Finding the perfect macaron in Paris can be one of the hardest things ever, especially with so many options nearby. But once you find the perfect ‘mac’ and get addicted, it can be hard to keep paying over 1€ each time you want one of those delicious merengue cookie with perfectly delectable fillings from humble vanilla and chocolate, to fruity and even savory flavors.
So I decided to learn how to make them on my own and attended some cooking workshops [aka. “ateliers”] and studied how to make these enchanting sweets. I first took a class at ‘Le Cordon Blue’ with about 10-15 other students and we made three different fillings and one style of macs (the French style) but when I got home and tried to recreate them according to the recipe (And videos I took) I couldn’t make them survive! I was so disappointed! I tried to make them a couple of days and weeks later but nothing! Just like a bad soufflé, they dropped lower than a granny’s bust when they needed to stay perky.
So I decided to take another class, but at another place I had read about a couple of times, ‘Le Foodist’ and this place was small yet quaint, the owners knew English (Cordon Bleu had a translator for the Chef), and the owners of Le Foodist were very nice and helpful. In class we learned 3 different fillings and two different merengue styles, the French and the Italian with the Italian being the most reliable for beginners. But since none of those fillings were my favorite, the basic vanilla flavor, they actually gave me a sheet with about three more flavors including vanilla, orange and lemon. I was ecstatic! It was hands-on training, times two as you get to try the two different styles and make the fillings yourself. After class we got to taste them with some tea and hear the history of the macaron (and a little bit of French history as well). It was very entertaining and I definitely recommend this workshop for people who want to learn how to make macarons, or tourists visiting that want to do something “French” and different from the regular tourists.
Recipe for Macarons (French Merengue)
270g powdered sugar
180g ground almond powder
100 granulated sugar
150g egg whites
Food coloring (optional)
- Sift almond and powdered sugar together
- Whisk egg whites on medium speed and slowly add granulated sugar until they form a glossy, stiff merengue and the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the colouring. (I suggest powdered coloring to not mess with the other ingredients because it is a very exact and sensitive recipe)
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients a little at a time into the merengue. Be careful not to over mix!
- Put the mix into a piping bag and pipe small disks on parchment paper. (You can trace a circle on the other side of the paper to make a guide)
- Bake at 160C for about 12mns. (Every oven is different and with practice you shall see how much it really takes you.)
- Remove from oven when done and let cool before adding the filling.
- Add filling and store in an air-tight container.
- Macarons taste best the next day as the filling has entered the ‘cookie’. They can keep for up to a week, but I’ve never had them for that long so I’m not sure!
As for the filling; you can find nice and easy recipes online or take the class as I did! 🙂
Ideal for: Entertaining, gifts and personal obsession.
By: Yessika Mármol
Le Foodist: http://lefoodist.com/