Making Macarons (Macaroons)

A confection that has gained a lot of attention in the past few years is the Macaron. While a lot of us believe the Macaron originated in France, there has been some debate that it originated in Italy – “Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de’ Medici’s Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.[8]“  (Wikipedia)

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Regardless of origin, I still find this tiny confection intriguing. I love going to Thomas Haas Patisserie (North Vancouver) and find myself just staring at them – prettily boxed up – all shaped perfectly, and they come in a palette greater than what rainbows have to offer … choices, choices! Oddly enough, I have never been that tempted to buy a box for myself. I have only bought for others, I know – lucky them.

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I am probably going to mention this in every entry regarding sweets – that I am not a “sweet tooth”, and it’s very true. BUT, these little morsels have been tempting me for the past few years, I JUST HAD TO make them! I had tried these at a Christmas party last year, finally! They were really tiny, but because I was going to make them, I was curious as to taste and texture.

I found it quite uneventful. A mouthful of baked meringue with buttercream filling … it was “just okay”. Again, I’m not the authority on this, as I am not a “sweet tooth”. I just have the magic touch – everything I make is almost perfect. Working on my side is a very Type “A” personality, and if you’re going to do anything at all, pour out your heart and soul; otherwise, why bother doing anything at all?

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Meringue is being made, set at highest setting

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Vanilla Bean Frosting/Filling

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Dark Chocolate Mint Frosting/Filling

I thoroughly enjoyed preparing the Buttercream Filling, and this is something that can be prepared a day or two ahead – the buttercream just needs to be softened and whipped up again prior to filling the macarons.

Some of you may not know, as I was also unaware – there are four types of Buttercream Frosting/Filling – Swiss, American, French, and Italian. I made Italian, and I really loved it, yes, I love a sugar product! It was not too sweet at all – this would make an awesome icing for cupcakes and cakes, as their batters are already weighted with sugars.

I made two flavours of macarons – Dark Chocolate Mint and Vanilla Bean. The macarons would be Vanilla Bean with Dark Chocolate Mint filling and Dark Chocolate Mint w/Dark Chocolate Mint filling.

I had planned on making macarons since Christmas, and ensured I had all the necessary tools, not that I have a shortage of gadgets, machines, and toys. For Mother’s Day, my son bought me an icing kit – it could be used to decorate cookies, cakes, pipe macaron batter and filling, etc. I was quite giddy when I realized that the pastry bags were all re-usable, silicone!!! The only thing I was missing were silicone macaron baking sheets. My sister-in-law came to my rescue and bought me a couple – check out my stash!

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These kits can be found at Bed Bath Beyond – there were not as many available in Canada.  My sister-in-law bought them in Redmond on her way here.

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Making macarons was a family affair – my kids, sister-in-law and husband. Since they had taken a class before, they could offer their tips and experiences. We had so much fun.

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I like efficiency – here, we measured ingredients for both types of macarons, and have them on deck as needed.

I plan on making more macarons, as I want to make them for Christmas this year, perhaps as part of my cookie exchange … and I will find every way possible to naturally “colour” the macarons without using any food colourings.

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I’ve tasted many flavours and would say that raspberry chocolate and vanilla mocha are good combinations. I am dying to make Matcha flavoured macarons.

What are your favourite macaron flavours?

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This entry was posted by Lillian on Monday, June 22nd, 2015 at 11:27 pm and is filed under Baking, Christmas, Cookie Crush, Desserts / Pastries, Holidays, Tools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.