Almond macarons with almond buttercream
Cuisine: French
Author: Adapted from <a href="http://kitchenmusings.com/macaron-faqs" data-mce-href="http://kitchenmusings.com/macaron-faqs">Kitchen Musings</a>
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 mins
Makes 30-35
Ingredients
Macaron shells
  • 140 grams almonds (or almond flour); almonds can be blanched and slivered, unblanched and sliced; don't use whole because it still has too much moisture in it.
  • 200 grams powdered/confectioner's sugar (Don't make your own because it won't work unless your processor is POWERFUL. The kind with cornstarch in it is okay.)
  • 40 grams granulated sugar
  • 100 grams egg white (close to 3 eggs, but you will have some leftover--weigh it!)
Buttercream filling
  • 5 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 80 grams powdered sugar (a fat ½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
Directions
Almond flour
  1. Process your almonds to make almond flour. (If you bought almond flour, still process it. I've found that the grind is still a bit too coarse.) Pulse it on high speed for a few seconds, pausing for a second, then repeat, repeat, repeat. If you see your almond flour start to clump up, add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar to break it up.
  2. (Important! ;D) Run the flour to through a sieve, into a mixing bowl, letting the fine particulates leave the mass. Take the craggly mass and dump it back into the processor. And pulse and pulse and pulse. Run it through the sieve again. Rinse and repeat until you have no more particulates left, or until there's less than tablespoon of it.
Meringue
  1. Ideally, let your egg whites sit in an uncovered small bowl or glass in the fridge for a few days.
  2. (Important!) Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy, about 10 seconds. Dump in the 40 grams of granulated sugar and turn your mixer up to high and then beat the crud out of it. Beat it until you truly get stiff peaks, but not to the point where it breaks. It'll be glossy and thick-looking, like shaving cream. When you hold the beater upside down, the point of the egg whites should stick straight up. It should not wilt or curve over at all. You want a very strong protein structure so that it'll hold up when you incorporate the dry ingredients later.
Tant pour tant/macaronage
  1. Sift the almond flour with the powdered sugar two times, to make sure that there are no lumps and also to make sure they are well mixed with one another.
  2. (Important!) Work fast but carefully. The goal is to get the almond mixture incorporated super well into the meringue--and to not deflate the meringue when doing so. Sift in all of the dry ingredients over the meringue. For the first few turns, cut your spatula down the middle and gently flip the mass over on top of itself. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Turn the bow 90 degrees and repeat. It won't look like it's coming together very easily, but keep at it.
  3. Once it comes together, but there are still streaks of almond, switch to an under-over method of folding Swoop the spatula under the whole mass and swoop on over itself. Turn. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
  4. (Important!) People say proper macronage flows like magma. I have no idea what this means; I have never actually watched magma in action. Basically, when stuff looks well-incorporated, put down the spatula. Wait ten seconds. What happened? Did it move and sink into itself, and do the edges and ridges soften and become smooth and flattened? Or does it maintain its curves, ridges, and valleys? If it maintained its valleys, give it a few folds and wait again. Do this until it JUST starts seeping and melting back into itself over the course of 3 seconds.
Piping
  1. Scoop about a third of the batter into your prepared pastry back with a ½-inch round tip. (Seriously, ½-inch. You can prob get away with a ¼, but go no smaller.)
  2. Hold the piping bag upright, perpendicular to the Silpat or parchment paper, which is already on the sheet pan you'll be using. You want to come at this downward, straight—not at an angle—to keep your circles perfectly circular and flat. Pop the bag down close the the surface of the Silpat, squeeze, letting the circle of meringue increase in size until its about 1 inch, and lightly flick up to remove the stream. Pipe as much as you can on the sheet, they can be spaced about an inch apart. They will flow a bit and increase in size, but they won't get beyond 1.5 inches in diameter (after baking, too) if they were mixed right.
  3. Repeat with the rest of the batter, working quickly. Once a sheet pan is done, lightly bang it once or twice on the counter to squish big air pockets. Repeat with the rest of the batter. You should come out with about 60-70 shells (30-35 macarons).
  4. Let the macarons dry for at least half an hour. You can go up to an hour, if you want to be totally sure. (Though, honestly, they would probably make it if you popped them in the oven right away).
Baking
  1. (Important!) Depending on how reliable your oven is, how even the heat is,you might not want to bake the macarons at the same time.
  2. To bake the first batch, set a rack on the top ⅓ of the oven. Preheat to 300 degrees F.
  3. Once preheated, pop the macarons in for a total time of about 12-18 minutes. Keep the door shut except at the halfway point, where you flip the tray 180 degrees for even cooking.
  4. Take out the batch and let it cool completely before touching the macarons and removing them from the Silpat. Repeat with the other tray of macarons.
Almond buttercream (American method)
  1. Add powdered sugar to the soft, room temperate butter. Beat the two together until fluffy. Add in the extract. Beat a little more. DONE!
Putting it together
  1. If you want to be really precise, you can pipe the filling and sandwich well-matched macaron shells, but I honestly lose steam by this point and just spoon about a teaspoon on, just shy of the edges, and press the macaron shells together until the filling is pushed to the edges. ;)
  2. Macarons can be eaten right away, but they also benefit from some "ripening" in the fridge. Put them carefully in storageware and pop them in the fridge overnight. The next day, pull them out twenty minutes before serving and let them come to temperature. They'll be softer, with the meringue layer touching the buttercream, meld with it a bit so when you bite into it, it's crunchy-crunch, then soooooft.
  3. YAY! DONE!
Recipe by heo yeah yum at http://heoyeahyum.com/2012/11/almond-macarons-with-almond-buttercream/