Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tips on How to Make Perfect French Macarons--With Raspberry Macaron Recipe

Raspberries Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I know I said it before that the French Macarons are too temperamental!  After all, I did had some bad experiences with them in the past.  But, everybody deserves a second chance, don’t you agree?  Especially with something as irresistible as Macarons.  Honestly, they are really not that hard to master... as long as you follow a few tips.
 Raspberries Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I have a few inquiries on tips and techniques in making these Macarons.  Of course, I’m not going to leave you empty-handed.  From my many successful and some not so successful macaron baking experiences, here are my few tips in summary.

Tip #1:  Get a kitchen scale.  It’s important to follow the exact recipe down to the gram (or ounces.) Take the time to measure and weight out each ingredient.  You’ll be rewarded.  This is the digital kitchen scale that I’ve been using.  It’s not expensive at all and it’s one of my best friends in the kitchen.

Raspberries Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream

Tip #2: Aged the egg whites.  I usually separate the egg whites (save those yolks for crème brûlée!) and leave the egg whites covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for 3-5 days before using.  The aging process dehydrates the egg whites, resulting in a tighter and more stabilize meringue. 

Tip #3: Pay attention during Macaronage—mixing the dry ingredients into the meringues!  If the batter is over mixed, the macarons will turned out flat and cracked.  If the batter is not mixed enough, there will be a peak on top and the feet won’t form.  Just make sure to use a spatula to fold the ingredients together between 40 to 50 strokes.  Testing a small amount of batter on a plate before piping is a smart move.  If the peak falls back on its own in 10 seconds, you’re good to go.
 Raspberries Macarons with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Tip #4: After piping the macaron shells, let them sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes to and hour to harden the shells before baking.  That would prevent the tops from cracking. 

Tip #5: Double stacking the baking sheets.  That would help the macaron shells bake up more evenly.  When using double baking sheets, the bottoms of the maracons do not heat up too quickly, resulting nicer and taller feet.

I hope these tips would help you in making some beautiful French Macarons.  

Raspberries Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

In these Raspberries Macarons, I used some freeze dried raspberries for the shells.   The freeze dried raspberries really gives the macaron shells a beautiful vibrant color and slightly tart raspberries flavor.  I really couldn’t decide what flavor to fill these shells with, so I made a dual buttercream:  Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean.  Both buttercreams match perfectly with the raspberry shells, in a different way. 
I hope you’re inspired and encouraged to make your own batch in the kitchen, soon.  You’ll be happy that you did. 





Raspberries Macarons with Dark Chocolate Buttercream and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Makes: 30 to 35 filled macarons
For the macaron shells:

90 grams egg whites (about 3) preferably aged 3-5 days in the fridge
pinch of kosher salt
30 grams granulated sugar
185 grams powdered sugar
110 grams almonds
8 grams freeze dried raspberries
A pinch of powdered red food coloring (optional)

Prepare the macarons:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and salt on high, gradually add the sugar until stiff peak forms. Place the almonds, powdered sugar, raspberries and food coloring (if using) in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue. Fold the mixtures carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate; if the tops flatten on its own, the batter is ready. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple more turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, depending on their size. Rotate baking pans once half way through baking.
 
Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded
6 ounces of dark/bittersweet chocolate chips
A pinch of Kosher salt
A pinch of instant coffee granulate

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl, add the sugar and egg whites together. Whisk constantly over a saucepan of simmering water. Keep whisking the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place the bowl back to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium high until it cools. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat the buttercream until thick and very smooth, about 6-10 minutes. Divided the buttercream in two portions.

For the dark chocolate buttercream:
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips, salt and coffee until melted. Stop and stir mixture in 30 second increments until smooth and shiny. Let cool slightly before folding it into the buttercream.

For the vanilla bean buttercream: add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the buttercream and fold with a spatula until fully incorporated.

To assemble:
Pipe or spoon about 1 tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.



