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Joined: 14 Jul 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Macaron Reply with quote

well i've recently gotten back from a trip to france and i LOVED these beutiful cokies called macaron (not the american macaroon) i've tried a couple recipes but each time i make them the cookies are flat and stuck to the parchement paper and cant seem to form the crust before baking, could it be due to the humidity and heat level of where i live or does anyone know a god recipe for macarons?
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Joined: 24 Mar 2006
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never seen these before, but they look fantastic! I've gotta give them a try!

Okay, so it looks like these are two domes of sweetened almondy meringue with a creamy filling in between. My first guess is that, if your meringues aren't crusty, they aren't sufficiently whipped. The recipes I'm looking at all say stiff-peaks (My french is rusty, but google's translate engine indicates "firm snow" so I'd guess stiff peaks is a fair bet.).

That looks like the most obvious place for things to go wrong-- underwhipped eggs can't form the structure to stand up to gravity (the structure forms when filled with air, and then hardens in place from the heat of the oven), so that might be why your macarons went flat. I'm not sure what effect high humidity will have on that, but my guess is that it's not a good effect.

A couple of tips: Add a small amount of something acidic to your egg whites-- 1/2 tsp of creme of tartar, or the same amount of lemon juice (only if the recipe can stand the additional taste), or rinse the bowl with some white vinegar and then wipe it out before adding egg whites-- acid helps the structure formation-- it'll save you lots of time. Also, you can add about a tablespoon of water to the egg whites-- this can add a little volume. If you're worried that your room temp. egg whites are too warm, pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes before whipping.

Good luck!

Edit: upon further reading, the whipped texture of egg whites might not be stiff peaks-- it must be fairly firm for the dome to form and harden, but to have peaks on the macarons when dollopping them onto the parchment paper is undesirable. Also weird: french for parchment paper translates literally as "sulfurized paper"-- I would think they could eat least call it "siliconized" or something, heh.
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Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 1
Location: California USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:18 am    Post subject: French Chocolate Macarons Reply with quote

We actually made these in our Professional Baking class in 2005. Our teacher has written many books, including Cooking With Tea, and he has been an inspiration to me. Here is a macaron recipe that is really very simple, yet makes a big impression.
CHOCOLATE MACARONS - adapted from Pierre Herme
makes 24 cookies

3/4 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups whole blanched or slivered almonds, no skins
1 pound powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided in fourths
6 egg whites (about 3/4 cup)
Optional: drizzling of white and dark chocolate

To make the chocolate filling for these little bites, combine the milk and butter in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate. When smooth, pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

To make the macaroons, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment. Mix the sugar and almonds in the food processor until the almonds are finely ground. Add the cocoa and mix. In an impeccably clean mixer bowl fitted with a clean whisk, free of any grease, beat the egg whites until they are smooth and form stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula gently fold in the cocoa powder in fourths, ending with a thick batter. Spoon tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared pans, leaving about an inch apart. Smooth the tops with a slightly moistened fingertip. Bake for 11 minutes. Slide the parchment off the baking sheet onto the counter to cool.

To assemble these little delights, spread about a tablespoon of the ganache on the bottom of one macaroon and seal with the bottom of another, making a sandwich. Place on a tray and chill them for about on hour before serving. If desired, drizzle melted white and dark chocolate to garnish.
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