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I worked as a pâtissier and a sauté chef for a while in a exclusive club and made many desserts but one of the most requested desserts were the French Macarons that a senior pâtissier taught me on how to make.  They do take a bit of skill and the first batch might not turn out how you expect, but practice makes perfect.

Note: Some of the measurements are imperial standard and some of the measurements are in metric.  I have tried to convert them all to one system but it just does not work correctly when you are making them but I will try my best to simplify it for you.

Step 1: The Ingredents

What you will need for the chocolate macarons: 
  • 85g (3/4 cup roughly) of Almond flour (you might be able to find at Wal-mart, or Meijer, but I know you will find it at a natural foods store such as Rainbow Blossom or even Trader Joe's)
  • 225g (2 cups roughly) Confectioners sugar
  • 4 eggs - at room tempature <-- very important!
  • 50g (1/8th cup roughly) Caster sugar (can be made by running normal sugar through a food processor, it just makes the crystals very small, Do Not substitute confectioners sugar)
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder

Step 2: Preperation and Mixing

Mixing the cookies must be done in a precise order :
  1. Mix together the almond flour, the confectioners sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl place the egg whites and whip them untill it begins to foam.
  3. Add in the caster suger slowly.
  4. Whip the egg whites and caster sugar to form it into meringue.
  5. After the meringue is formed fold the almond flour mixture into the egg mixture carefully.  You want to keep as much air in the meringue as you can.

Step 3: Piping & Baking

This is the step that will take the most amount of skill and timing.  

You have to either use parchment paper or a silpat mat, Wax paper will not work as a subistute.  

You are going to spoon your macarons mixture into a piping bag with a 1/2" tip.  When you are piping these onto a silpat/parchment paper you are going to want to bring the tip of the bag straight up and make a little clockwise twist to flatten the peak that will form. here is a video of the technique.  You will want the dots to be about 2 cm across or about the size of a US nickle, and about 2" apart.  (This is not my video, just one I found on YouTube)


After they have been piped onto the silpat/parchment paper, lift the tray up slightly and let it drop to bring any large bubbles that may have formed when piping.  You will want to let them sit for about 10-20 Minutes for a skin to form on the top of the dots, this way when you bake them they will have a round top to them and have a bubbly ring at the bottom.

Midway through the skin formation you can heat you oven up to 300ºF (150ºC).

You will bake them for 12-15 minutes, you will know when they are done by the formation of a bubbly ring around the bottom of the macarons. If you are baking in an electric over place them on the bottom or middle rack.

After they have baked take them out and let them sit for about 5 minutes before removing them from the baking trays and transfer them to a wire cooling rack.  If you are using parchment paper, take a spray bottle with water and lightly mist the pan underneath the paper and the resulting steam will loosen them up for easy removal when the time comes.

Step 4: The Filling

For the filling you can make a variety of fillings for the macarons: I am going to go with a basic chocolate ganache.  You can make the Ganache filling with the following ingedents:
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz of your choice of chocolate either white, dark, or semi-sweet. It has to be baking chocolate, chocolate chips will not work.
  • 1 tbsp of butter
Bring the cream to a boil and stir in the chocolate to melt it.  After all of the chocolate has melted then stir in the tbsp of butter while it is still hot, after that just place the ganache in the fridge to cool.  The more the ganache cools the thicker it becomes. When it has cooled scoop it into a piping bag and place a small amount of the ganache (about a teaspoon) onto one half of a macarons, now take a half the is about the same size and twist them together.

Step 5: Other Ideas

Here are some other variations of macarons you can make.
  • Almond: Substitute the 3 tbsp of coco powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour
  • Coconut: Substitute 2 tbsp of unsweetened finely ground coconut for tbsp of the almond flour and add 1/2 tsp of rum
  • Pistachio: Substitute 1/2 cup of finely ground unsalted pistachios for 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • Vanilla Bean: add 1/2 tsp of extract and 1/2 of a vanilla beans pulp
For the filling you can use jams or other sweeter fillings.
I don't mean to be a spoil-sport but in your picture, your macarons don't have feet...
<strong>WOW.....</strong>absolutely beautiful, the photos, the documentation...so professionally done. thanks I have made these a few times in my life..not your typical cookie dough..<em><br> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Oh&nbsp;but they are so worth it...</em>
<b>WOW.....</b><em>a</em><em>bsolutely beautiful, the photos, the documentation...so professionally done. thanks<br> I have made these a few times in my life..not you typical cookie dough..<br> <strong>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;oh but it is worth it...</strong></em>
Nice work, chocolate macarons are the hardest! <br>I make my macarons with granulated sugar in the egg whites, it might save you a step on the caster sugar, also if you get cracking, you can lower the oven temp instead of drying the piped batter longer, I found you don't ned to dry them at all if your oven is set at the exact sweet spot, this was formed from baking many test batches.<br>Also you mentioned the chocolate chips didn't work, may I ask why? I use chocolate chips with heavy cream and it makes a fine ganache, I use equal amounts of each.<br>Finally I know you converted the measurements to volume, but I strongly recommend weighing them, there is a reason almost all recipes are in weight and it is because volume is imprecise and these cookies are fickle!<br>I hope these comments save a few folks from the frustrations I had when making my first several batches, boy I wish there was an instructable back then!
Delicious! I have had a macaroon once in my life. I will have to remedy that by making your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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