Almond Macarons Recipe & Video Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018-2019

Almond is a classic flavor and the filling also contains almond flour. Using a high quality almond extract will make the flavor even richer. These lovely almond macarons will brighten any occasion!

This recipe is from my book Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method.

almondmacaronsgroupA

INGREDIENTS:

160 grams powdered sugar, sift with almond flour
160 grams almond flour, sift with powdered sugar
150 grams egg whites
180 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
Blue food color gel

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over steaming pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium heat until it steams. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F.
Remove from heat and place bowl back onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture and food coloring.
Turn mixer to low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack.
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling.
Using an edible brown food color gel pen, carefully draw spirals on each shell.
When the shells are dry, match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.

Almond Macaron Filling

This is a European type of filling as it contains almond flour for a thickener and for the taste and texture. For more texture, you can use unblanched almond flour.

INGREDIENTS:

125 grams [4 ounces] butter, room temperature
86 grams [3 ounces] almond flour [sifting isn’t necessary]
86 grams [3 ounces] confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon almond extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Add the powdered sugar, starting at low speed and gradually changing to medium speed. When thoroughly mixed add the almond flour and whisk until the filling is smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
Scoop into a piping bag, the use of a tip is optional.

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
All other bookstores: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

Table top with background

VIDEO TUTORIAL

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Orange Macarons Recipe & Video Tutorial

By Lisa Maliga copyright 2018

Orange curd, like lemon and lime curd, isn’t difficult to find in many grocery, health food or even discount stores. I was in TJ Maxx checking out the jams and jellies section, which is nicely stocked throughout the year, when I saw a jar of orange curd and thought it, might make a nice macaron filling. The taste wasn’t as tangy as I thought it would be so adding orange extract was necessary to get a brighter and tangier orange flavor. But it depends on your preference and the brand you buy—or if you make it yourself.

This was also the first time I used egg whites from a carton. I let them get to room temperature, but that’s not even necessary. I’d read that it takes longer to whip them up and it took me more than double the amount of time. Instead of separating the egg whites by hand, and not having to waste any eggs or remove any shells, the time saved was negligible.

While this recipe isn’t included in my book Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method, it follows the same formula as the other recipes and is detailed enough for most home bakers.

orangecurdmacarons2

INGREDIENTS:

160 grams confectioners’ sugar, sift with almond flour
160 grams almond flour, sift with confectioners’ sugar
150 grams egg whites
180 grams confectioners’ sugar, sieved
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
Orange food color gel

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Sift the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in the arrowroot powder and set aside.
Put a template on a baking sheet and place a silicone mat or parchment paper over it. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg whites and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well combined.
Place bowl over steaming pot with just enough water, as you don’t want the water touching the bowl. Heat on medium heat until it steams. Test to make sure it’s hot enough by sticking your clean finger in the meringue near the center of the bowl. If using a candy thermometer the temperature should be about 130 F.
Remove from heat and place bowl back onto stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar.
Whisk on medium to high speed until firm peaks form. Egg whites should be glossy and if you flip the bowl upside down, nothing will come out.
Add food coloring and whisk until the color is incorporated.
Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment [if using one].
Add the presifted almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture and food coloring.
Turn mixer to low or medium speed and mix for up to 10 seconds. If that doesn’t mix the batter thoroughly, mix for another 10 seconds. Turn off mixer and with your spatula, run it around the sides and bottom of bowl to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Test for the ribbon stage. When you lift your spatula above the bowl, the batter should fall back to the bowl as one continuous stream and create a ribbon pattern.
Pour batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
Pipe onto the silicone or parchment covered baking sheets.
When finished with each sheet, bang baking sheet on counter to remove air bubbles. If you see any air bubbles, pop them with a toothpick.
Let shells rest on a flat surface in a cool, dry area for about 30 minutes. The surface will change from glossy to matte. To make sure they’re done, gently touch the edge of one with your finger. There should be no trace of batter on your finger.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Carefully monitor the baking process and check your oven thermometer. After 8 minutes, rotate the tray to ensure even baking.
Macarons are done when you peel back the mat or parchment paper and the shells don’t stick.
Remove from oven and slide the parchment or silicone mat onto a cooling rack.
Place macaron shells on a wax paper covered baking sheet or tray for filling.
Using an edible brown food color gel pen, carefully draw spirals on each shell.
When the shells are dry, match similar sized shells together. Pipe the filling on the flat side of one shell and gently place the second shell on top.

Orange Curd Macaron Filling

INGREDIENTS:

125 grams [4 ounces] unsalted butter, room temperature
125 grams [4 ounces ]mascarpone cheese, room temperature
40 grams [1/3 heaping cup] confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
2-3 Tablespoons orange curd
1/2 – 1 teaspoon orange extract [optional]
Orange food color gel

INSTRUCTIONS:

Beat the butter and mascarpone cheese until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, followed by the orange curd. Then, add the vanilla while continuing to beat. Mix for about 5-7 minutes. Add extract. Spoon into a piping bag. You can use a French piping tip if you prefer fancy edges. I used an Ateco #863 for this recipe.

