Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And finally...Macarons!!

My First Successful Macarons - With chocolate Ganache filling

It's been almost a year since I last posted. I do feel the shame! But at least, this time I am posting as a free woman.

I'm no longer a student. School term is finished and my days at ITS are over. My time is now divided between making cakes and desserts for customers, and testing recipes (as well as cooking for M. and cleaning... but who wants to think about that?). If that's not happiness, I don't know what is! :)

One recipe I've been wanting to test is that for Macarons. Ever since I tasted them for the first time at Ladurée in Paris, back in 2009, I have often craved for them and have been toying with the idea of making these beauties myself.

Pretty little Pink ones

It was our last day in Paris and were were supposed to visit the Louvre. We got there at 5:00pm and the museum  was closing down for the evening, so we could not get it. But did I care about not seeing the La Vallette sword or the Mona Lisa? I forgot about them as soon as I caught a glimpse of the prettiest display of confections ever. Ladurée!

Deciding which ones to choose... now that was a difficult task. But I left the shop with 10 different Macarons in hand. Such beautiful colours! I savoured them slowly, marvelling at the sheer delicacy of the taste and texture, whilst sulking a little because I had to share. That's when the love affair started

Macarons: Thin crispy outer shell, chewy inside, creamy ganache

Maybe you wondering why it took me so long to try making them myself. Maybe the ingredients were difficult to find? Maybe they're too time consuming? No & No! The only reason why I have been stalling for 3 whole years is that I have been reading about them... in books, on food blogs, everywhere! The list of troubleshooting tips is huge! Something could would obviously go wrong, wouldn't it? And I'm a coward that way...

The thing is, I just had to try. I pencilled them into my to do list, for next week. Right between "fix the magimix" and "pester M. to update my website". And less then 2 hours after they were in my list, a customer called. She wanted a cake, with macarons stuck on the side, and could I do it for tomorrow please?

Mini-Macarons on a Chocolate Gateaux

I was about to say no, but I knew that I could do them. So why postpone? Why not get it over and done with? I had just got a gentle nudge in the direction I wanted to go, and what perfect timing! 

So I went shopping, armed myself with enough ingredients for 6 batches of macarons and by the time everyone was in bed, I was prepared for a long night of trial and error in the kitchen.

Don't they look gorgeous?

It actually took 2 tries to get them right. The first time I had too many holes on top and no feet. A little research revealed that it was a problem which was easily fixed just by tapping the bottom of the baking tray and bursting those pesky little bubbles with a toothpick. I also needed to wait a little longer between piping them and baking them, for a shell to form. I had no patience the first time round, even though I knew I should have. 

The second batch was just what I was looking for! They were perfectly round, with thin smooth shiny shells and they had FEET! And they were chewy too! Oh the excitment! I was so pleased, I just had to wake up M. to show him, even though it was 2:00am :) (He was slightly less pleased, but hey! I had to share...) 

Two huge slabs of Chocolate cake with a thick layer of Strawberries, spread with creamy Chocolate Ganache


Basic Macarons recipe

  • 50g Egg Whites
  • 60g freshly ground Almonds
  • 110g + 20g Icing Sugar
  • Gel food colouring of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place ground almonds and 110g Icing sugar into food processor and grind together until fine. 
  3. Sift almond mixture through a sieve onto a prepared baking tray, in a thin layer. 
  4. Bake mixture for 6 minutes, then allow to cool. 
  5. In a clean bowl, foam egg whites, add the 20g of icing sugar and a small spot of gel colouring and beat to soft peak. 
  6. Sift half of the almond mixture onto egg whites and mix using a spatula by scraping the bottom and folding over the top. 
  7. Pour the egg white mixture over the remaining almond mixture and fold in until when the mixture is lifted, using the spatula, the mixture drizzles continuously without breaking. 
  8. Pour the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe 1 inch rounds, leaving an inch between each one to allow for spreading.
  9. Allow to rest for 30 minutes or more. When lightly touched, the macaroon mixture should not stick to your finger. 
  10. Bake for 9 - 10 minutes. 
  11. When cool, pipe generous dots of chocolate ganache (Recipe below) on one macaroon and sandwich with another, similar sized macaroon. 

Chocolate Ganache

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into bits
  • 65g butter, softened
  • 100ml cream

  1. Melt the chocolate on a bain marie and add the icing sugar, working it with a wooden spoon. 
  2. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is completely melted. 
  3. Remove the mixture from heat and slowly stir in the water. 
  4. Use the frosting when slightly cooled.
The sacrifices I have to make... sinking my teeth in :) 


  1. Well done, excellent post. They look amazing too. keep it up

  2. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I really appreciate it :) As for the macarons, a big congratulations. I have read how tricky they can be on many blogs. I would love to make them but not sure I have the required patience :)