This recipe for Ladurée macarons was chosen as one of the 2011 Blogher Voice of the Year in the Visuals category.
Thank you to the judges!
Edited: I’m having blog-wide technical issues because of the accents in many of the photo titles and to resolve the issues quickly, I’ve needed to remove all the unnecessary pictures and upload a few unedited replacements. Sorry about the inferior quality of the photos.
If you were a macaron, you would want to be a Ladurée macaron.
Now don’t confuse macaron with macaroon, which contains coconut and is a poor cousin to the macaron. Macarons are delicate chewy puffs of a creation that contain egg white, powdered sugar and ground almonds and come in a variety of flavors (lavender, green tea, coffee, raspberry, orange …).
Pronunciation: Ladurée is pronounced “la-dyur-ay“. And for “macaron” the ending of the word sounds like the word « own »: maca-rown. Except you just hint at the « n » – you don’t really pronounce it. Kind of like a pig snorting.
Okay. Perhaps I’d better stop here.
Let’s pretend we live in Paris and are on our way to Ladurée (in a DIY sort of way). I got my official recipe here.
You need 275 grams of ground almonds. That’s almost 10 oz and about 3 1/3 cups. I’m giving you the approximate equivalent, but I cannot guarantee it is as exact as measuring it, and macarons have to be pretty exact. Thank goodness for this Ikea scale I found that gives both grams and ounces.
And then 250 grams of confectioner’s sugar, which ends up being not quite 2 cups.
Put the almonds and confectioner’s sugar into a cuisinart and mix them. You need to sift it afterwards but I lost my sifter in the move and didn’t do that step, and it turned out fine.
Set aside a cup of fine granular sugar (210 grams) and take out your eggs. You’re going to separate 6 eggs, putting the whites into one bowl –
and one more egg white in a smaller bowl that you’ll need later. With all those yolks you can make some flan. Beat them until they’re firm (including the solitary white – separately), and then add the granular sugar a third cup at a time, mixing in between.
When you’re done beating your eggs and sugar, it should look like this.
Then you can add your almond and confectioner’s sugar mix part by part and turn it over with a soft spatula until thoroughly mixed.
Here is where you’re going to need that last egg white that you beat in a smaller bowl. Except you just need half. Put half of the egg white (mine was partly stiff and partly runny) into the macaron mixture. This will help it to be just a tad runnier so that the macarons spread better. You can discard the other half of the egg white.
Cover your baking sheets (2-3) with wax paper, and prepare your decorating bag with a round, medium tip. I’m sorry, but mine doesn’t have a measurement.
Now you need to fill the decorating bag and form your macarons. This recipe makes about 60 small macarons. Remember that it will spread so what you think is quite small will expand a bit during the cooking. And by small, I mean a macaron that can be eaten in one to two bites (my finished macarons below are medium sized).
When you’ve filled your sheet, preheat the oven to 325°F (or 160°C) for ten minutes. During that time your macarons will have a chance to settle. Shake the baking sheet gently, or give one firm tap to help them flatten just a bit.
Bake them for 15 minutes and turn the pan around in the oven halfway through if your oven doesn’t heat properly.
Here were some of my issues: My dinky oven was too hot the first time, which I realized when I went to turn the sheet. I turned the oven down a bit and left the oven door partway open. My baking sheet is also old and not entirely flat, which caused some of the macarons to run into each other.
But here are my macarons, for better or worse.
When they come out of the oven, take a glass and pour a bit of water under each corner of the wax paper. This will cause it to steam and release the macarons more easily from the paper when they’re cool. When you take them off the paper, let them cool even more on a baking rack.
While those are cooling, let’s make the ganache, which is a universal recipe, not necessarily a Ladurée one. What is ganache, you ask? Why, it’s chocolate cream filling, like … like what you’d find inside of a Dunkin’ Donut.
Okay, moving right along.
Take 200 grams (8 oz) of bittersweet chocolate – between 50 and 70% – and chop it up.
Heat 125 grams of heavy cream (5 oz) until it just starts boiling, and then pour it over the chocolate pieces and let it sit for a minute or two.
Stir it just a bit to help the chocolate melt.
And then take 50 grams of butter (3 ½ T butter) and cut it into pieces. Add those to the chocolate/cream mixture and mix thoroughly.
You may need to put this in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to let it firm up before spreading it.
Then you cover the bottom of one macaron with ganache
and cover that with another macaron to make a cute little roly-poly sandwich.
Here are some of my perfect(ly respectable) macarons.
And now we can pretend we’re in a Parisian café together and get a little espresso to serve with our macaron.
Oh. Except I forgot you’re supposed to store them in the refrigerator 24 hours before eating.
Hmmm. Tap, tap, tap. Only 23 more hours and 55 minutes to go.
- Ingredients for Ladurée Macarons
- 275 grams of ground almond
- 250 grams confectioner's sugar
- 7 egg whites
- 1 cup regular sugar
- Ganache (not Ladurée):
- 200 grams of bitter chocolate
- 125 grams heavy cream
- 50 grams butter
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Put the almond powder and confectioner sugar in the blender and mix it.
- Separate the egg whites, keeping one egg white separate, and using the yolks for another recipe.
- Beat the egg whites (both the 6 and the separate one in two bowls).
- Add the sugar ⅓ cup at a time to the egg whites.
- Slowly fold the egg whites + sugar into the confectioner sugar plus almond powder.
- When that's thoroughly mixed, add a half of the egg white that's separate to make it runnier.
- Spread wax paper over the baking sheets (3) and form little rounds, using a decorating bag.
- Tap the pan to let the batter settle in place, then wait 15 minutes before putting in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes and turn halfway if needed.
- Heat the milk but take off just before boiling.
- Chop chocolate.
- Pour hot milk over the chocolate in a bowl and let sit for a minute.
- Stir gently until everything melts.
- Beat the chocolate-milk mixture, along with the butter and let it cool.
- Spread the ganache on the underside of the macaron, and top with another to make a sandwich.
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