"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vanilla Bean French Macarons with Nutella Filling

french macarons are the new cupcakes it seems. there are so many variations & flavor combos to choose from that it seems you could eat them daily & never tire of them.

well, up until this past Sunday i had never eaten a macaron. GASP. i know. what???
i've never seen them in my neck of the woods & my last trip to Paris was when i was 14 and french macarons were not on the list of things to consume.

so thanks to a few cracked eggs, i had some aged egg whites just waiting to be used. i've been toying with the idea of whipping up a batch of macarons but frankly i was a bit intimidated. everything i've read states that they're testy, finnecky, a pain in the ass, doomed to fail- etc etc etc.

finally i decided to bite the bullet & try my hand at these. and so i did. i'll give a little recap at the end.

(the measurments are in grams because that is the way it's done. when in Rome.)

Vanilla Bean French Macarons with Nutella Filling
110g of slivered almonds
200g powdered sugar
50g of sugar
100g of egg whites (about 3 eggs whites, aged for at least 12-24 hours @ room temp)
1 tblsp vanilla bean paste (or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the powdered sugar & pulse until well blended.
Whip the egg whites until foamy & gradually add the granulated sugar while whipping until a shiny meringue forms (you want firm peaks but not dry peaks. feel free to turn off the mixer & check your peaks. basically- when you lift your whisker out of the bowl the egg whites should stand in a firm peak- not fall over to the side)
Sift the almond mixture into the egg whites & incorporate quickly but gently (don't over mix- fold them in until no streaks remain) You want a thick batter that "ribbons" or flows from the spatula for a good 5 seconds.
Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip & pipe small rounds onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet (use a good quality/heavy baking sheet that won't warp in the oven) The rounds should be 1 1/2 in diameter & at least 1 inch apart (the batter will spread a tad after piping so keep that in mind. trial & error)
Let the shells sit at room temp for 30-45 min until the develop a hard shell

Preheat oven to 300 & bake for 8-10 min (depending on the size) Allow the cookies to cool & the remove the from the baking sheets.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a small round tip, with Nutella.
Pair the macarons up (by size) and pipe a circle of Nutella around the edge. Then fill the circle with more Nutella (not a ton, but a good amount)
Store in an airtight container at room temp
makes about 24-30 (depending on size)

RECAP: Ok, so these were not nearly as difficult as i feared they would be. yes you have to use a scale & yes you have to be patient- but they are so worth it.
A few tips:
- SIFT your almond/sugar mix into the egg whites. i didn't sift & i ended up with lumps that i had to break up with a toothpick (PITA). so sift, sift, SIFT!
- please let your egg whites age for at least 24 hours. i swear it makes a difference in the way they whip up. i let mine age for 48+ hours & they came right up with no issues.
- Silpat vs. Parchment: well i don't have Silpat- but i'm going to invest in some. the parch. paper worked- but it's kind of a pain because it's off the roll & it doesn't lay flat- so i had to finagle with tape. so i guess we'll see on this one.
- let your macarons sit for at least 30 min! they need that hard shell!
- watch them. trial & error. if at first you don't succeed, try again!

i admit, i was worried that i'd screwed them up- but when i took them out of the oven & saw the little "feet" on them:

i was estatic! go me! even with 2 whining children & a sulky husband (because i wanted him to handle the said whining children) i still managed to get these babies to turn out right. of course my rounds left something to be desired (not exactely even or the right shape) but come on- i was doing this with a baby on one hip.

and when i tasted the first one- OH MY GOD! so good. light & crispy, but a little chewy & so sweet & yummy.
i sent some off with the husband (to work) & brought some with me to a get together with a few close lady friends & everyone loved them.

and now i'm a bit addicted. i cannot wait to make some more this weekend!

so there you have it. my first attempt at french macarons. win.
Pin It!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails