So I have overcome my fear of making macarons, I guess that like many things, baking macarons is a question of practice. I’m also branching out and inventing my own flavors and combinations. Personally, I find raspberries and mango to be a delectable combination, and I am a little put off by using food coloring to make pretty macarons, so I thought I could achieve a pretty color naturally with dried raspberries (it worked!). I’ve also been wanting to try jam fillings in my macarons. I actually used a store-bought, organic, mango jam inside these shells, but you could make your own mango jam, or substitute an apricot jam filling as well.
2/3 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (117 grams)
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
1/2 cup freeze dried raspberries
mango, apricot, or raspberry jam
1. Blend the dried raspberries in a coffee grinder or food processor into a fine powder.
2. Sift the raspberry powder, almond flour and confectioners sugar together through a fine-mesh sieve. Save the crumbs that are too coarse to fit through the mesh to sprinkle on top of the macarons.
3. Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar while the egg whites are still clear.
4. Beat the egg whites first at a low speed for a few minutes and then at a high speed until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Stop mixing as soon as the egg whites are stiff, if you over-mix there will be more air bubbles.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. This process is called “macaronage” and reduces air bubbles in the batter. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and continue your macaronage.
Repeat just until batter is glossy and flows like lava.
6. Rest a pastry bag inside a vertical cylinder to transfer the batter into the bag, then close the
top. Cut a small hole in the bottom tip of the pastry bag.
(You don’t want the batter to come out too quickly, I cut my hole to less than 1 cm in diameter.)
7. Either onto a parchment sheet or a macaron mat, pipe batter into 3/4-inch round cookies.
I find that a macaron mat helps to make the cookies uniformly round and the same size, I also found the raised rims helpful to contain the batter from spreading out on the sheets. I have trouble making perfect little round, identical cookies straight onto parchment paper.
8. Sprinkle the saved raspberry-almond crumbs onto the top of your macarons. Let the macaron sheets sit for 30-40 minutes to dry and create a slight crust on the surface. Drop sheets firmly onto the counter from a few inches height, do this 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. You can also pop any air bubbles with a toothpick before they rest.
9. Preheat oven to 160ºC.
10. Place the macarons in the oven and bake macarons for 8 minutes, then take the tray out and face the front to the back and bake for another 7 minutes. This way both ends of the tray get equally baked.
11. Only bake 1 sheet at a time. Let the macarons cool before filling them.
12. With a knife or spatula, spread jam onto flat bottom of half of the cookies and then sandwich them together with the other half of the shells. A note about jam filling: it’s best to add the jam right before serving the macarons, if it sits too long, the jam can make the shells soggy.
Store macarons in the refrigerator or freezer in a closed storage tin.
Serve with tea!
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