Seriously. This years birthday rocked! If this is what 31 looks like, bring it on! I’m ready for the rest of the year. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end today.
To sum it up: early Hobbit screening, new camera lens, snuggly puppy time (the dude just knows), all around awesomeness from hubs and this.
Don’t feel like clicking the link? Okay I’ll just tell you.
I won. I WON. IWONIWONIWONIWONIWON. Alright, now that is out of my system. I will resume acting like an adult.
Yes folks, I did it again, yours truly won this years Brooklyn Cookie Takedown!!! Mayhaps you remember this post from last year, with my duck fat caramel, triple chocolate chip cookies that brought me the people’s choice prize.
Well this year, I felt I need to class the joint up a bit. I mean, how else was I going to come back from the monstrosity that I made last year? The only reasonable thing to do was to make the most difficult cookie out there. French Macarons.
Of course, I can’t make things easy on myself either, in my opinion what makes a French Macaron so alluring is all their pretty colors and flavors. Seeing as the only rule to the competition is that your item must be baked, I went ahead and did 4 flavors.
Today, I’m just giving you the recipe. Soon – I promise, soon you WILL have a step by step photographic guide of how to make these pretty little gems. One of my awesome prizes is that Leske’s Bakery in Brooklyn will be selling my cookies! If you are local, you too can go try them out! I’ll be showing the bakers how to make the macarons and that will be my opportunity to take photos to show to you. Because in all honesty, when you have to make 300 complete (i.e 600 shells), taking photos of the process is not your first priority!
I know this post is getting long, but I also need to credit a two sites that helped me along in my recipe process. When researching exactly how I wanted my base recipe to go, I decided I needed to go the ratio route. There are so many differing opinions on how to make a French Macaron. In the end baking is a science, you can’t go wrong with math. I finally discovered the best ratio on Not So Humble Pie. She has an entire Macaron series and they look stunning. BraveTart also has an excellent guide on making Macarons, will helped in my overall process of making them.
Between those 2 sites, plus a lot of practice and some failures I finally ended up with perfect little Macarons with feet, no cracks and no hallow shells!
- 150 grams egg whites – aged at least 1 day
- 45 grams white sugar
- 300 grams powdered sugar
- 180 grams almond meal
- optional: 4 and ½ tablespoons cocoa powder for chocolate Macarons
- optional: gel food coloring of your choice, the exact amount depends on the color you want. Start small and increase.
- Using your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the egg whites and white sugar on low (#2 setting) for 2 minutes or until the egg whites start to foam.
- After 2 minutes increase the speed to the #4 setting and whip for another 2-3 minutes. At this point more air will incorporate into the egg whites.
- Finally, increase the speed to #6-7 and whip until a stiff peak forms about 5-6 minutes more. This is also the best time to add your gel food coloring if you are using any.
- You know your eggs are at the perfect consistency if you can take the mixing bowl and turn it upside down and nothing falls out.
- Using a food processor, place the powdered sugar and almond meal in the bowl (cocoa powder too if using) and pulse for 30 seconds, until it is a fine meal.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the egg whites. This is one of those times we are not concerned with deflating your whites. Fold in the whites, mixing well – about 50-60 times until everything is fully incorporated. The batter should look like lava at the end.
- Transfer to a prepared piping bag and have 3 baking sheets lined with parchment paper nearby.
- Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet. The best way to pipe is to pipe straight down and then do a little swish with the tip. Move on to the next one. It takes time to get this movement right but that’s what practice is about.
- Once everything is piped. Tap the baking sheet hard against your counter to get any air bubbles out and let it sit in a cool space (not any place humid) for at least an hour. You are looking for a shell to form over the Macaron.
- After sitting, pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Bake one tray at a time for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through (I like to bake for 8 minutes, rotate and then finish baking for another 7).
- Opening the oven halfway, lets steam escape and helps your Macarons puff and achieve “the foot”
- Let cool completely, and fill with one of the options below or one of your choice.
These are the 4 flavors that I used:
Meyer Lemon Curd (I did an adaption of this recipe)
Mint Chocolate Ganache – very simple heat ⅓ cup heavy cream and pour over ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate. Melt until smooth and then add 1-2 teaspoons of pure mint extract. Set up in the fridge and pipe.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
My cheering section!
So as I said above I won. Actually I swept the entire competition by winning 1st place on the people’s and judge’s side. Lucky me took home some awesome prizes and because the holidays are amongst us, I want to share one of them with YOU! My awesome readers.
I am giving away a Cuisinart 5-speed hand mixer for your baking needs! Woo-hoo!
There are 4 possible ways to win, with the first one being the only mandatory entry.
Giveaway details: One (1) Cuisinart 5-speed hand mixer. It is open to U.S. Residents Only and will run from Friday, December 20, 2012 to Thursday, December 27, 2012 I will announce one (1) random winner on Friday, December 28th. Please be sure to include a way for me to contact you via email when entering.
How to Enter:
- Required Entry: Leave a comment with your favorite type of French Macaron!
Additional Entries (not required, but will give you more chances to win) please leave a comment after completing each task.
- Like The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Facebook
- Follow The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen on Pinterest
- Subscribe to The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen by entering your email in the sidebar to the left.
Good luck to everyone who enters!