French Macarons- the worst challenge ever/Francuskie makaroniki- najtrudniejsze wyzwanie

I can’t believe I made it! You know I like challenges, and I think it’s a good fun for all of us- including myself. This time though I thought I was not going to make it. I wanted to give up. Here is the thing. Last year before Christmas, Ginger from Ginger & Bread provoked me- again! We were exchanging comments on one of her posts, and I mentioned something about making small desserts. She said right away “Challenge??”. So- as they say in my country in a bit Middle Ages manner- I decided to pick up the glove again, and I replied “Fine then”. Now when I think of it, I should always listen to my boyfriend, who during all that time was looking at me saying “Why are you doing it to yourself??”. Exactly, why?? After a few emails we naively decided to go for macarons awwwwwwwwwwww I love macarons. In the end I almost live in France, and I eat them every week- yes!- and I always wanted to know how to make them. Ginger told me she has never tried them, so I decided we had to fix it! When I was in Lyon I got a real almond flour and really good macarons- probably the best in the whole city. I was going to post all this to Ginger. I brought the macarons to Luxembourg and then the disaster happened. One evening I was in a bit melancholic mood, and all of a sudden I decided I HAD to make sure the macarons were good… You know what I mean right? I opened the box- oh boy… Since I bought a few different flavors, I HAD to try each, just to be sure that I could proudly post them to London. There you go. After while, I realized the damage was done. There were a few macarons left, I was basically sick and my stomach was up to its limits. I still could recover the situation, since we have here in Lux the real macarons by Laduree, so next day I run to the shop and got respectable number of beautiful Laduree macarons. And I brought them home… I will spare you the details of how AGAIN I HAD to make sure that also those ones were good, and if by any chance I did not make a mistake while choosing the flavors and so on 😀 Pathetic and shame on me! Enough to say, this time I decided that I COULD NOT bring them home again! I had a day off, went to Oberweis- the best place for macarons in Lux if you ask me- got them, went to the post office, posted the parcel and I was free…

French macarons 2

This is how the whole story started. I remember that weekend when we tried them for the first time. I was in a middle of making mine when I got that email from Ginger. I looked at the attached picture and only one word “disaster”…No comments. For me it was the same. First time I tried a recipe from a book I bought some time ago. Only macarons recipes. Anything you could think of, but…there is always one big BUT when comes to macarons. After 4 attempts and trying different recipes now I know that for sure. Making macarons is not an easy thing let me tel you. It requires a lot of patience, lots of almond flour, patient boyfriend or husband, a supportive one too and time. Lots of time…Ginger told me she made some, and they look acceptable so she was done with her part. So now it was me, who needed to fight that demon. Last weekend I said to myself ” Now or never!”. So what you see on these pictures it is  a final result of my hard work and persistence. I almost cried, while watching them in the oven with my face on the oven glass!! They were smoooooooth and beautiful!!! I couldn’t believe it!! As for the pictures, this is again a part of my recent experiments with settings and light. For those ones who are more into this topic- I overexposed them on purpose. I wanted to give them this special shine and the sense of freshness, since these macarons are filled in with mascarpone, fresh mint leaves and fresh lemon juice. I have to say I love this combination of sweet almond cookie and mascarpone mixed with fresh mint leaves and lemon. It was yummy, so lets not waste any more time, just enjoy it!

French macarons 6

Can you hear that music?? 🙂

Ingredients

If you’re lucky it should make around 50-60 servings, if not you’ll  be grateful for a few decent looking ones, this is the naked truth. Preparation time- for me it was almost 3 months, I have no clue how long is going to take for you :-), the oven temperature- exactly 150 C not more not less, for pre- heating the baking form- 110 C

This is a big serving, so if you’re not sure, you’ve never done it before, go for the half of it

  1. 200 g of almond flour- it HAS to be sifted
  2. 200 g of icing sugar- the same- sifted
  3. 160 g of egg whites- these need to be in the fridge at least 24 hours before you plan on baking (the longer the better- up to 5 days), do not even try to use the fresh whites- I tried a few times, no way it will work out, also it’s better to weight them- 160 g makes about 4 large eggs, but you never know, always bring them to the room temperature before start baking
  4. 200 g of normal sugar- I used brown one because this is the only one I have at home
  5. 75 ml of water
  6. pinch of salt
  7. kitchen thermometer
  8. silicon mat for making macarons- you could also use the parchment paper, but I can tell you now that silicon will do the job, parchment paper does not isolate as well as the silicon from the baking form
  9. food colors of your choice- I used the green one
  10. mascarpone- 100 g
  11. fresh mint leaves- as many as you like
  12. fresh lemon juice- I used half a lemon
  13. some icing sugar- 2 or 3 teaspoons

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Method

The recipe for macarons seems to be very easy, but it’s so misleading! The first time when I was making them I thought piece of cake hahahhaaaaaaa … And then you just scrap all the miserably looking something from the silicon mat and think what went wrong. So here is what you have to do- at least this is what I did and it worked for me perfectly.

