The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Macarons...!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Macarons...!

Hello, There is a recipe for Parisian Macarons in Advanced Baking and Pastry ("ABAP"), by Mr. Michel Suas, that looked like it would be interesting to try.


Quite by accident, I found this post today which points to many information sources regarding Macarons:
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/09/making-french-macarons/


I didn't get past Mr. Lebovitz's first link to syrupandtang.com, finding all sorts of photos and helpful tips there:
http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-macaronicite-1-an-introduction-to-the-macaron/
(this link is to the first page of a multi-page 'how-to' manual on macarons)


Another helpful post on TFL was from hansjoakim - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18118/rye-and-macarons (with thanks)

With all of this helpful information and a good formula in ABAP, I worked up the courage to try making these pretty little cookies.
I ended up using the formula from ABAP, scaled for the amount of macarons I wanted to try making.
I followed syrupandtang's instruction to process the almond meal and icing sugar together in the food processor prior to mixing, and took both syrupandtang's and hansjoakim's advice regarding a slightly hotter bake and baked about 350F (conventional).


I rigged my oven's contact switch so the oven would stay on with the oven door ajar.
I think this venting is really the key to the macarons baking but not browing. 

Here are pics of my first effort (a little lumpy and bumpy, but I'll hopefully do better next time!):

(almond macarons with lemon filling)


I wanted to post here, to say how much I liked Mr. Suas' formula, how kind of Mr. Lebovitz to provide all of those links, and to pass along links to the very helpful information provided by syrupandtang and hansjoakim, in case it's helpful to anyone else.

Happy Baking everyone!  Regards, breadsong


 


 


 

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Awww... those are cute :)


Well done! A tart lemon filling is a perfect match for those sweet, crisp meringue shells. I bet they're wonderful.


I've also noticed and wondered about the low baking temperature suggested in ABAP. I tried it a couple of weeks ago, and the shells turned out pretty flat and dense, with poor feet. A bit of internet research before launching into new territory is always a good idea .)

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks hansjoakim - I really appreciate your feedback and kind words!
 
You are right, the lemon filling is really quite good in these cookies. 

I wanted to please ask a question about baking sheets - have you ever baked macarons on standard (non-perforated) baking sheets? I note you use perforated baking sheets, and ABAP instructs to use these also;
I wanted to understand the advantage of using them; I'm guessing the following, but was wondering if you had an opinion?:
- Macarons set up more quickly/less baking time & chance of browning?
- Macarons set up more thoroughly/less chance of sticking to parchment when removing to cooling rack?


Thanks so much! from breadsong

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

No, I've not tried baking them on standard baking sheets.


I guess the perforated sheets transfer bottom heat quicker than what the standard sheets do, and causes the macarons to rise quicker. I bet that it's more important to let the macarons sit and obtain a dry crust prior to baking when you use perforated sheets. If not, the more intense bottom heat would probably have your macarons spread out more before they start to rise and develop feet. I'm not sure how big an issue it is, though, as I've never tried with standard sheets.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,

I read online if using standard baking sheets, to double them up so as to protect the macaron from more intense bottom heat.  I tried this, (and allowed for a 30 minute drying time prior to baking), and was pleased with how things turned out.


I am still interested in trying out a perforated sheet though - looks like they'd work beautifully for all sorts of pastry!

Thanks again for replying to my post!

From breadsong


 

austinspartan's picture
austinspartan

his was dessert for this past Thanksgiving. I made a trio of macaroons, including pistachio, coffee and vanilla bean. These were accompanied by a shot of hot cocoa with kaluha, topped with fresh chantilly cream (not pictured). 



 


breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello austinspartan,
Those macarons look, and sound, delicious.
I enjoyed seeing the photos - thanks for posting them!
from breadsong