52 comments:

  1. What a great post. Looks like you've got the macaron making down to a science. You're a macaron master!

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  2. Great tips! Your macarons look amazing :)

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  3. Wow! Great post! I've made macaroons before, but using your tips, I'm sure they'll come out prettier. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your tips. I have never made macarons. They intimidate me. Your macarons look fabulous so in the future when I work up the nerve to make them I'll be sure to come back to this post for a refresher course.

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  5. I'm still trying to master macarons...been there done that and I do have my successes and failures :). I've followed the 600gtpt but I think cutting that down would be key. Thanks!

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  6. So lovely - I think my tip would be...sweet-talk you into giving me some! =)

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  7. Thanks for sharing your digital scale I've been wondering which I should purchase and this one is even inexpensive!

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  8. You obviously know what you're talking about:) Your macarons are the picture of perfection. I'll keep these tips nearby when I try to make them again.

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  9. Awesome tips, Mines have always been peakers so I cant wait to try again...

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  10. Those are absolutely gorgeous. Can you come to my house to photograph my recipes for me? I always just love your photos. I wanted to invite you to come over and share your recipe at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight today. Have a great day, Amy :)
    Katie

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  11. Those looks simply amazing. The pictures are just visually fantastic.

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  12. Those look yummy and your pictures are beautiful :)

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  13. Thanks for the tips on macarons. Bit by bit, post by post that I read makes me feel more and more ready to master these little suckers. :)

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  14. These are really good tips, thanks for sharing them! I've never made macarons but might be tempted after seeing these beautiful pictures of yours!

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  15. New follower here! :)

    Thanks so much for linking these up to Made it on Monday!
    You make them sound as if I need to try these again myself!

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  16. Thanks for sharing all the great tips Amy. I definitely love to make Macaroons now.

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  17. Wow, they are beautiful! Thanks for the great tips:@)

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  18. @ Lisa: Thanks, but I'm no master here! I'm still learning as I make them. Just wanted to share a few tips that I learned--the hard way. :) LOL Hope you all can make beautiful macarons the very first time.

    @ Pretend Chef: Don't be intimidated. Give them a try because they are really delicious. Let me know how they turn out when you make them.

    @Suzanne: You're welcome. Yeah, this scale works well for me. Simple to use and got all the functions you need....plus, can't beat that price tag! :)

    @ Katie: Thank you for your sweet comment. Your recipes and pictures are awesome too. I really enjoy your blog and linky parties that you host.

    @Sherri: Please give them a try. They are truly wonderful treats. Be sure to let me know how they turn out.

    Amy

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  19. Mmmm - yum! The presentation is delicious as well! How pretty!

    Would love for you to link these at my summer long party!

    "Life's a Picnic!" party!

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  20. I have been wanting to make macarons for a while now and recently decided to just do it. I even just got some almond flour I'd ordered. No excuses now! Great tips.

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  21. Amy, you lucky duck. What you didn't know when you clicked that "follow" button was that you automatically win a special little giveaway of a handmade item via me! (Just my way of saying thanks when I reach those milestones...) I'll let you know in a bit what it is. :) Could you email me your email so I can let you know? Thanks for following, and for linking up to my picnic party!!

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  22. whoohoo - gram weight all the way!! Compliments on your stunning photos! Really, really excellent.

    Happy FF
    ButterYum

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  23. Awww , macarons and pink !
    Super cuteeee!
    Loving how u put all those tips together!

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  24. Thanks for the great tips, Amy! Your raspberry macarons are divine!

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  25. Hi Amy,
    What a beautiful Macaron, the delicate blend of flavor and color makes this an outstanding Macaron. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  26. What beautiful photos and great directions! Of course I wouldn't have known any of those tips. I really, really, really want to try the raspberry filled ones that we had in Paris. I have already printed off your tips. Did you have the recipe somewhere else? I might as well try a winning recipe too.
    Thanks a ton,
    Jacqueline

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  27. Amy dear, I have some awards for you. Please feel free to hop over to collect them.
    cheers, Kristy
    p/s your macs look stunning. I love tall legs! :o)

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  28. So cute!
    I also have an award for you...
    http://msenplace.blogspot.com/2011/06/june-potluck-banana-blueberry-stuffed.html

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  29. You HAVE to link these up to Tea Party Tuesday next week....www.sweetology101.blogspot.com. SO great! Thanks for the tips..have wanted to make these but oh so scared....**me biting my nails in fear of failure**

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  30. You should also link these to Pink Saturday's at http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/pink-saturday/ ~~ this is a GREAT link up..such nice people and this would be perfect....FYI!

