Have you ever tried those colorful, delicate and delicious French Macarons that you see in the windows of bakeries? There are rows of yellow, red and green cookies that look like little, perfectly formed sandwiches. These are not the coconut macarons that probably first crossed your mind when I said “macaron” however. French Macarons are meringue and almond flour melt-in-your-mouth goodness filled with chocolate, pistachio or vanilla ganache. You can also fill with jams, jellies, and lemon or lime curd. It’s all up to you.
While I love to bake, I am definitely not a pro at it. As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a creative cook in that I improvise. A lot. With baking, it is more of a science so winging it isn’t usually a good idea. So, when I was offered the chance to try this French Macaron kit by Chef Francois Payard, I was glad to have some guidance on how to make this treat. Plus, one of my favorite kitchen tools, silicone baking sheets made by Silpat, was also included in the kit. Awesome!
The Macaron Kit contained the tools I would need to make the cookies other than the food ingredients themselves. You will find:
12 inch piping bag
2 Plastic piping tips
3 food coloring gels – red, green and yellow
USB with recipes by Francois Payard
Silpat macaron mat
What I would recommend to begin with is to review the recipes and tips on the USB drive that is provided. I also went online and watched additional videos to be prepared for the order in which to do everything. Turns out that it really isn’t hard to make these macarons, just a number of steps.
I am providing the recipe that I used to make these French Macarons as I found it easy to understand. Having a Silpat with the macaron outline already provided was so helpful assuring a consistent size to the cookies.
Here are my tips for you to have great results:
The recipe calls for sifting flour and sugar a couple times. Don’t skip this step. It’s important. It catches the almond pieces that are not fine enough. I used this almond meal which worked great. Trader Joe’s Just Almond Meal (1 lb)
Bake them for the full length of time. Warnings of removing them too soon include the base of the cookie sticks to the baking sheet. They are done when they easily lift in one piece off the pan.
Pipe the dough as flat as you can and within the lines of the predetermined circle on the Silpat. This helps with the size of the cookie.
If you want multiple colors of the shell instead of one batch of cookies that is one color, I recommend making the recipe several times. You are going to add the food coloring to the egg white mixture and don’t want to deflate it by removing some of it for another cookie color.
Food color loses some of its intensity in the baking process. Add more color if you want a richer color.
I invited a wonderful friend for a long overdue catch up session and knew that these treats would be perfect. She is a world traveler having had these cookies during her European adventures, so was curious about her reaction to my version. I am also sharing these fabulous coffee cups and pitcher that I discovered at the National Restaurant Association Show this past May. They may look familiar to you if you are Inspiring Kitchen’s Facebook friend as they (along with the super cute bowls) are my cover photo. Check them out here (www.facebook.com/inspiringkitchen). They are made by a company out of Europe (http://www.58products.com) and will soon have a website for shipping within the U.S. (http://www.funnybowls.com). If you have any questions about ordering them, please send me a message.
As we head into the holiday and entertaining season, I think that this would be a great gift for those who love to bake. It’s a creative project that allows you to choose colors, fillings, sizes and shell flavors that suit your taste buds. You can find the French Macaron Kit by Francois Payard and Silpat at Amazon. Silpat Macaron Kit How much would you enjoy these sitting in front of the fire with a steaming cup of coffee or tea? Or at a bridal or baby shower? On a sweets’ table at parties? Try them and let me know what your favorite combinations are. These are definitely photo worthy so send those too! You can find me at Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for stopping by!
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus 4 tsp
- 1 cup plus 3 tsp almond meal
- Pinch salt
- Food coloring
- 5-6 ounces chocolate chips
- 5 ml whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Whip egg whites and white sugar till stiff enough to turn bowl upside down without it falling out. Continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add food coloring.
- Beat 20 seconds.
- Sift almond meal and powdered sugar twice discarding almond lumps. This is an important step.
- Fold into egg white mixture. Fold approximately 30-50 folds using a spatula. The mixture should be smooth and not runny.
- Pipe onto Silpat.
- Tap countertop 5-6 times to get bubbles out and to flatten batter.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Boil cream and then add to chocolate in bowl. Let it melt before stirring.
- Allow to cool before piping onto cookies.