How Anyone Can Make Fancy Macarons Like Ladurée

By Bon Jin

I’m not going to lie, macarons are easy to mess up if you don’t follow recipe directions exactly, but they are forgivable in the sense that they will still taste good even if you mess up. Making macarons, and getting better at making them, is a step by step process.

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So don’t get discouraged if your first batch fails. Besides, a professional macaron baker once told me if you’re shown how to make them, your chances of getting them right increase exponentially. So here you go.

Dark Chocolate Macarons

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 12-18 macarons

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7/8 cup powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar)
1/3 cup almond meal
¼ cup cocoa powder
1/3 granulated sugar
2 large egg whites or 3 regular egg whites
100 grams dark chocolate
1/3 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt

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1. Prepare all the ingredient ahead of time to make your life easier.

2. Sift in almond meal (make sure it’s in a separate bowl). Sifting removes the lumps and no one likes lumpy macarons.

3. Sift powdered sugar. Hold the granulated sugar for later.

4. Sift cocoa powder.

5. Pour the egg whites in a separate bowl. Wait until these egg whites warm to room temperature or you can cheat and microwave them for 7-10 seconds.

6. You can use a whisk, but an electric mixer will make your life a lot easier (and your arm less tired).

7. Slowly add granulated sugar as you whisk.

8. Check the video for the exact consistency, but you want stiff, fluffy peaks in your egg whites. They should be glossy in texture and when you lift up the mixer or whisk, the egg whites should stand up or form “peaks.”

9. Add in half the dry mix we sifted from before.

10. Fold or carefully mix in the dry ingredients so we don’t push out the air we tried so hard to put in our egg whites. Basic folding technique consists of lifting up the batter from under and over.

11. After you folded the first half, add the second half and fold until you get a rich brown color and the consistency of thick pancake batter. You don’t want pancake batter exactly because that’s too runny.

12. If you don’t have a friend on hand, you can place your piping bag (or ziploc bag) in a cup to hold up the bag for you.

13. Piping technique is not hard but it does require some practice. Check out the video to see how I do it or just Google/YouTube some basic techniques. Also, you don’t have to get a silicon baking mat, but they are super useful. Not that expensive, reusable, and anything you bake comes off really well.

14. After you pipe them, give the baking sheet a few firm taps, and they should look like this.

15. Preheat oven to 325°F while you wait for your macarons to dry for 20-25 minutes. This step is very important because without drying, the macarons will come out with cracks on top.

16. Once they are dry, bake for 15 minutes though this can vary depending on the strength of your oven.

17. Once they are done, let them cool completely. They will be too soft to handle fresh out of the oven.

18. While you wait, let’s start making the chocolate ganache, which is a fancy term for amazing chocolate filling. After breaking 100g of dark chocolate into small pieces (usually 1 bar of chocolate) add a pinch of salt.

19. Then add the milk.

20. Microwave for 30 seconds.

21. When you take it out, it won’t look much different. Let it sit in its own heat for a minute, then start mixing. Be patient, it won’t look smooth and beautiful until a minute or so of mixing.

22. Once your macarons are cooled and the ganache ready, time to assemble. Macaron top down like a hamburger bun.

23. Add the chocolate. Add however much you want, but too much might result in spillage.

24. Apply another macaron with approximately 3 psi (haha gently).

25. Let them sit and mature for about a day and they’ll taste amazing. Or if you’re impatient like me, just eat them there. Macarons keep for about a week or so like regular cookies. They won’t rot (depending on the filling you use) but they will get stale. And we don’t recommend refrigerating them.

Original post by Bon Jin for Spoon University – UC Berkeley.

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