Tuesday, December 15, 2009

French Macarons

I have made so many pastries and desserts over the years. Creme brulee to shortbread cookies, I've made them all.

My last semester of culinary school I had the pleasure of executing many of the desserts and pastries for dinners and events. 400 individual chocolate ganache cakes with fresh orchids sent me into chocolate overload and as close to hypoglycemic as I've ever been. With all the desserts i've made I have never attempted french macarons, maybe out of pastry fear or maybe because I didn't want to ruin fond memories of beautifully made macarons.

My favorite two are here in San Diego and a pastry shop down the street from Hediard's in Paris. Mmmm I can taste them now, crunchy, soft and filled with a lovely butter cream. Give me a great cup of cafe au lait and I am in heaven!

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had made cookie gift boxes for a select few people, I always add a few new cookies and macarons seemed like the perfect challenge.Yes, I do like a good challenge!

I chose a basic recipe from Pierre Hermes and added my own filling of Nutella, Vosges cocoa powder and heavy cream. They were delicious and before I could get them in the boxes my kids had eaten many of them! Sorry friends, you will have to take my word that they were that good!

French Macarons with Nutella Cream
adapted from Pierre Hermes
makes 30 cookies

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. egg whites at room temperature
pinch salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Beat egg whites and salt in mixer on medium until foamy, add granulated sugar gradually. Beat on high until egg mixture is stiff and glossy. Combine almond flour and powdered sugar and add to egg white mixture. Using a rubber spatula slowly fold mixture over until combined. About 50 folds or less. Transfer mixture to a piping bag without a tip.

Draw equal circles onto two pieces of parchment paper using a tbsp. measuring spoon 2 inches apart. Pipe mixture onto circles and let mixture dry on counter 30 minutes.

Place in oven at 325 for 11 minutes, rotating sheet pans half way through.

Remove from heat and let cool.


Nutella Cream

1 cup Vosges cocoa powder
1/3 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place all ingredients in mixer and mix on medium until creamy. Place in piping bag.

To assemble:

Take one half of the macaron shell and pipe a small circle of the Nutela cream in the center. Place second half of macaron on top. Continue process until all macarons are sandwiched.

Macarons will hold 5-7 days or freeze and bring to room temp. before serving!


Angie's Recipes said...

Oh yep....I love macarons ..only wish they were not so sweet...then I could indulge myself without feeling guilty.

Barbara said...

I may have to try this recipe. I watched the Daring Bakers experiment with these in November and hate to admit I've never made them. I'm not mad for nutella, so will do another buttercream flavor. Yours look divine!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Those are cute and stunning! I can understand being close to hypoglycemic with the chocolate ganache cakes. I just had a couple macarons from Bouchon, and this post is a great motivator for me to try to make them at home.

Chow and Chatter said...

these look awesome, and for you no problem your a pro

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous macaroons and I love the nutella cream filling, just heavenly!

Chris said...

Is it just me or does "French Macarons" sound like some kind of an ethnic slur? ;)

I really need to make desserts like this, I'm so lame in that department.

figtree said...

I am so scared to make these..they look so difficult..You need to open a bakery so I can buy them from you!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Sarah these turned out so pretty! I've never made macarons. Someday maybe, when I'm feeling brave lol.


Chef E said...

Wow I guess I never realized how macarons is such a favorite...I am not fond of them, but maybe I should eat my own words and retry them...yours are certainly appetizing and sound easy for this baking challenged cook!

Sippity Sup said...

The brave and beautiful Macaron I have never had the guts to try and make one. Now I am doublty intimidated as these are perfect! GREG

La Pastry Chef said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love all the macaron posts on all the blogs lately. Nobody is tired of them yet! Yours look perfect. I am most fond of the Nutella cream filling. Happy Holidays :)