French Macarons

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I've been mulling over making french macarons for a while. I've been putting it off until a co-worker who just came back from Paris brought back a fancy box of these delicate cookies. It ignited my interest and I was having visions of these macarons francais with cake, of course!

french macarons

The last time I made french macarons were for my pastry exam on petit four sec (or cookies in plain English). That was in year 2000. Back then, I somehow passed all my courses taking as little notes as possible and probably thinking to myself that I will remember all that we learned in class with just my good memory. Yeeeeaaaah right.

I searched through my dusty old pastry school notes and alas found the macaron recipe. The recipe I found was the exam hand-out. During exams, the teachers would hand out the ingredients of a particular recipe without the instructions on how it was made.

I have just a faint idea on how the macaron was made. So off to googling I go. I stumbled on a beautiful photo on Flick by Mowielicious and from his blog I found Kitchen Musings and Mactweets . All these websites have great tips on how to make the perfect macaron.

I decided to use the recipe from Kitchen Musings, as her original recipe was very similar to the recipe in my exam hand-out. Having read that the distinct "feet" of the macarons would sometimes be elusive made me very nervous. I only have one shot at doing this. My brother, who is studying photography, is coming in the afternoon to take some pictures of the cake.

Seriously, I prayed while putting the macarons in the oven that it would have its "feet". I prayed some more while I anxiously waited. About five minutes into baking, I checked the macarons in the oven and was so happy I could almost cry. I see little feet coming out of my babies. Success!

macaron recipe

At the risk of sounding cocky (which really, I am not), it was actually quite easy to make the french macarons. I say this so as not to scare anyone into trying to make these delicacies. I think I scared myself from reading too much about the science of making the perfect macaron. But again, I was just probably lucky that day. I just love contradicting myself.

Basically what it is, is making a french meringue and adding in the ground almonds that was mixed with icing sugar. Eggwhites, granulated sugar, ground almond and icing sugar - just 4 basic ingredients!

I will definitely venture some more into this macaron making in the future. This first attempt after a long time is my first submission for Mac Attack. For now with Valentines around the corner, I'm loving it pink and keeping it simple with the classic filling of raspberry jam. I slap it on some Chocolate Almond cake with strawberry mousse for that ultimate Valentine cake. Um delish...

macaron cake


140 gr ground almonds
200 gr icing or confectioner's sugar
100 gr egg whites (from 4 large eggs)
40 gr granulated sugar
food color (optional)

Advance preparation: The day before making the macarons, let the eggwhites age for 24 hours on room temperature. Alternatively, the eggwhites can also be aged in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet.

Process the almonds with icing sugar in a food processor. Be careful to not process too much or you will end up with a paste.

In a grease free bowl, beat the eggwhites until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until eggwhites have medium peaks.

Carefully fold in the almond mixture into the eggwhites in 5 to 6 additions. Add a drop of color. I used one drop of red gel color.

Place the mixture in a pastry bag with a medium round tip. Pipe 1"to 1.5" round circles on the baking sheet. Let rest for 30 minutes so it will develop a crust.

Bake for about 11-13 minutes until ever so slightly brown on the edges.

Let cool on the baking sheet. To remove the macarons, carefully peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the macaron.

Sandwich desired filling between two macarons.

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› French Macarons

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