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rosewater & raspberry macarons

September 16, 2009

You should have seen the look on my face. Two printed sheets in plastic sleeves, complete with highlighting and annotation. Two hours of pacing around the kitchen. Twelve tense minutes staring at the oven door. Ten minutes of eyes scrunched into themselves, lips murmuring “C’mon work work work!” One misread instruction and one minor panic attack. One slightly fed up mother and a spatula.

And then, miraculously, they were done. Slightly glossy outer shell? Check! Chewy melting centre? Check! Feet? Check! My very first batch of macarons, sans catastrophic failure? Hurrah for rosewater & rasberry macarons!

raspberry & rosewater macarons

raspberry & rosewater macarons

I have been challenging myself of late. Both in what I choose to eat and what I choose to cook. It’s a temporary insanity, don’t you worry, and the regular slap-dash recipes will be back shortly.

Having ticked gelatin off my list of fears (marshmallows & mousse), I decided to up the ante. With macarons.

They’re notoriously difficult to manage, and a quick scan of the interwebs revealed a minefield of different methods, meringues and macaron-esque terms. So I approached it the only way I knew how.

With a tonne of research and more than a couple of super-heartfelt prayers.

raspberry & rosewater macarons

raspberry & rosewater macarons

basic macaron mix

I won’t pretend I know everything about making macarons – far from it! I’ve only made the one batch! But I do know that this recipe worked for me (aka the macaron novice). It’s a rephrasing of Audax Artifex’s Basic French Macaron recipe, that he, in turn, rephrased from an article ofΒ Helen of Tartlette’s. Do give it a shot – at worst, you’ll end up with tasty sugary bites!

you will need:

100g egg whites
2g powdered egg whites
50g white sugar
200g icing sugar mixture
110g almond meal

equipment that will help you:

a digital scale
a food processor
an electric mixer
silicone baking sheets

how to do it:

1. Prepare your egg whites.

Measure your egg whites out. I needed a little less than four small eggs to make up the 100g. Place them in a microwaveable bowl and put them in the microwave for 10seconds on a medium setting. They won’t look any different to normal egg whites, but a small amount of the water in them will have evaporated out. I did this instead of leaving them out for three days.

oven dry the almond meal & process with sugar

preparing the tant pour tant


2. Prepare your dry ingredients.

Measure out your almond meal and spread it out on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake the almond meal in your oven at 140C for about 10minutes to remove excess moisture. Let them cool.

Measure out your icing sugar mixture (which is icing sugar with 3% cornflour according to AWW guru Pamela Clarke) and place it in a food processor. Whizz to get rid of any lumps.

Add the cold almond meal and whizz again for a couple of minutes until the almond / icing sugar mixture is powdery fine. We will call this mixture the “tant pour tant”.

beat the eggwhites with sugar

beat the eggwhites with sugar


3. Create the meringue base

Transfer your microwaved egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer. The bowl should be dry and free of any oil. Sprinkle the egg white powder on top of the egg whites. Beat them together until it is foamy and there is no egg white liquid remaining at the bottom of the bowl.

Continue to beat while sprinkling the white sugar into the bowl. Keep beating until the egg whites are glossy and can hold their shape. We’re looking for a stage in between soft peaks and hard peaks. A good test for this is to scoop some up in a metal spoon and hold the spoon upside down. If the meringue doesn’t fall off, we’re good to go.

If you are adding colouring (I added a pinch of red food colouring powder) do this just after the mixture hits soft peak stage.

carefully combine with eggwhites

carefully combine with eggwhites


4. The macaronage stage.

Add all of the “tant pour tant” into the meringue mixture. Using a spatula, stir it quickly five or six times to incorporate the tant pour tant.

I then took 35 strokes (counting carefully) to fully incorporate the tant pour tant into the meringue. Motion-wise, I started at the back of the bowl, scooped to the bottom of the bowl and brought the meringue towards me and then over the top and to the middle of the tant pour tant. I then rotated the bowl slightly before commencing the next stroke.

