Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ashley: French Macaroons

Wow...I'm so impressed with all the Macaroons. I wanted to do a trial run before easter so I decided to try my little Macaroons. I went with a plain almond macaroon that just used ground almond slices. My recipe also had part confectioner's sugar/part granulated sugar. The swiss buttercream was nice and I added a little pink to the color just for a cuteness factor.

Even though I didn't like my little almond specs you can see in the cookies....these little gems are SO TASTY!! I didn't have high expectations. I thought they would be too sweet for me....I was wrong. I'll definitely make them again.....not that difficult at all.

I have some coconut that I would like to use up before our move. Any suggestions as to a coconut macaroon. I'm a macaroon novice, so what's the difference of those 'haystack' looking coconut macaroons and the french ones? I also have a gazillion egg yolks sitting around from a failed angel food cake over the weekend and these macaroons - any suggestions for those? I was thinking maybe some lemon curd filling?


Blogger Kate said...

These look fab Ashley, I love your plate.
With your egg yolks you could do a buttercream that uses them. I used the folllowing recipe for the macaroons and it ws out of this world.
Bo Fribergs from Professional Pastry Chef. His quantities are for a shed load so would have to adjust I suspect. Then if you wanted it for easter you could freeze it.

Vanilla Buttercream (French Method)

1lb 8oz granulted sugar
1/2 cup water
12 egg yolks (1 cup)
2 pounds unsalted butter @ room temp.
2 t vanilla extract.

1. Place water and sugar in a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. reduce heat and boil until sugar syrup reaches 240 F ( i dont have a sugar thermometer so just left it for a while to get syrupy).

2. While syrup is boiling, whip the eggs yolks until fluffy and light. Lower the speed then carefully pour hot syrup into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream between the whip and side of the bowl. Whip at high speed until the mixture is cool and light in texture.

3. Turn to low speed and gradually add the softened butter, adding it only as fast as it can be absorbed. Mix in the vanilla.

11 April, 2006 13:19  
Blogger Elaine said...

Americans associate "macaroons" with coconut mounds with the rustic look - no sandwiching involved. Whereas the French macaroons are associated with these smooth chewy egg white based cookies filled with buttercreams, jams, and even curds. Kate, it seems like your mom is an American at heart ;)

11 April, 2006 15:04  
Blogger Jer said...

Wow - three versions of macaroons in 24 hours! Elaine, Kate and Ashley - your treats all look so beautiful and delicious. You've inspired me. I will make a batch this evening to serve at dinner tomorrow night (we're having a group of six over). I picked up a flat of fresh strawberries from a field up the road. Maybe I'll make some strawberry jam and fold it into a batch of buttercream as I really like Elaine's chocolate and pink combination idea.

11 April, 2006 17:10  
Blogger Cath said...

You guys have been productive! All so pretty. We just got back from a few days in Dallas for an early Passover with Rob's family so I've been out of the loop. Excited to try these in the next few days though...

Did make a tasty orange and almond cake while we were there. From the New York Times a few days ago. Here's the link:


I wish I had taken a picture. It actually ended up looking exactly like the one in the article (a very rare phenomenom with me!). Yummy and light and not too sweet. We used Cointreau in the whip cream--so good!

11 April, 2006 19:40  
Blogger Ashley said...

Ok Kate, I screwed up the buttercream. How is it that I always mess up with there are sugar and water invovled? Any suggestions? I think I may just get it too hot too fast. Also, I tried my second batch of macaroons. I did some coconut and lemon curd - very yummy, much chewier than the almond ones.

12 April, 2006 22:10  
Blogger Kate said...

Sorry! What was the problem? I found it took a while for the butter to be absorbed, it kind of looked curdled for a while but I kept beating and it seemed to go to the expected consistency. It really did take far longer than I expected and I stirred with a wooden spoon every now and then as the beaters made it look a little wierd.
Your coconut and lemon ones sounds suberb though.

12 April, 2006 23:39  
Blogger Ashley said...

So when I mixed the sugar and water on top of the stove and brought it to a boil it quickly became granular and sugary again - didn't stay syrupy long at all. I had this same problem when I made toffee over christmas. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. My stove does put out a strong flame - so maybe it's too much heat and I should heat it up slower.

The coconut and lemon macaroons are to die for! I gave some to a neighbor and she saw me this morning and said they were the best cookie she's ever tasted....told me I should be a prof baker - HA!

13 April, 2006 10:51  
Blogger Elaine said...

Could it be an altitude issue? And I'm saying quit the consulting thing and go into food! I'm going to try the coconut with lime curd and the plain jane almond next week.

13 April, 2006 11:13  
Blogger Jer said...

Ashley, do you mind posting the recipe for the coconut and lemon macaroons? They sound wonderful.

13 April, 2006 15:38  
Blogger Ashley said...

I actually combined the recipe that I made for the almond macaroons and incorporated things from a recipe that Elaine gave me to make the coconut macaroons. Here's vaguely what I did:
1 1/2 cups coconut (i dried out/toasted it in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes)
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 t vanilla

Oven to 300. Ran toasted coconut in food processor til fine. Mixed coconut with powdered sugar. Whipped egg whites until frothy then added salt. Add sugar about 1 T at a time. Whip until soft peaks. I agree with Kate that it should still be somewhat runny - not too stiff. Add dry mixture to egg whites a half at a time. Add vanilla. I used a pastry bag with Ateco #806 tip to pipe into circles. Bake 20-25 minutes rotating sheets halfway.

Lemon curd:
4 egg yolks
1 T lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
5-6 T butter
Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan and cook 20 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add butter a little at a time. Cool in fridge and it's ready to spead on the delicious macaroons!

13 April, 2006 18:12  

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