I know they have been posted a thousand times but still they are my very favorite treat. I love to make them when I have a time, as they take a long time to make. If you would not come up with the perfect ones for the first time do not get upset as they are really tricky to make. It took me almost half a year to master them to perfection. They are also my hubby’s favorite! Here is my version of the very favorite French sweets:
My recipe for French Macaroons
- 115g blanched almonds or almond flour, or whatever nut you like if you are allergic to nuts semolina powder with a bit of almond flavor works pretty fine!!! Just make sure that you powder it well.
- 230g powdered sugar (my pick is Koronas) as sugar substitute STEVEA works as well always put it in the food processor to make sure it is fine enough!
- 144g egg whites temperature and age not important!
- 72g sugar (my pick is Koronas)
- scrapings of 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract be careful wit and additional liquid ingredients as they might spoil the batter. Use only a small amount.
- 2g salt (use fine sea salt)
- 290g Swiss butter cream
Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two sheet pans lined with silicone. These are the best from IKEA! It is also good as it is heavy enough so it won’t be moving while you are working with the pan.
Process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again until all is fine. Do this even if you have real almond flour to make sure that you have the right texture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean (not the extract), and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point.
Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
At that point, turn the mixer off and add in any extracts/flavor/color and whip for a final minute on the highest speed.At the end of this , you should have a very stiff, dry meringue. Now stir in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula and mix care fully with slight turns. Do not over mix!
Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag and pipe the batter onto the silicone in round shapes. When ready pad the tray a bit to get air out of the macaroons.
Bake for about 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the silicone away from a macaroon. If, when you try to pick up a macaroon, the top comes off in your hand, it’s not done.
Once the macaroons have baked, cool thoroughly on the pans, before peeling the cooled macaroons. Use a metal spatula if necessary.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with the butter cream of your choice and pipe a quarter sized mound of butter cream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with their naked halves.