As Audax says, you will know that the macaronage is ready when it “starts to become shiny again”. It sounds vague now, but it will become clear when you see it. He also suggests that it is better to undermix than overmix as the mixture will combine further whilst in the piping bag.

A good way to test the mix is to scoop a dessertspoon’s worth out onto a plate and leave it there for 30 seconds. If the peaks smooth out, you’re good. If they hold past 30 seconds, do a couple more mixes. And if they flatten out straight away, you’ve gone a touch too far. Oops!

pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet

pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet


5. Piping the macarons out.

Before you start, grab your baking paper and draw a parallel lines on one side. I did mine at 4.5cm apart, then 1cm apart, then 4.5cm apart, then 1cm etc. Flip the paper over and pipe on the non-pen side. You can see the lines faintly in the picture above. I also baked half of the mixture on a silicone mat from Tupperware that has lines marked on it.

I baked on the underside of the pans (ie, my trays were upside down) because I heard that it assisted with airflow and preventing hot spots).

Fill a piping bag with the macaronage (which is what we call the tant pour tant / meringue mixture) using a 13mm tip, or cut off at a 13mm width.

Hold the piping bag vertically above a point between your fat lines and squeeze. The mixture will spread outwards away from the piping point in an even circle. Stop piping just before the mixture hits the guidelines. Repeat, laying out your second line so that they sit “in between” your first line of macarons (as pictured above).

When you have finished piping a tray, smack the tray firmly down on the table to remove any bubbles.

6. Baking.

I let my macarons sit out for about 90 minutes before baking.

I preheated my oven to 170C (fan forced), popped the macarons in and then turned it down to 150C. The shells were baked for a heartstopping 12 minutes. At the 12 minute mark, I propped the door open and cranked the oven up to 200C and then turned it off after two minutes. The oven never reached 200C, but that’s ok. Just watch carefully to make sure the macarons don’t brown.

Audax says to remove the shells as soon as they are out of the oven, but I found they were too delicate to touch then. I found them much easier to remove when they had cooled a little. If they stick to the paper, grab a warm oven tray, spritz with water and pop the baking paper (with macarons attached) on top of it to steam for half a minutes. They should peel of more easily.

raspberry & rosewater macarons

raspberry & rosewater macarons

rosewater buttercream – Macaron Filling

you will need:

3 egg whites
1C sugar
225g unsalted butter
1/4tsp rosewater

how to do it:

1. Cook the meringue.

Whisk the sugar and eggwhites in a bowl until combined. Boil some water in a pot and sit the bowl over the top of it. Remove the pot and bowl from the heat and whisk until the mixture is shiny and white.

2. Whisk in the flavour.

Transfer the meringue to a stand mixture and add the rosewater. Beat on high until the mixture is thick and airy. Cube the (room temperature) butter and add it bit by bit until it is all incorporated.

raspberry & rosewater macarons

raspberry & rosewater macarons

Rosewater & Raspberry Macarons
 
Assembling the macarons
Ingredients
  • one fresh or frozen raspberry per macaron
  • a batch of macaron shells
  • a double batch of buttercream
How to make it
  1. Take a macaron shell. Pipe (or smear) the buttercream on. Clear a slight hole in the buttercream at the centre of the macaron. Smoosh a raspberry into the hole. Smear a little more buttercream on top of the raspberry and top with a second macaron shell.
  2. Share with friends... or eat yourself. You'll only make about 16 of them, so live it up!


  • #1
    September 16th, 2009

    Ohmigodyoudidit! I’ve been planning and planning to attempt maracons for so long now but have been delaying because I can feel the impeding doom. They look so perfect, and it was your first attempt? I think a happy dance is in order πŸ™‚

  • #2
    September 16th, 2009

    wow not a bad effort, they look awesome. But rosewater ? am I the only one who doesn’t like it ? lol

  • #3
    September 16th, 2009

    Wow, fantastic first effort. I have tried them once and unfortunately failed, but I will have to give them another go with your easy to follow instructions! πŸ™‚

  • #4
    September 16th, 2009

    They look excellent and tasty flavours I’d definitely try! So very girly!

