French almond macarons

Since posting this last night, the lovely Angie from The Novice Gardener asked me if I would like to join her Fiesta Friday party. I am of course very excited for this and am super excited to see everyone’s contribution this week. It is such a great idea and looks like such fun! So here is my first ever Fiesta Friday contribution…

I made these little beauties weeks ago and have been putting off writing about them. I have no idea why but all I know is that I have been putting off doing everything for a few weeks. I have never been so lazy as to not clean the kitchen before going to bed but the last two days I did just that and this morning I woke up to find the dog fed and watered and little elves had cleaned the kitchen to perfection. By little elves I of course mean D. With his wonderful clean up job and a calm puppy, I was actually able to think positively and start my day off nicely. It is D’s birthday this week and I have been combing through my cook books and magazines to find nice things to make for him for birthday dinner. I have made my lists and time plans and am feeling energized.  So while D is working, I have a few hours to catch up on my blog. I am going to post about Macarons. If you can remember I made raspberry macaroons a while back. I wanted to get them right before I attempted traditional french Macarons. They are called similar names but are totally different little bites of heaven. The Macaron is meant to be super difficult to make. I have watched them being made on popular shows like Masterchef and they look so scary to make. But actually in real, they are not too difficult. You just have to be very organised and precise. And they do take a lot of time to make! I scoured the internet for recipes but decided to use the very first one I looked at. I found this recipe on the West Australian Life and Style website. I remember sitting down and watching the Australian masterchef series and Adriano Zumbo presented his macarons and asked the contestants to recreate it. Wow did they struggle and now I have every understanding as to why. I think they had a limited time like three hours, and I know that I take way over that much time to make them but add the pressure of a contest to that, man I don’t know how they did it! Anyway I decided to make this recipe as it is after all celebrity chef Adriano Zumbo’s recipe. Lets just say they were good, very very good!

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ADRIANO ZUMBO’S STRAWBERRY MACARONS

Since making these my first macarons, I have made several different batches to try different flavours and fillings. While they all turned out delicious, some of them had a few minor issues. A couple of times, the shells cracked slightly. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, but it meant that my mixture was a touch too wet. There are a few other things that can happen. If you are having problems, click here for Adriano’s  troubleshooting page. Really it does help, and there is always a solution.

For the shells:

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 40 g water
  • 50 g egg whites
  • 135 g pure icing sugar, sieved
  • 135 g almond meal, sieved
  • 45 g egg whites
  • Food colouring

For the filling:

  • 40 g cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 80 g strawberry puree
  • 200 g white chocolate, grated

THE HOW

Weigh all of your ingredients first. Label them if you need. Pre heat your oven to 140ºC (fan oven). Start with your shells. Take the sugar and water and boil together until it reaches 118 ºC. If you don’t have a thermometer, I counted about 10 minutes from start on a medium heat in a medium saucepan (hope this helps).

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In a food processor, blend your ground almond for a minute to make it extra fine. Add the icing sugar and blitz for about 30 seconds to combine. Tip into a sieve over  a medium mixing bowl. Any bits that don’t pass through easily, discard. Set the bowl aside.

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Clean and dry the food processor to the point of being OCD. It has to be clean and dry for the eggs to properly whisk. Attach the whisk attachment to the processor. Whisk the egg whites (50 g measurement). But don’t over whisk. You want soft peaks.

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While still beating pour very slowly the boiled sugar and water into it. Once it is all added, keep whisking until cool, about 8 minutes.

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Meanwhile, take your mixed almond and icing sugar. Add a drop or two of the red food colouring, depending on how strong you want the colour. Add the egg whites (45 g) and combine until smooth. Once your whisked egg and sugar is cool enough (about 50ºC) add a spoon at a time and fold into your almond mix until it is all incorporated and smooth.

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Next take your baking paper and on the opposite side, draw small circles spaced an inch from each other. I used a shot glass. Turn the paper around the right way and place on a baking tray, use a drop of macaron mixture in each corner to seal the paper to the tray. This stops it from moving. Using a piping bag, pipe small amounts onto each circle. Don’t fill right to the edge as when this is done, bang the baking tray several times on the counter to rid the macarons of any air bubbles. The mixture will spread a little during this and should now meet your circle outlines.

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Leave the little macarons out in the air to dry for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. This helps them form a skin before being placed in the oven. They should be touch dry. Depending on the humidity of your kitchen it may take the 30 minutes for the film to develop or it may take longer.

While the macaron shells are drying, make the ganache filling. Bring the cream, vanilla and strawberry puree to the boil. Pour the hot cream mixture over the white chocolate and mix, add in the butter and mix thoroughly again until all is well combined. Leave to cool.

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Once touch dry, place the macarons into the oven for 16 minutes. Do not open the oven before at least 12 minutes or they won’t cook inside properly. Take them out of the oven and cool.

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Once cool pair them according to shape and size and then pipe the ganache mixture onto the centre of each one and press gently together.

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Eh voila! French almond macarons…

57 Comments Add yours

  1. Love macarons, so fiddly to make! Yours look perfect

    1. Thank you Angie, I’m quite proud of them myself. I just wish I could be as good a photographer as you.

      1. Your photos are wonderful! Would you like to link this to Fiesta Friday? Macarons always get people excited. 🙂

      2. Oh I’d love that, do you have a fiesta friday post today? Trying to figure out how to do it now 🙂

      3. I’ll post it right now (early) just for you, so you can link right away. 🙂

    1. Thank you! These were regular sized but I have since made even cuter mini ones…

  2. These macarons look amazing and so light!

    1. Thank you, I was a bit worried they didn’t look perfect, but they tasted amazing!

  3. Nancy says:

    Beautiful macarons – such a lovely color! [And I think your photos look great!]