On the kitchen scale weight exactly 80 g of egg whites, then the almond flour and the icing sugar. Sift the flour and the sugar, preferably together, and remember to remove all the pieces which are left after sifting- this is also why you have to weight everything once again when you’re done with sifting. The weight needs to match- 200 g of each and 80 g of whites. Combine these ingredients together- mix them slowly until the consistency is thick but still sort of moist. Set aside.

Preheat the oven- set the temperature for 110 C- place inside the baking sheet and the silicon mat.

In a pot prepare the water and the sugar- just any purpose sugar. Start boiling the ingredients, stir it all the time. In the meantime- I know it’s difficult but it’s possible!- start whisking the whites- add a pinch of salt. Keep whisking the whites- start with the low speed and after 3-4 min speed up a bit. At this stage you have to prepare the thermometer and measure the temperature of sugar- the recipe I followed said it has to be 115 C- but I stopped at 100- I think it was enough, but it’s up to you. When the whites are almost stiff, start pouring the sugar- keep is aside for a few seconds before start doing it. Keep whisking until the whole mixture is combined with the whites. Continue to whisk the whites for another 10 min or so. The whites need to be shiny and thick.

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Take one tablespoon of the almond mixture and combine it with the whites- do it very gently. This is also the moment when you can add the color, if you’re not sure about it just leave the macarons in white. Keep adding the almost pasta until all is combined evenly. The pastry should be a bit loose but still very thick.

Take out from the oven the baking sheet with the silicon mat. It’s very hot now, so wait a few minutes, until it does not burn any more but it’s still very warm. You can start piping the macarons on the silicon mat. I have a special piping bag, and I recommend you to get something similar. It’s much easier. Be careful when you start piping the pastry on the mat- don’t put too much, with time you will see how much exactly it should be- that is also why it’s much easier to do it with the silicon mat- they have those little rings market already so just follow the pattern. When this is done, check if there are any air bubbles- and if so remove them with a toothpick. Set everything aside for 30 min. After this time the macarons should be almost firm on their surface- when you touch them they are not sticky any more, and if so, this is a good sign!

Place the baking sheet in the oven, in the temperature of 150 C for exactly 14 min!

Once ready, set the shells aside for a few hours- for me it was overnight.

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Now we  can prepare the filling. In a glass bowl mix together mascarpone, icing sugar and the lemon juice. Chop the mint leaves and add them to the mixture. You should taste the filling, because it can be a matter of taste whether you want it more minty or not. I added a lot of mint- it was nice and refreshing with the combination of lemon juice.

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When the filling is ready, you can start combining the shells- each macaron takes two of them. Put the filling on one and cover it with the other shell. You can eat them right away, without any regrets. You deserve it! Now I’m heading to Ginger’s blog, because I’m really curious of what she managed to do. I know you’re going there too so see you at Ginger&Bred!