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  31. Great tips! Your macarons look wonderful! Congrats on your award!

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  32. @ Kristy and Michelle: Thank you so much for those sweet rewards! Truly appreciate them. Maybe you get them back in 100-folds.

    @ Trish: Don't be scared. I'm sure you'll be just fine and produce beautiful marcarons. Please kindly let me know how they turn out after you made them. I just linked up with Pink Saturday. That sure is a wonderful linky party. Thank you for introducing me to such a wonderful blog. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  33. Your macs are beautiful, Amy! Great tips all around. I have found that microwaving fresh whites on medium-low heat for 10 to 15 seconds works just fine instead of aging so I always do that instead these days.

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  34. @ Xiaolu: Thanks for the tips on microwaving the egg whites. I'll give that a try next time. I sure can save up some space in my fridge for other treats! :D

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  35. Happy Pink Saturday, Amy. I am so glad you joined us today, and I hope you will continue.

    Oh my goodness, these look beautiful and delicious. Can you believe I have never had a macaron? One of these days I am going to find a place that prepares and sales them, but I can't imagine they would be as wonderful as yours.

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  36. I've never tried to make macarons but, armed with your tips, I just might have to! I ate a pistachio flavored one once when living in Europe and have daydreamed about that light, chewy texture many times since!

    I found your blog via Sweets for a Saturday and I'm loving it. You photography is so bright and clear :) Looks like I'll have to become your newest follower :)

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  37. Amazing photos Amy! Thanks for dropping by my blog today..Happy Weekend!

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  38. Your macarons looks great and thanks for sharing the tips on baking these macarons.

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  39. Wow Amy! What an excellent post...informative and beautiful!!! Your pictures are amazing!!!!

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  40. Thanks for the advice!

    P.S.
    I would love for you to come and link up at A Themed Baker’s Sunday, where this week is a sweet theme: Random! Yep, Whatever sweety deliciousness you made this week, you can post!
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/06/themed-bakers-sunday-9.html
    Alyssa

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  41. Great tips for making macarons! I've only made them one and I knew all of the tips except for using double baking sheets. Great idea!

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  42. Oh these macaroons look so cute! Yummy too!

    Blessings & Aloha!

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  43. you truly are an artist sweet bella

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  44. Guess who made the TOP 3 Pick's this week for
    Made it on Monday?......YOU! :)

    Congrats!

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  45. @ Lark: Wow, thank you so much for selecting my Raspberry Macarons as one of your top 3 picks! I truly appreciate it. Have a wonderful week ahead and I'll see you tomorrow on Made it on Monday! :)

    Amy

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  46. I loooove macarons! When I tried to make them a year ago, they turned out to be a disaster. Since then I didn't dare to make them again. Your macarons look so wonderful! I will definately bookmark this recipe and try to make macarons again. Thank you for sharing the recipe! : )

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  47. I'm obsessed with macarons! Thanks for the tips and sharing the recipe! I'd love for you to link up to my Sweet Treats Party this weekend. Hope to see you there!
    Ashton
    www.somethingswanky.com

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  48. Congrats! You were in the top 6 in this week's themed bakers sunday! Come back for this next theme: Citrus! This includes: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit!
    Also, Enter to win my Free Giveaway!!!
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/06/themed-bakers-sunday-10.html
    Alyssa

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  49. Thanks for linking to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS! Tomorrow we post the TOP CLICKED recipe, make sure to come by and take a look. Today we opened this week's theme "30 MINUTE MEALS". We hope you stop back by and link up again! Happy Blogging!

    http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/search/label/THIS%20WEEKS%20CRAVINGS

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