  • #5
    September 16th, 2009

    Wow, these look totally professinonal! They sound delicious too. Well done you!

  • #6
    September 16th, 2009

    You have done so well for the first attempt!!!

  • #7
    September 16th, 2009

    Oh, good work! Great instructions and photos, too. It’s so tedious, though, not sure I would have the patience…

  • #8
    September 16th, 2009

    Oh how I wish I could make perfect Macarons. These look so delish. I dont think I have ever used powdered egg whites.. I shall put macarons on my list of things to bake. Lets see if I can do as good a job as you.. πŸ™‚

  • #9
    September 16th, 2009

    LOL @ howard i dont like rosewater either! but the raspberry and buttercream innards sounds so tasty πŸ™‚

  • #10
    September 16th, 2009

    Wow they look fantastic, especially for your first effort! You’ve given me the confidence to try making my own macarons since yours turned out so great πŸ™‚

  • #11
    September 16th, 2009

    Wow!! Amazing results for first effort!! They are so nicely done.

  • #12
    September 16th, 2009

    Congrats – what a fantastic first effort! They look so very pretty!

  • #13
    September 16th, 2009

    You’ve done an awesome job!!! great photos too!

  • #14
    September 16th, 2009

    Oh my! they look fantastic, Shez! Beautiful pink gem!

  • #15
    September 17th, 2009

    oh so pretty Shez!

  • #16
    September 17th, 2009

    woooot congrats!! You achieved what I have failed half a dozen times.. LOl maybe you can give me macaron lessons

  • #17
    September 18th, 2009

    I can’t believe these were your first macarons…they look gorgeous! Now if only I might muster up my courage and attempt macarons. It, too, has been on my list forever.

  • #18
    September 18th, 2009

    I am beyond impressed. I fondly remember all the flavors available in France but I had no idea how these were made – or that they were gluten free! I wish I were a good baker, maybe then I’d try these. I might still, but guaranteed they won’t look like yours…

  • #19
    September 18th, 2009

    These are absolutely fantastic! I envy those talented people (including yourself!) who can make macarons… I’m too scared to make them! But maybe one day…. when I muster enough courage. πŸ™‚

  • #20
    Felicia
    September 19th, 2009

    Wow, they look impressive! You’re such a great baker, have been lurking around ur blog for some time, and this is the first time I’ve commented haha, btw where can I get powdered egg whites from and what are they? Thanks! Might wanna give them a go becoz yours look amazing!

  • #21
    September 19th, 2009

    wow! those looks pretty! my first attempt of making macarons failed miserably. and I’m afraid of attempting it again.But after your step by step recipe I just might! thanks for this! (:

  • #22
    September 22nd, 2009

    They are amazing!
    I have always wanted to try my hand at these but shy away!

  • #23
    September 22nd, 2009

    Whooahhh awesome job! And I agree with the first part of final instructions no. 2 πŸ˜‰

  • #24
    September 23rd, 2009

    Your macarons look great! I used the same recipe but made chocolate macarons which turned out good but not as good as yours =]

  • #25
    October 7th, 2009

    I’m so pleased that they worked out uber-perfect. In fact picture perfect you have done a superb effort on this. I feel macarons are the hardest dessert that a home-baker can do and this is your first batch!!!!! I think Pierre Hermé’s better watch out for you. You are like me I always research every new recipe as much as possible which for me helps a lot. You are one special baker I’m thrilled that my rephasing of Helen wonderful recipe helped you so much. Yes sometimes you have to wait until they cool down to remove them and othertimes you might have to wait overnight until the bottoms have dried out so you can remove the baked shells easily from the paper or silcone mat. I’m so happy for you I was exactly like you when I made my 1st batch I almost did a little dance for joy when I saw feet on the baking shells. Cheers from Audax in Sydney.

  • #26
    January 8th, 2010

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Shez