Raspberry French Macarons

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 24 cookies

Have time on your hands?  If you and your family are social distancing during this time of national turmoil like we are, you may be looking for ways to be creative and learn a new skill at home. Why not learn to make authentic French macarons? One of the fondest memories we have is when we learn to cook together in another country. We take these local techniques and recipes back home and share them with our friends and family.

What makes macarons so time consuming? It's the precision and technique that is required to make these amazing little sandwich cookies. They are rather delicate, but with a little patience and sense of humor- anyone can live through making them.

When we visited Paris in 2016, we learned how to make macarons! During a private cooking class with Chef Marthe, we learned how to make raspberry macarons and coconut chocolate filled macarons. Her charming apartment was perfect and located right in the middle of Paris. 

What is it about these dainty little macaron cookies that people go nuts over? They are so pretty and tasty, and come in a variety of flavors and colors! In Paris, there are so many French boulangeries (bakeries) where these beautiful towers of cookies adorn the windows. It is believed that the Medici Family from Florence first introduced the macaron to France in the 1500's. 

Is it macaron or macaroon? Let's make sure we know the difference between the two. They are entirely different cookies though pronounced similarly in America. To clarify, this is the recipe on how to make the French cookies on your left view.

MACARON LESSON: 6 STEPS

We learned the basics on how to make authentic French macarons. Chef Marthe was very good at explaining and showing us how to do each step. It was just Mike and I with Chef, and she showed us how to make everything from scratch. Since it was private, Chef asked us what flavors we preferred to make. We requested to make raspberry and also coconut with chocolate filling. Altogether, it took about 3 hours to make 2 flavors. This recipe is for the raspberry macaron.

Here are the basic steps.

STEP 1: Make The Filling

We actually mashed up the raspberries and then cooked it with sugar to make a jam. For the chocolate filling,  we melted chocolate with real vanilla bean and heavy cream for the coconut macarons. She emphasized using a good thermometer to continuously check that the ingredients don't burn. I loved how each ingredient were the finest quality and organic. The French are very finicky about this and it pays off in taste and texture.

Step 2: Cool The Filling

Let the fillings cool while we now make the macaron dough. The aromas are already amazing! Chef Marthe had the most charming apartment right in the center of Paris. We enjoyed looking out her window while we cooked.

Step 3: Make The Macaron Dough

What makes a macaron cookie a macaron is the delicate meringue dough. There is no grain flour in a macaron. It's made of meringue and fine ground almond flour.  You gotta have a good mixer to really beat the egg whites into the perfect meringue. When you mix all the ingredients together, she told us to use a technique called ribbon. Watch the video for the technique. 

Step 4: Pipe and Bake The Macaron Shells

To make the shape of the macaron shells, thankfully she had a baking liner that had the perfect outline for a consistent size diameter of the cookie shell. This is important so the macaron can be sandwiched together evenly. Otherwise, our macarons would have been consistently odd shaped and not fit together properly to hold the filling. They weren't perfect at the end but were not complete disasters either, yay! Once we piped them onto the baking pan, we baked them for about 12 minutes. It's very important to open the oven door 2 times during baking! Once after the 8th minute and again after the 11th minute for 5 seconds each time. This was Chef's technique and says it's super important for the shells to cook properly through without burning.

Step 5: Fill The Shells

Pipe the filling into the shells and set. This last step is not as easy as it sounds. We had to learn really quick to not over or under fill the shells. This will make a difference in the overall experience of the macaron when you eat it. Think Goldilocks and fill it just the right amount. 

Step 6: EAT IT!

This is obviously the best part. After 3 hours, we did it! We could not believe how involved and technical making these macarons are. We had a deeper appreciation for them after this cooking class for sure. Although they are not the most beautiful macarons we've ever seen, we were super happy with them and absolutely delicious! Chef had ToGo boxes for us and we enjoyed them over the next few days during our travels though Paris. 

 

For an unforgettable cooking experience, check out all the Macaron classes available in Paris for the guaranteed best prices here.

 

Ingredients

  • 200 g Ground almonds
  • 200 g Confectionner sugar
  • 150 g egg whites (75 X 2) (around 5 eggs)
  • 200 g Caster sugar 
  • 5 cl  Water (= 1/20 l)
  • 15 g caster sugar + 1G dried egg white
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 small pinch of red food colouring (powder)

FOR THE FILLING

  • 400 g  Raspberry
  • 1.5  g  Agar agar
  • 170 g  Caster sugar
  • Lemon drops or a bit of grated feve tonka (option)

Instructions

Before all :

  • Weigh 2 quantities of 75 g of egg whites that have been separated from their yolks. These should be kept in containers and placed in the fridge  3 or 4 days  before cooking the macarons.
  • A day before making the macarons, toast the almond powder in the oven for 10mn at 150°C.

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1) Preheat the oven to 130°C (Ventilated)

2) To make the macarons shells, whizz the confectionner sugar and ground almonds to a very fine mixture, then sift into a bowl.

3) In a separate bowl whisk 75 g egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks. Heat the 200 g caster sugar and make a syrup. Place a thermometer in the syrup and when it  reachs 80°C start to beat the egg whites and  add 15 g caster sugar + 1 g dried egg white, in 3 times. When the thermometer reachs 116 °C add quickly in 3 times the sugar syrup in the egg whites.  Add the food colouring in necessary. Continue to beat he meringue  9 mn to cool  down. The meringue should become shiny and stiff.

4) Mix the other 75 g egg whites with the almond + sugar with a rubber spatula. Then add the meringue and mix with a flat spatula until a fluid mixture.

5) Put the mixture in a pastry bag.

6) Line 2 baking sheets with baking (silicone) paper. Pipe small rounds of the macarons mixture, on silicone paper on the baking sheets. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure a good “foot”. Leave to stand at room temperature for 15  mn (30 mn if humid  weather) to form a slight skin. 

7) Bake for 12 mn.  Open the oven door 2 times during the baking. (after 8mn and after 11mn, each time for 5 secondes)

FILLING

8) Make a caramel with 170 G caster sugar and add the raspberry in which you can add a bit of grated Fève Tonka or lemon drops.  Then add the agar agar, mix and put aside in a fresh place. 

9) Use the raspberry jam to sandwich pair of macaroons shells. 

10) Making beautiful macaroons is not difficult, but you’ll need organization, the right tools, high-quality ingredients and time.

Notes

In Europe, they use the metric system to measure ingredients. Here is a conversion chart between the American standard measurement system and the metric system.

Culinary Metric Conversion

1 CUP =  130 g         1,5 CUP =  200 g      1 ¾ CUP  = 230 g      180°C = 350°F 

SUGAR   :  ¾ CUP =  175 g          1,5  CUP =  120 g      1   CUP = 245 g

BUTTER:   1 CUP =  240 g

 

Courses Dessert

Cuisine French

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