Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Laduree's got nothin on these Macarons!

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I was SOOOOOOOOO excited to do this month's Daring Baker's challenge: French macarons!! Ever since our trip to Europe in 2008, I wanted to make macarons. We visited Laduree at Harrods in London, and OMG! I fell in love with French macarons. There was one in particular that beat out all the others: salted caramel mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I didn't want to get too crazy with flavors for my first try, because all I was really worried about this time was technique. I wanted to make sure that my macarons had "feet", and sure enough, I must have done something right, because there are feet!! I made pumpkin spice macarons with chocolate ganache filling. Delicious!!! I can't wait to experiment with other variations! I was so proud of myself and the way they turned out on a first attempt!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to give 'em a go:

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)


1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Yield: 10 dozen. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.

* I added a generous dose of pumpkin pie spice to the macaron batter, as well as a sprinkling on top of the baked macarons.


  1. Do you just eye ball to ensure they are all about the same diameter after you squeeze the batter out of the pastry bag? These turned out really pretty, and uniform looking.

  2. They are perfect! You really should be proud!