VIDEO TUTORIAL:

Table top with background

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
All other bookstores: https://lisamaliga.com/bakingmacaronsswiss.htm

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Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method ~ Excerpt

(12)swiss (1)By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2018

From the INTRODUCTION

Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method covers the simple techniques you’ll need along with the best type of equipment you should have to bake lovely macarons. You’ll also learn how the weather makes a difference, why you should invest in a digital kitchen scale and oven thermometer. I’ve spent lots of time, money, and hard work to get these recipes right. They are all unique and some are more suited to those who like their macarons sweet and others who enjoy their macarons with a little less sugar and are more classically flavored.

The Swiss method is for any level of baker providing you carefully read each recipe thoroughly along with the helpful suggestions.

When you have the ingredients weighed and sifted, the egg whites separated, and the baking trays lined, it’s time to bake macarons, Swiss style.

Official Description:

Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

3DBakingSwisscover2This unique cookbook is designed for bakers of all levels. Follow each carefully detailed recipe and bake stunning macarons that will impress any dessert lover.

Helpful information includes the best ingredients and equipment to stock your kitchen, resources, tips and troubleshooting, plus the easy macaronage technique that will save you time and energy.

With a photo of each recipe, Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method, offers everything you need to bake beautiful and delicious macarons. It features 20+ new tried-and-tested macaron recipes.

Some of the flavors include Minty Chocolate, Speculoos [Cookie Butter], Raspberry Cheesecake, and Apple Spice macarons.

Available at these fine bookstores.

Amazon link: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Amazon UK:
 Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
PAPERBACK LINK: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
B&N/Nook:
 Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
iTunes: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Kobo: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method
Smashwords: Baking Macarons: The Swiss Meringue Method

baking macarons the swiss meringue method cookie butter speculoos macarons
Speculoos [Cookie Butter} Swiss Macarons
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Book Trailer

French Macaron Baking Adventures, Part 17: Macaroons vs. Macarons

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017

macaronmacaroon

Before I decided on the title of my macaron baking book, I posted a couple of working titles on a writers’ group to get some input. In both examples, I used the word macaron. An English romance author informed me that the word was misspelled.  Other authors came to my defense and said that the topic I was writing about was indeed spelled with one o, not two.

Macaron is spelled correctly. Also, as it’s French, it’s pronounced mah-kah-ron. Whenever I see it with a double o, I think of the coconut cookies. I like coconut macaroons, but they’re a completely different cookie.

How? Here are some differences:

Coconut macaroons contain shredded coconut as a main ingredient.

Macarons are usually made with finely ground nuts, almond being the most commonly used.

Coconut macaroons can be plopped, scooped, or shaped with one’s hands.

Macarons require piping so they’re nice and round and the same size.

Egg whites for coconut macarons are only required to be room temperature.

Egg whites should be “aged” for about two days for French macarons as this helps get rid of moisture and makes them easier to whip.

Coconut macaroons don’t require almond flour or any type of sifting.

Almond flour should be sifted at least 3 times for smooth, shiny macaron shells.

Egg whites for coconut macaroons are only whipped to soft peak—this takes about 3 or 4 minutes.

Macarons require egg whites to reach stiff peaks—a process that takes about 10 minutes.

Coconut macaroons can go right into the oven as soon as they’re put on a cookie sheet.

Macarons need to rest after being piped. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours.

Coconut macaroons can be eaten right out of the oven.

Macarons taste better the next day after the filling has melded with the shells.

Coconut macaroons cost about $3 per dozen.

Macarons can cost up to $3 each.

Coconut macaroons come in only a few flavors and colors.

Macarons come in an array of flavors and colors.

mangomacarons2
Mango Macarons
acaimacaronsgroup
Acai Macarons

Want to learn how to bake macarons? Read my book Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s GuideAvailable in eBook [free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription] and paperback formats.

Baking_French_Macarons_A_Beginners_Guide_3da

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Results for the Guess the Mystery Berry Contest!

Copyright 2017 by Lisa Maliga

mysterymacswhitebackgroundThanks to everyone who entered the first ever Mystery Berry Contest. It was a fun contest to run and I enjoyed reading the responses and guesses. 

Here’s the page where the contest and comments can be seen:

https://lisamaliga.wordpress.com/contest-guess-the-mystery-berry/

 

The two people who correctly guessed the answer were entered in the  Random Name Picker.

1st prize ~ $25 Amazon gift card plus the mystery berry recipe.

WINNER: robeader

2nd prize ~ eBook edition of BAKING FRENCH MACARONS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE plus the mystery berry recipe.