French macarons 3

Polish version

Jesli sledzicie moj blog to pewnie juz wiecie, ze od czasu do czasu podejmuje wyzwania od kolezanek z innych blogow. Fajna zabawa, choc czasem naprawde sie stresuje bo nie wiem jak mi to pojdzie. Zwykle po kilku mailach umawiamy sie na konkretny przepis i robimy to bez zadnych konsultacji. Najwiecej frajdy jest zawsze na samym koncu, jak juz porownujemy swoje posty. Tym razem umowilam sie z Ginger z Ginger & Bread, i ustalismy ze beda to francuskie makaroniki. Ginger przyznala, ze nigdy nie miala okazji ich sprobowac, a ja przeciez jem je prawie codziennie! Uznalam, ze nalezy cos z tym zrobic, wieck kiedy pojechalam do Lionu, kupilam cale pudelko przepieknych makaronikow i do tego make z migdalow, i mialam szczery zamiar wyslac to wszystko do Londynu, do Ginger. Ktoregos wieczora bylam  w dosc melancholicznym nastroju, i pudelko z makaronikami niestety bylo w zasiegu wzroku. MUSIALAM sie upewnic, czy aby na pewno byly dobre!! Nie wdajac sie w zbedne szczegoly powiem tylko, ze na polu bitwy zostalo sie zaledwie kilka, a ja zostalam sie z bolacym brzuchem i prawie chora. Na drugi dzien pobieglam do slynnego Laduree i zakupilam ponowie spora ilosc makaronikow. Wciaz przeciez moglam je wyslac! No coz…wydaje sie, ze nie trzeba miec melancholicznego nastroju, wystarcza makaroniki  w domu! Znowu skonczylo sie na “sprawdzaniu” zawartosci pudelka…Wstydz sie Marta!!! Zdecydowalam, ze makaroniki trzeba zakupic, spakowac na poczcie i od razu wyslac. Nie ma sensu przynosic ich do domu. Tak tez zrobilam, i za trzecim razem moja proba wyslania makaronikow do Ginger zakonczyla sie sukcesem!

French macarons 5

Probowalysmy dlugo…mi to zajelo jakies 3 miesiace, niecale ale jednak. Pamietam nasza pierwsza sesje makaronikowa. Dostalam email od Ginger, w nim tylko jedno zdjecie i tylko jedno slowo “katastrofa”. Bez komentarzy. Ja ostatecznie dalam sobie spokoj na jakis czas, bo to bylo za duzo presji, i w sumie powinnam sluchac mojego chlopaka, ktory patrzyl na mnie z politowaniem i pytal “dlaczego to sobie robisz?? po co ci to bylo??”. I mial racje. Po co mi to bylo?! Ostatecznie w zeszla sobote powiedzialam sobie “teraz albo nigdy” i udalo sie! Siedzialam w kuchni, z nosem rozplaszczonym na szybce piekarnika i nie moglam uwierzyc. Moje makaroniki byly przepiekne awwwwwwwwwww gladziutkie, blyszczace i takie jakie powinny byc! Dzis dziele sie z Wam tym przepisem, i mam nadzieje ze sie uda! Pamietajcie zeby zajrzec do Ginger!

Skladniki

Czas przygotowania- tyle ile Wam zejdzie, nie ma pospiechu, temperatura piekarnika- 150 C, temperatura piekarnika do podgrzania blaszki i maty silikonowej- 110 C, czas pieczenia- 14 min

 

  1. 200 g maki migdalowej- dokladnie przesianej
  2. 200 g cukur pudru- przesianego
  3. 160 g bialek – oddziel je dwa albo nawet trzy dni wczesniej i trzymaj  lodowce, im dluzej tym lepiej
  4. szczypta soli
  5. 160 g normalnego cukru- mozna uzyc brazowego tak jak ja
  6. 75 ml wody
  7. 100 g serka mascarpone
  8. swiezy sok z polowki cytryny
  9. kilka listkow  swiezej miety
  10. 2-3 lyzki stolowe cukru pudru
  11. barwnik do zywnosci- uzylam zielonego koloru
  12. termometr kuchenny
  13. mata silikonowa do makaronikow, mozna tez na papierze do pieczenia ale nie bedzie to ten sam efekt, beda zbyt wysuszone, albo musicie skrocic czas pieczenia

IMG_1672

Przygotowanie

W osobnej misce przesiej i dobrze wymieszaj razem make z migdalow i cukier puder, dodaj 80 g bialek i dobrze wymieszaj, az uzyskasz rodzaj gestego ciasta.

Wlacz piekarnik na 110 C i wstaw tam blaszke z silikonowa mata.

W szklanej miseczce zacznij powoli ubijac pozostale 80 g bialek, a w miedzyczasie zacznij rowniez gotowac cukier z woda. Mieszaj cukier caly czas, zeby sie nie przypalil. Cukier musi osiagnac temperature 115 C- choc ja doczekalam do 100 C i tez sie udalo.

Ubijaj bialka i w momencie kiedy sa juz dosc sztywne, zacznij dodawac cukier- w tym stadium bedzie juz plynny, jest bardzo goracy wiec uwazaj! Dolewaj cukier powoli do masy bialkowe, caly czas ubijajac. Jak juz dodasz wszystko, ubijaj przez kolejne 10 min, prawie do wystygniecia. Bialka musza byc puszyste i lsniace.

