Raspberry White Chocolate Macarons
Happy weekend, dear readers! It’s Saturday here in New Orleans and, in true Baker at Law fashion, I am sharing a recipe that can and does take a bit of time: macarons.
No, not macaroons. Those are made from shredded coconut and are occasionally covered in chocolate. I’m talking about French macarons, the chewy, somewhat nougaty, almond flour based sandwich cookies that you find in fancy-pants bakeries (and all over Instagram). French macarons are, in my humble opinion, far superior to coconut macaroons. Why? Because I’m not the biggest fan of coconut. It’s not the taste, it’s the consistency. So even if shredded coconut is covered in chocolate, I tend to avoid it. Sorry Mounds, Almond Joy, and German Chocolate Cake lovers.
On the other hand, I definitely do not avoid macarons. And you shouldn’t, either. They. Are. Delicious. Not nutritious, but definitely delicious and well worth all the effort.
“But I’ve heard macarons are notoriously difficult! Aren’t they really finicky? And fiddly? Don’t macarons take for-ev-er?”
I’d be lying to you if I said macarons didn’t take some time and weren’t prone to minor disasters (and sometimes major ones). Honestly, I’ve had my share of macaron mayhem. In fact, when I first tried out this recipe, I ended up with wafer thin macarons that would not come off the silicone mat, no matter how hard I tried they refused to come off in one piece. They still tasted good, though!
My point is, just because macarons can be scary, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them out. In fact, I think it’s all the more reason to try making macarons. Bakes that end up looking like disasters are, more often than not, still incredibly tasty.
The even better thing about disasters is that they help you learn how to improve your baking and that’s what I’m really hoping my blog will help you do. I can’t tell you every reason why macarons may have failed, since I’m still learning to bake them myself, but blog posts like this one have helped me immensely and hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
But more on these specific macarons. These are simple raspberry macaron shells filled with a white chocolate ganache. It’s a really tasty combination. The white chocolate is sweet and creamy, offset nicely by the slightly crispy, fruit flavored shell. The next time I make these, I may either put a piece of fresh raspberry in the center or a small amount of raspberry jam to further increase the raspberry tartness.
If you don’t like raspberry flavoring or white chocolate, the great thing about macarons is that you can always substitute another extract or filling. Popular shell flavors include almond, vanilla, and chocolate. I’ve even seen Oreo cookie flavored ones. Fillings are typically a jam, buttercream, or ganache of your choice. Be as creative as you want in subbing out ingredients, but keep in mind that oily flavorings can cause a meringue to break down. If you want to use anything like peanut butter, it’s probably best to save it for the filling.
Before you get to the recipe, raise your hand if you caught my movie reference earlier. No worries if you missed it. It was a teeny, tiny Zombieland reference. But good job, if you did catch that!
Have fun trying out your hand at these macarons. Make sure you pin the recipe for later, if you can’t make it right now. And remember, these macarons are certainly not as scary as they might seem.
Raspberry White Chocolate Macarons
Crispy, fruity macarons filled with a deliciously sweet white chocolate ganache. Adapted from this Step-by-Step Guide to French Macarons over at Sally's Baking Addiction.
- 200 g confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 100 g almond flour, sifted
- 120 g egg whites Important: Egg whites should not be from a carton
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp raspberry extract
- 2-3 drops red or pink liquid food coloring
- 12 ounces white chocolate I used white chocolate chips, but you can use the white chocolate bars sold in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream/heavy cream
- 2-3 large baking sheets
- 2 large piping bags
- 2-3 silicone baking mats or large pieces of parchment paper to line baking sheets
- kitchen scale
- flour sifter or fine mesh sieve
Begin by "aging" your weighed egg whites. This simply means to leave the egg whites at room temperature for a few hours to overnight. Don't skip this step. It does make a difference.
Sift the measured confectioner's sugar and almond flour together through the fine mesh sieve or flour sifter 2-3 times into a medium bowl. This is essential to remove any large clumps of almond and/or powdered sugar.
Discard any large pieces that do not fit through the sieve.
Fit your stand mixer or hand mixer with its whisk attachment. Make sure that both the stand mixer/large mixing bowl you are using is completely clean and oil free. Even a small amount of oil can stop the egg whites from whipping up. One way you can ensure both your bowl and whisk are completely oil free is to wipe them down lightly with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar.
Place the aged egg whites in your clean mixing bowl with the salt. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks just form. You'll know their right when you're able to hold the bowl over your head (or your sous chef's head) without them moving/the peaks falling.
With the mixer on low speed/the stir setting, gently mix in the sugar, a spoonful at a time.
At the same speed, add in the raspberry extract and food coloring.
Using a rubber spatula or metal spoon, stir in the almond flour and confectioner's sugar mix. Do not over mix, as you risk removing too much air from the meringue and making the mixture too slack.
You'll know the consistency is correct when the mixture is sticky, glossy, and smooth. It should come off your spatula or spoon in a smooth, thick ribbon before rejoining the rest of the batter in the bowl.
Leave the batter to rest in the bowl for 10-30 minutes.
While the batter rests, prepare the baking sheets by lining with the silicone mats or parchment paper. I'll be completely honest here, I had far more success with parchment paper than I did with the silicone mats I bought, but that could be because the first time I made them, I over mixed the batter.
After the batter has rested, pour it into one of the piping bags. I find it helpful to place the piping bag in a large cup, but if you have another set of hands around, get that person to help you out.
Cut off about 1/2 inch off the tip of the piping bag. Pipe rounds of roughly equal size onto your prepared baking sheets. You want them to be about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches in size and about 2 inches apart. The size and spacing are important because the batter spreads slightly as it rests bakes and if they're not far enough apart they can become one gigantic rectangular macaron.
Lightly tap the baking trays on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Leave to rest for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, they'll form a skin and should be dry to the touch on top. Don't skip this last rest!
While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the oven is preheated, bake one tray of macarons at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate after 5 minutes to prevent uneven baking. If the shells are not lifting off the baking tray cleanly or the feet move/are soft when touched, they're not ready. Bake for another 1-2 minutes. Continue until all shells are baked.
Allow the shells to cool completely without removing from the baking sheet.
In the meantime, make the ganache by heating the whipping until hot, but not boiling, in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour in the white chocolate and set aside for 2-3 minutes.
After the 2-3 minutes is up, stir the white chocolate and hot cream together. It may appear to separate slightly, but keep stirring and it will come together as the chocolate melts.
Set aside in the fridge to cool and firm up slightly. It is ready to use when it's similar in texture to cake frosting.
Place the prepared ganache into the second piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the ganache onto the flat side of one shell. Place another shell on top of the ganache, forming a sandwich. Continue until you have no more pairs of shells.
- This is another recipe where weighing your ingredients is incredibly important. I know it can be tempting to use volume measurements, weighing leads to the best results.
- As I said in the recipe, I had far more success with parchment paper than silicone baking sheets, but if you've made macarons before on silicone and have been successful, go right ahead and use them! Don't let my bad experience scare you away from using them.
Question of the Day: What do you think of the new blog layout? Let me know here, on Facebook, Twitter, or by e-mail.
Copyright © 2017 Baker at Law