WINNER: Mary Rieves

To the winners: please contact me with your email address so you can receive your prizes. You can either leave it in the comments section, or contact me directly at: lisa_maliga@msn.com

Have a berry good week & Happy Baking!

mysteryberryjam1
Mystery Berry = Boysenberry

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Chocolate Espresso Ganache Filling Recipe

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2017

I used to think that a ganache was something fancy that went on top of a cake or some type of fancy pastry. I knew it was made from chocolate, but that’s about all. If you’ve never made this lovely and decadent macaron filling, don’t worry, it’s very easy to make. You only need a few ingredients but you should get the best type of chocolate that you find appealing. For practice, use standard dark chocolate morsels that you may have in your pantry, but if you’re a chocoholic, add a 70% cacao content dark chocolate.

chocolatemintganache
Chocolate ganache just before going into a pastry bag

Chocolate Espresso Ganache Filling

Ingredients:

4 ounces heavy cream [120 grams]
4 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate [120 grams]
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
½ teaspoon instant espresso

Put cream in microwave for about one minute until hot — NOT boiling. Pour over chocolate chunks. When melted add instant coffee and vanilla and whisk well until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Cover with plastic wrap. Just before getting ready to use a spatula to scoop the ganache into a piping bag with large round tip.

This is a simple recipe to make and it will really perk up your macaron shells. The touch of espresso gives the chocolate more zing! I used my favorite brand of chocolate: Valrhona.

chocolateganacheespesso2

Adding instant espresso to chocolate chunks

chocolateganachecream2

Pour in your cream and vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

chocolateganache
Whisk ingredients together until you have a shiny chocolate ganache!
orangegreenmacarons
Orange & chocolate mint macarons

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

This recipe can be found in my book Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide. Available in eBook [free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription] and paperback formats.

 

 

“Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide” Now Available in Paperback

By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2016

acaimacaronsmed

I’ve owned and read many cookbooks over the years. Some have been leather-bound tomes dating back almost two centuries. Others have been spiral bound and contained gorgeous color photos. As a teenager, I used to look at the cake decorating books, admiring the artistry behind each unique design.

Until this year, I never thought I’d write a cookbook. Sure, I’ve shared recipes before, as soap is made in a kitchen. But soap is easier to make than macarons and even a small bar lasts a lot longer than these delicate desserts.

Before the November 1, 2016, release of Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide, I was trying to get the paperback edition properly formatted. Being on a tight budget, I went to Fiverr and found a formatter who would do a 155-page cookbook with 54 color photographs for $6, including the $1 processing fee. What a bargain! I was skeptical that the newly listed formatter could do the work in less than one day as he promised. A day after the promised delivery time, I received a message. “Hi Lisa, I am high sorry for the delay. I had delay of my new PC yesterday and I cannot continue using the old one. I was highly disappointed the time the agent came in. So, I am greatly sorry for this late delivery of your work.”

A few hours after sending the email, he sent me the .DOC and PDF files. He even changed the name of the file to end with the word GOOD.

The title now read Baking French Macaron: A Beginner’s Guide.

Continuing the singular theme, there was a Table of Content.

The headings were out of bounds and didn’t pass CreateSpace’s interior reviewer. Some of them began on the chapter page. Photos were less than the required 300 dpi. The “good” ones were stretched like in the following example.

cspaceexample
An example of bad formatting

I politely thanked him for his trouble and contacted someone else.

Jackie [not her real name] gave me a rate of $30. That still seemed reasonable. A few hours later, she had finished the project. I was very surprised in the amount of time it took and was naturally suspicious. It was formatted without headings but everything else looked nice; certainly no stretched photos. Before thanking her for a job well done, I uploaded it to the interior reviewer. All the images were less than 300 dpi. I contacted her and she said she’d fix it. A few hours later, I was sent another version. The same thing happened.

For the next four days, it went on. Some of the photos eventually were 300 dpi, others were under that ‘magic’ number. Finally, when all but 7 of the photos were considered good enough, I thanked her and decided to forego a paperback edition. Even if I had a less costly version with black and white photos, it wasn’t worth all the time and aggravation I’d gone through. I couldn’t compromise and publish a photo-less book. I’d spent way too much time and money into making my book the best it could look.

I’d noticed another scam cookbook that was doing well, even though it had no photos and the back cover was completely blank. Some of the recipes had ingredients only—no measurements. That book was selling several copies a day. I was motivated to figure out my photo problems, and eventually I did.

The eBook cover I’d designed was nice, but I knew a professional could do a much better job. Print covers needed strong typography so titles would show up well.

Using my own photos for the cover, I didn’t have to be concerned about copyright issues. I’d been checking out numerous cover designers and I went through their portfolios. I found a very talented artist. The book cover was far better than the one I made on Canva.

Here it is!

Baking French Macarons A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Amazon UK paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

Barnes & Noble paperback link: Baking French Macarons: A Beginner’s Guide

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 baking_french_macarons_a_beginners_guide_3d