Gorgeous French macaroons require finesse SanTan Sun News

Gorgeous French macaroons require finesse

Gorgeous French  macaroons require finesse
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With jan D’Atri, Contributor

How they got to be such a huge craze, I don’t know. French macarons are lovely to look at and delightful to eat. But the recipe can be intimidating. After all, there is a bit of a method involved in making them.

After reviewing Julia Child’s macaron recipe, I decided to hunt for a simpler version, and I found it. So, here’s the big picture.

There are only five ingredients to French macarons, so that’s not the challenge. It’s the technique that’s a bit tricky. But these gorgeous and tasty gems are well worth the effort.

Ingredients:

4.5 oz. almond flour or almond powder
(approx. 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) 

8 oz. powdered sugar (2 cups)

4.5 oz. egg whites, room temperature

(4 large eggs)

1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 oz. fine granulated sugar 

Directions:

Step 1. In a food processor, combine almond powder and powdered sugar and blend to obtain a fine powder. Sift into a bowl. Repeat sifting.

Step 2. In a mixing bowl with electric beater, whisk egg whites until foamy, about 1 minute. Add pinch of cream of tartar and salt. Whisk until meringue begins to thicken. Slowly add fine granulated sugar, a little at a time. Whisk on high until egg whites have texture of shaving foam with soft peaks. 

Step 3. Add sifted almond mixture to the egg whites. Using a silicon or plastic spatula, gently fold mixture until almond powder and egg whites are fully incorporated. Mixture is done when it is smooth, shiny and slightly runny (like a cake batter). Do not mix beyond this point. If using a coloring or flavor, it must be done at this point.

Step 4. Place mixture in a piping bag with an approximate quarter of an inch opening for the tip. Pipe about a nickel size of mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone pad, about 1 inch apart.

IMPORTANT!  Set baking sheet on counter for about 30 minutes at room temperature until a slight crust develops over macarons.

Step 5. Bake at 325 degrees (use standard bake element and not convection) for about 15 minutes. Allow baking sheets to cool and maracons to harden before lifting them away from baking sheet. When cool, fill with icing of your choice like butter cream icing or ganache.

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