Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Holy Macaron!


In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. Bill Cosby

Exactly, Mr. Cosby. The french macaron, something I have loved for a very, very long time though have been all too fearful to attempt in the kitchen. One bite of these poufs of perfection and I am channeled to Champs-Elysées, the cool air of Paris, the scents of the streets and sounds of the city fill my soul. By far, the most coveted item for my sister and I from any trip to Paris is a box a Laduree macarons. In L.A. when I need a quick macaron fix or thee perfect hostess gift, its off to Bottega Louie I go for their colorful macarons.  Last weekend, I abandoned my fears and dove right in to the macaron baking. I was taking them to my dear friend Kristy's engagement party, so naturally I wanted them to be quite perfect and to be honest, in my delusional mind, I imagined mounds of gorgeous macarons, too ambitious of me. I decided to make a flavor out of my imagination, modeled after my favorite Persian ice cream, I thought there was something especially "bridal" of the idea of pistachio with delicate rose. I read everything I could click my mouse on, online and found a plethora of tips and suggestions, too many in fact. Just to note, if one has the notion to become a master of macarons, the information is definitely out there to send you half way, the other half would have to come from practice. One area in which I failed was that my macarons turned out 'footless,' the 'foot' is the commonly seen layer of foamy texture at the base of the macaron. The day I made the macarons, I was very disappointed by the way they turned out, though I may have been overreacting. The weather certainly was not macaron weather, it was hot and humid in L.A. with my oven on and my air conditioning blasting a cool breeze, my expectations were too high for my result of these temperamental delights, especially for my first attempt.  The recipe was easy to follow, the flavors turned out very well, just as I wished in fact, balanced, and delicate. It was just the aesthetics and the low amount of survivors that had saddened me. Many of my macarons crumbled and I only ended up with a small plate in the end, which is very common. Clearly, this experience has taught me that macarons require mastery and these are something that I am going to have to practice time and time again to perfect. My goal is to be able to whip up beautiful macarons with a proper 'foot,' by this holiday season. For now, I will share my first, kind of satisfactory attempt with you and the life lesson to set fears aside. 

French Macarons- Slightly Adapted from Martha Stewart 

For the Macarons

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon of Pistachio or Almond extract
3 drops of green food coloring


  1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
  4. Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
  5. Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
*** Cook's Note - This was very helpful!
Piping the perfect macaroon takes a little practice. Treat it as you would a rosette, bringing the pastry tip to the side of the circle, rather than forming a peak, to finish.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Slightly Adapted from Martha Stewart 
6 large egg whites 
1 1/2 cups sugar1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rose water 
2 drops of red food coloring
1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

    1. Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and whisk on high speed until mixture is cool and stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Leave meringue in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, on low speed, mixing after each addition. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.


  1. i adore those 2 colors & flavors together - whimsical & delicious!

  2. Thank you so much!
    I love your blog, it's quite fantastic.