Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 26th April 2013

What is a French Macaron? Traditional macarons are meringue-based French pastries with almonds about three to five cm in diameter. The cookie or shell element of the pastry is smooth on the surface with ruffled edges. The ruffled edge is commonly referred to as the feet. The shell has a delicate eggshell crust with a moist, soft centre. The macaron is usually filled with ganache, buttercream or a variety of jams.

A photo of a stack of French Macarons filled with Raspberry Ganache displayed on a white dessert dish with French Macaron Cookie Pop leaning up against the stack.

The name, macaron is a derivative of the Italian dialect “maccarone”. It’s said that the origin of these pastries should be attributed to the Italians. It’s believed that they were brought to France in 1533 by Caterina de’ Medici’s Italian Chefs. At the age of fourteen Caterina de’ Medici, an Italian Noblewoman moved to France to wed King Henry II. She arrived in France with her personal chefs and is credited for bringing many food innovations to France.

A photo of Raspberry Macarons displayed in a row on a white rectangle shaped dish.

Why has it taken me so long to feature the macaron? Very simply, I was concerned that I wouldn’t get the macaronage technique right. The ingredients are very similar to the ingredients used in Amaretti cookies. Achieving a perfect batch of Amaretti cookies is attributed to the technique used to prepare the cookies the same is said about macarons. Macaronage is simply the mixing of the meringue with the dry ingredients.

I’ve studied the technique and read a lot of tutorials but only after finding Helene Dujardin’s publication, Demystifying Macarons did I feel confident enough to try my first batch. I only wish I would’ve read Jill’s Silicone Macaron Mat review before my first attempt.

A photo of four Macarons with Raspberry Ganache in silver cupcake paper liners displayed in a row, one behind the other on a rectangle shaped slate board.

I struggle with piping (I really should take a class) so I thought purchasing the silicone mats would make the task of piping the perfect sized cookies easier, which it did but the same could not be said about removing the cookies from the mat. I cracked at least half of the batch trying to remove them.

A photo of Macarons with Raspberry Ganache filling displayed in a row, one behind the other, on rectangle shaped white dish.

The same thing happened when I purchased various silicone moulds for cakes and tarts. I completely forgot the tip I received when purchasing those moulds, although it’s not necessary to grease the moulds it’s recommended that the moulds be greased when used for the first time.

I plan on trying the mats again but I will definitely grease lightly prior to using. The mats are odd shaped and don’t fit inside a standard rimmed baking sheet thankfully I have a few larger baking sheets.

A photo of several Pink Raspberry Macarons and Raspberry Macaron Pops displayed on white cake stand.

I followed Helene’s advice for the macaronage using fifty strokes and the batter came out perfect. Jill described in her review that the mats affect the forming of the feet, which they did; my feet were flatter than most I’ve seen. All in all I was very proud of my first attempt not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

My nephew, Michael is getting married in September and we’ve begun planning for his fiancé’s bridal shower. Helene’s inspired me to make macaron bouquets for the table centrepieces. We’re working with a red and black theme so I’ll be playing around with flavours and the best use of the two colours.

A photo of a two Parisian Macaron Cookie Pops filled with Raspberry Ganache displayed in a small glass vase filled with pink sanding sugar.

In most of my research I found a common element, the pastries should be allowed to mature, at least 24 hours. The flavours deepen and the moisture from the filling makes the shell moister yet the surface of the shell remains crisp.

I picked up a great tip at Not So Humble Pie (great tutorial too). Apparently professional bakeries spritz the underside of the cookie (or shells) with simple syrup that duplicates the flavour in the macaron. Not only does the syrup deepen the flavour in the cookie but it also restores moisture in the shell.

A photo of Pink French Macarons Cookie Pops filled with Raspberry Ganache.

I played it safe with my flavours for these macarons, almonds, dark chocolate and raspberry, concentrating more on getting the technique right for making the macaron shells. Now that I’ve entered the world of macaron making I’m looking forward to trying various flavours in the shell and also experimenting with different flavours and textures for the fillings.

A photo of Parisian Macarons with Raspberry Ganache displayed in a row on a white rectangle shaped serving dish.

Happy Weekend!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Biscotti, Cookies, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (9)

9 Responses to “French Macarons with Raspberry Ganache”

  1. Mr. & Mrs. P Says:

    They came out beautiful!!! We recently made some for Mr. Ps sister baby shower and they came out great too… They are a hit with guests!!!

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    What flavours did you use?

  3. Ela Says:

    Hi Grace, your macarons look pretty in pink. I also like the Raspberry Ganache filling. I recently made a lot of macaronns and I don’t know if it was a beginner’s luck because it came out great. I used my silpats in making it, I didn’t even use a template and just piped away. The fillings I used were salted caramel, lemon curd, ganache and dulce de leche buttercream.

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Ela, I won’t lie removing the cookies form the mats got more than a little frustrating. I am going to try them again but I think I will test using a centre row so I won’t waste most of the cookies, it was like they were super glued to the mat. You flavours all sound wonderful but the dulce de leche buttercream I am drooling just thinking of that one! Hope you’re doing well!

  5. Brooke Schweers Says:

    I love how adorable these look as lolly pops. Raspberry and chocolate is my favourite combination so I can’t wait to try these :)

  6. Karen Says:

    I just made macarons using your recipe – but I tweeked it a tad – I added cocoa powder and Garam Masala to the batter. I used white chocolate, vanilla and Garam Masala for the filling. But the most exciting thing for me was I achieved “Zee foot”.
    My question is can I safely double this recipe to make a larger batch or should I just this this recipe multiple times.

  7. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Flavours sound amazing Karen. I wouldn’t recommend doubling the recipe, it whips up quickly enough I would suggest making each batch separately.

  8. Lina Says:

    Why would you not include the recepie for the macaroons? I have never made them and I would appreciate getting the recepie used by Grace Massa Langlois

  9. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Lina, I’m sorry the proper etiquette in the food community is to link to a recipe if you’ve not made any changes or adapted another’s recipe. I am a big supporter of this because it would not be fair to Helene. This was my first venture into macaron making and I found it quite similar to the method for making Amaretti. I will be making them again very soon and will be developing my own recipe thanks to Helene’s guidance. Once I’ve perfected the recipe I will be sure to place the recipe on the site.

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