Dodaj jedna lyzke masy migdalowej do ubitych bialek i bardzo delikatnie wymieszaj szpatulka. Potem kolejno dodawaj cala reszte, az wszystko bedzie wymieszane. Powinienies uzyskac jednolita, dosc gesta mase, choc nadal w miare o plynnej konsystencji.

Wyciagnij blaszke z piekarnika i chwilke odczekaj, az ostygnie tak ze mozesz dotknac silikonu bez uczucia parzenia. Zacznij nakladac ciasto na mate. Ja do tego celu uzylam specjalnego pistoletu cukierniczego z mala koncowka. Na ciasteczkach pojawia sie pecherzyki powietrza, wiec musisz uderzyc blaszka o stol kilka razy, albo przekluc je igla czy patyczkiem. Zostaw makaroniki na jakies 30 min, i podkrec temperature piekarnika do 150 C.

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Dotknij palcem makaronik- jesli sie nie przylepia to znaczy ze jest gotowy. Wstaw blaszke do piekarnika i obserwuj!

W miedzyczasie wymieszaj razem mascarpone, cukier puder, sok z cytryny i liscie miety. Kiedy makaroniki sa juz gotowe i wystygly mozesz zaczac nakladac mase serkowa na jedna polowke ciasteczka i przykryc je druga polowka. Powinienes uzyskac okolo 50 ciasteczek- czasem mniej, zalezy jak sie udaja.

Smacznego!

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I used this recipe in order to make my macarons.

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37 thoughts on “French Macarons- the worst challenge ever/Francuskie makaroniki- najtrudniejsze wyzwanie

  1. Oh Marta, I have never seen macaroons so beautiful! I had no idea they could be made with a filling like that, either…to tell you the truth I don’t think I’ve ever given macaroons much thought. Until now! Great job!

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  2. Haha, “If you’re lucky it should make around 50-60 servings, if not you’ll be grateful for a few decent looking ones, this is the naked truth”. I can relate to that so well!
    Very nice pictures btw! I’m no pro, but I agree the over-exposure makes them look good!

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  3. They look amazing!! Absolutley perfect 🙂 as they say, ‘practice makes perfect’, all your attempts were all worth it to lead up this finale!! xxx
    Your story is so funny…surely by now you are sick on macarons???

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    • I was wondering what would you say to this combination and I hoped you would tell me that- I really was thinking of you while mixing the ingredients! You know that it was an experiment- I simply wanted to brake this very sweet taste of almonds, and just bough fresh mint- then realised had some lemons at home. I didn’t know if it goes well with macarons or not- just tried, and it turned out to be great! I made them very minty on purpose- my boyfriend complained about it, but my friends loved it, so I guess it’s a matter of taste. Thank you so much Ronit- we should do something like that together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m with your friends, the mintier , the better. 🙂
        As I always say in cooking demos, we’re not dealing with gold, worse comes to worse we’ll end up with a minor disaster, but most times we’ll end up with something wonderful and creative, as you have done here. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Macarons: when Friendly Fire leads to collateral damage | Ginger&Bread

  5. OMG! They are beautiful! So much better than the ones you had sent me, I bet!
    Good on you for keeping up the hard work – it took me four attempts, too, and I wouldn’t even have started if it hadn’t been for you. Thanks so much for this, Martka, it’s been a real pleasure baking with you!
    P.S. next time we’ll do spaghetti bolognese 😉

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    • Haha I felt exactly the same- I would not have continued if it wasn’t for you! Those ones I sent you it was the second attempt- complete disaster as you can imagine. Try this recipe- it will work out with some time I’m sure. LOL spaghetti!! Yeah, lets do that! 😀

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  6. Bravo big sister, bravo!!
    These beautiful little whispers of sweetness are so picture perfect!
    My darling Ginger is such a great competitor too, so this is a good challenge for both of you!
    Next time you get sick to your stomach send me the rest 🙂

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  7. Boy am I proud of you. I took a macaron making class at a pretty well known culinary school here in NYC and they were kind of a failure. These are stunning. Wow. My respect for your skills just went sky high. I hear the music, baby.

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    • No way! You did the class?? Don’t waste that skill girl! I wish we had something like that here in Lux! I was so proud of myself too believe me- after 4 disasters- I mean complete failures, I finally managed to get them done. Not all of them were perfect, but you know the texture, that they were crunchy outside and lovely moist inside- it happened for real so who cares about the perfect shape 😀 Oh I still hear the music 🙂

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