For the podcast of the Dutch magazine delicious. about macarons I immersed myself in the world of this elegant French cookie.
I had never actually baked a classic macaron, only the vegan version with aquafaba. And it took quite a few baking tins with failed macarons before I mastered the art of vegan macarons. So I was very curious to see how I would get on with the classic version.
During baking, I noticed that my hard work making vegan macarons gave me quite a head start. I found out that the method used to make the vegan and the regular version does not differ that much. The non-vegan version with egg whites is even a little easier to make than the vegan variant with aquafaba. It seems that the egg white macaron is a little bit more forgiving.
Still, the classic elegant French macaron isn’t an easy cookie to bake if you’ve never done it before. You do need some patience and time to learn how to bake a good macaron. You usually have to practice a few times before your macaron really turns out the way you want.
The consistency of the mixture is very important. The process of mixing until the batter has the right consistency (macaronage) is a precise one. Only when you have made macarons a few times do you know exactly what thickness you should have. A perfect project during these corona crisis days!
Start with small portions (cut this recipe in half, for example) so you can experiment a bit. But even not 100% perfect macarons taste great and can make you smile in these difficult days.
Would you rather bake vegan macarons? Give this recipe for chocolate vegan macarons. a try!
These classic chocolate macarons are filled with a soft dark chocolate ganache mixed with pieces of crystallized ginger. Don’t fancy ginger? Then make the ganache without the pieces of crystallized ginger. If you have a kitchen scale that measures grams, do use them. Measuring in cups, tablespoons and teaspoons is never as accurate.
Chocolate ginger macaron
for about 20 macarons
For the shells
2 eggwhites / 66 g
60 g / 2⁄3 cups almond flour
15 g / 8 tsp cocoa powder
75 g / ¾ cup powdered sugar
110 g / 1 cup caster sugar
lemon juice to degrease the bowl and beaters
for the filling
100 g / ½ cup finely chopped dark vegan chocolate
80 g / 1/3 cup whipping cream
25 g / 1 ½ tbsp butter
50 g / ¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped + extra to decorate
Also needed: piping bag with nozzle of ± ½ cm / 1/5 inch
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Grind the powdered sugar with the almond flour even finer in a small food processor. Strain through a fine sieve and discard any remaining bits left in the sieve.
Wipe down the bowl and beaters with lemon juice. Beat eggwhites with a mixer until foamy and then gradually beat in the fine granulated sugar. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
Fold in half of the almond flour until incorporated. With a spatula, fold in the rest of the almond mixture and continue to fold until the mixture becomes slightly more liquid, but still thick. The consistency is sometimes compared to lava. It should flow down from the spatula in a thick ribbon.
Fill the piping bag with the macaron mixture. Pipe small heaps (shells) of ± 3½ cm / 1½ inch Ø on the baking tray. I usually slowly count out loud to three to get equally sized caps. Drop the baking tray onto the counter a few times from a height of ± 10 cm / 4 inches so the heaps become a little flatter, the surface becomes smoother and the air bubbles escape.
Place the baking tray under an extractor hood and set it to maximum. Let the macarons dry for ± 2-3 hours. The tops should no longer be sticky.
Preheat the oven to 125 °C / 260 °F (use an oven thermometer to check how hot your oven really is) and bake them in the middle of the oven for ± 30 min. Turn off the oven and leave to cool in the oven with the door ajar for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Bring the cream to a boil. Place the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Stir very slowly until the chocolate has melted and add the butter. Stir in the ginger. Leave to cool to a pipeable consistency and pipe some ganache on to the flat side of half of the shells. Cover with the other half of the shells. Sprinkle the sides with the extra ginger.
Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge overnight to mature.
This post is also available in: Dutch