It’s the final day of Macaron Week, and I’m sorry to say that it’s over. I’ve had a lot of fun learning about the history and technique behind these ridiculously cute little cookies, from Hisako Ogita’s “I Heart Macarons Book” to David’s discussion of his macaron background. I’ve got some plans up my sleeve, and I’m excited to tell you all about them – but that will have to wait! For now, I’ve got a treat for you.
Today, the lovely Helene Dujardin of Tartelette has contributed a marzipan macaron recipe that I’m sure you’ll fall in love with. Just like the rosewater and vanilla macarons, these measurements are given by weight to ensure accuracy. So, get out your kitchen scale and enjoy. Thank you, Helene!
Marzipan Macaron Recipe
For the shells:
- 90 grams egg whites (use egg whites that have been preferably left 3-5 days in the fridge)
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams almonds (slivered, blanched, sliced, whatever you like)
For the buttercream:
- 1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 sticks (180gr) (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup grated marzipan
Prepare the macarons:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
- Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes.
- Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 280F. When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
- If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily due to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy.
- Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
Prepare the buttercream:
- Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in grated marzipan and whip the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
Assemble the macarons:
- Lay half of the macaron cookies face-up on a cookie sheet covered with parchment.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with buttercream, and pipe a small amount onto each face-up cookie. About a teaspoon should do. Do one test cookie to make sure you like the amount of frosting – there should be about 1/4-inch of frosting when you sandwich on the macaron’s top cookie.
- Continue until all cookies have a layer of buttercream, then top each with a second cookie to make a sandwich.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week, but they’ll taste best within the first three days.