So, I made french macarons or better still, I tried to make them after seing videos and checking blogs for how to make French macarons. I had seen them a couple of times on food blogs and they looked really nice to add to Nigerians’ list of pastries. But I am not so optimistic about that. In my attempt, I ended up with some other kind of macarons, definitely not French which tasted like crispy shelled soft cookies. A friend who came around and had a taste called them ‘Fresh Macarons’ so I decided to name my macarons, ‘Frensh Macarons’ as far as this experience is concerned.
French macaron is a quite expensive pastry made of almond powder, sugar, both confectioners’ and granulated and egg whites. To your delight, you can add desired flavors but! those are it’s basic ingredients. They are really delicious and are not common in Nigeria. In fact, I do not think they exist. It is a western pastry and I think one reason it has stayed there overtime is because of the sugar quantity. Over here in Africa, we really do not appreciate so much sugar in one gollop as in the macarons. We love stuff like pies which barely contain sugar but rather filled with vegetables or meat. We love moderately rich pastry. I’m right, huh?
For my trial, I used plain wheat flour instead of almond flour along with other ingredients used in the recipe. The next time I’ll be making macarons, i eill try to get almond flour and after that, if theres still courage, I’ll do a twist! I’ll make macarons that will contain less sugar and more flour. Stay tuned, I’ll notify you when I do. In the meantime, here’s the recipe for French macarons:
Ingredients required for a typical ‘French Macaron’ are:
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
Assorted fillings of choice
The recipe requires flour to sugar ratio of about 1:2. Somebody say Sugar!
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line your oven tray/trays with 2 baking sheets. A double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat.
Sift icing sugar and almond powder/flour together in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk egg white till it’s all foamy.
Add the granulated sugar and keep whisking.
Add the food colouring and flavour of choice.
Bits by bits, using a spatula, add the dry ingredients I.e the icing and almond flour. In this step, you should be careful of losing incorporate air. Thus, stir by moving the spatula from top to bottom.
Put all batter in a pastry/piping bag with a 1/4 round tip or cut the tip of the bag to about the size of the tip of your pinky finger. And then, pipe the batter in small circles on the baking tray. Firmly tap the baking trays twice against the work counter to release any air bubbles.
Allow to sit for about 30minutes until you can touch the macarons with the tip of a finger and it’s not sticky. You’ll really have to be patient at this stage.
When that is done, put the tray in the oven and bake macarons for about 15 to 20minutes. When it’s done, it has the shiny look.
Transfer macarons to a rack to cool completely. Peel cookies off the sheets and sandwich with a layer of filling. And that’s all!