Enjoy and happy baking!
Place in a food processor: 90 grams almond flour, 120 grams powdered sugar
Place in the bowl of a stand mixer: 70 grams of egg whites (approximately 3 large egg whites)
Set aside: 40 grams of sugar
- Process the dry ingredients in a food process for 1 minute to cut everything up finer and combine.
- Beat the egg whites in the stand mixer with a wire whip attachment until you reach soft peak stage (15-20 seconds on high). Add the sugar and continue whipping for another 20 seconds until you have stiff peaks (the peaks should be shiny and should stand up on their own, like shaving cream). Transfer the meringue to a large mixing bowl.
- Using a medium mesh sifter, sift 1/3 of the dry ingredients over the whipped egg whites and add any desired food color. For the food color, use a gel paste food color because a liquid color will throw off the texture of the cookie. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until just absorbed. Repeat twice more with the remaining dry ingredients, folding carefully so as not to deflate your meringue too much. Continue folding until the batter flows off your spatula in a smooth ribbon. If it is too thick, continue folding and pushing up against the walls of the bowl to remove air.
- Place the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a tip (a round 1cm wide tip works best), and pipe into circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drop the baking sheet of macarons onto a flat table surface repeatedly until the blemishes on top of the macarons flatten out. Allow macarons to rest until the surface is dry to the touch, about 20 minutes.
- While the macarons are drying, preheat you oven to 325 degF. When dry, bake the macarons for 16-20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a cooling rack.
- When fully cool, carefully peel the macarons from the parchment and pair similar sizes. Fill with your desired fillings and allow macarons to rest overnight in the refrigerator for best flavor (if you can wait that long!)
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
Place in a saucepot: 115 grams fresh cream
Set aside in a large mixing bowl: 100 grams dark chocolate, 40 grams butter
- Bring the cream to a boil, watching to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
- Pour hot cream over the chocolate and butter and allow to rest for a minute.
- Whisk cream, butter, and chocolate together until fully emulsified. Add salt to taste.
- Pour ganache into a large flat pan or baking dish. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent forming a skin and place in refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to fill your macarons, allow ganache to warm on the counter for 10 minutes. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip with the wire whip attachment until pale and fluffy.
- Place ganache into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip and pipe ganache into macarons.