    1. Ah thank you Nancy, looking forward to reading through your blog!

  4. Lisa says:

    So many great tips here! I’ve never made these before, but I’ve always thought about doing so. They’re so beautiful and elegant – like something you would find in an exquisite bakery. They remind me of my tea parties from when I was a little girl. Just fabulous. Happy Fiesta Friday!

    1. Lisa, thank you so much! I have just popped over to your blog and I love it. Such a wonderful site and your salad looks amazing, can’t wait to read more over the weekend. Happy Fiesta Friday to you too!

      1. Lisa says:

        Thank you very much! So glad you enjoyed it – hope you find something that strikes your fancy this weekend! 🙂

  5. Alex says:

    These certainly are little beauties 🙂 Macarons are on my list of things I need to try making in the very near future

    1. Thank you, make them when you have time and are totally relaxed, my best advice to anyone trying them, but they are worth it and great thing is that there are so many different flavour combinations to try 🙂

  6. What perfection! I’m so glad I found your blog on Fiesta Friday and I look forward to following along!

    1. You’re too kind, thank you. I love the name of your blog and look forward to reading more.

      1. That’s sweet of you to say. I look forward to following along with you, too!

  7. Ngan R. says:

    Beautiful macarons–you can package these up and sell them! I would buy a dozen. I think these look perfect and the crispy, puffed edges are so distinctive of macarons. Happy Friday!

    1. Just popped over to your blog, it is so lovely and filled with great recipes and your photos are lovely, Happy Fiesta Friday !

  8. These look amazing and so delightful! 🙂

    1. Thank you, am glad you like them!

  9. They look stunning! I have never been successful with macaroons so I will have to invest in a sugar thermometer and give your method a try 🙂

    1. Seriously the thermometer has been used in so many things and I only got it for jam making :-), Thank you for your comment, so many kind words from everyone, makes me feel quite overwhelmed. I really like the sound of your chocolate and ginger mousse, must try it soon!

  10. These macarons look perfect!! I’ve been planning to make them for such a long time, but the strict instructions & the possibility of so many things going wrong always put me off. You are inspiring me to give it a try 🙂

    1. Aw thank you! Such a wonderful comment to receive… I really liked your post on St. Patrick’s day and Holi, looking forward to looking through your beautiful blog some more.

  11. Patty Nguyen says:

    I absolutely love macarons, but have never had the courage to try making them. Yours are perfect, Vanessa!

    1. Thank you, I have to say I love your photos, so clear and they tell the story perfectly! Cant wait to read more x

      1. Patty Nguyen says:

        Thanks so much! I hope you have a great weekend!

  12. Laura says:

    These are definitely a worthy contribution – and they sound truly decadent! yum!

  13. thebrookcook says:

    These are so perfect- I can barely stand it!! I am planning to make French Macarons for Easter this year (my first attempt….) and now I hope that mine looks almost as nice as yours. You have raised the standard!! Beautiful! 🙂

    1. Ah thank you, I’m sure you’rs will be beautiful and if they have a few flaws that’s nothing to worry about, they will still taste great. I know I had to eat about half of mine to pretend the flaws didn’t happen 🙂

      1. thebrookcook says:

        That makes me feel better… I may have to consult you during the process!! I was thinking of purchasing a silicone mat to bake them on, but parchment may be the way to go- what is your opinion?

      2. Well I have never used a silicone mat, but I have been told they are great. However you can’t draw your outline guide for perfectly sized macarons. For this particular recipe I think stick to paper!

      3. thebrookcook says:

        ok- thank you! 🙂

  14. I love your macarons and their delicate natural pink colour. Bravo! 🙂

    1. As always, you are very kind. Thank you. I am going to try out your carrot cake oat bran muffins today, they look so good!

      1. Oh, great! Let me know how they turn out, have a good day 🙂

  15. These are wonderful! They look amazing! Happy Fiesta Friday! I must say you have a lovely blog!

  16. WOW I love those but OH MY there is no way I am going to try and make those, hah, do you eat them allll or share them around? Looks lovely

    1. Lol, indeed it’s probably easier to buy them! No I don’t eat them all. I usually make enough to give some to my work and some to my partners work and then have enough to share with family or just freeze until I have unexpected visitors that I need to impress 🙂

      1. yum im jealous of your visitors x

  17. Perfect little macarons. Looks very pretty and yummy! 🙂

  18. Janine says:

    Beautiful, love the pastel pink color! I always find macarons to be so finicky, will have to try your method sometime.

  19. I love your recipe and will add it to my collection. Last month I took a class from Sur la table and next month a class from our famous Zingerman’s Bakehouse! I enjoy my cooking classes and hopefully I will become an expert like you – beautiful cookies are they not 🙂

    1. Thanks Judi, An expert I am not but you are very kind for a saying so. I always find the best way to broaden my abilities and likes is to also take classes and try new pieces from everyones wonderful blogs and the internet. Thank you for dropping me a line.

  20. Oh my… these are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration… I’m so happy to have discovered your blog on Fiesta Friday…

    1. Thank you, Fiesta Friday has been so great. I have discovered all these wonderful blogs, and yours is fabulous and cant wait to read through it ALL !

  21. acasadisimi says:

    Hi! i’m an italian blogger!also my recipe was published by a friend of ours in common, greetings from Italy!

  22. Wow! Your macarons look perfect. I took a class once to make them and haven’t gotten them right since then.

  23. chefjulianna says:

    These are beautiful! I am scared to death to try something like this, so I am very impressed that you made them. Thanks so much for bringing them to our virtual party!

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