Friday, April 30, 2010


Have you ever heard of Tartellete???? If you have, I am sure that you associate her with the Queen of Macarons. For those of you not familiar with Tartellete -Helen actually, she is an amazing food photographer and has a site where you can find many many not only delicious treats but beautiful pictures. The first time I ever tried any of her recipes were the Apricot Teacakes which many of you seemed to enjoy. Well, Helen also makes amazing macarons. I assume they are amazing b/c I made some last week and they were delicious. So elegant also. Helen has probably over 20 different recipes for macarons. Let me clarify, the recipe is the same, it is the filling and the flavoring of the actual macarons are different. Some have lavender, some raspberry with mascrapone cheese, oh.... I am drooling already. These little treats are savory... For those of you who have never heard of macarons until reading this, like I did when I stumbled upon Helen's website, they are little cookie shaped meringues that are made with ground almonds. Then some sort of yummy filling gets scooped on one of them and the other macaron goes top up. Like Oreos. Yum. YUm. YUM. Either way, any baker knows that when she makes macarons and they come out right, it is a feeling of accomplishment. Why? I don't know... not that they are hard to make, you just have to be very careful. Well.. lets just say the first time I made macarons I didn't take pictures of them to blog about. I also wasn't taking step-by-step pictures this time but they came out perfect and I HAD to blog about them. I know... humble, right? Well.... If you ever want to feel satisfaction, try making macarons (although if they don't turn out right, don't blame me). The macarons I made were plain with a Ganache Mousse filling which I used when I made these. It is funny that I chose to follow Helen's recipe for Macarons from Farida's AZ Cookbook site. I have following both, but because Farida's were simple and to my taste buds, I decided to use her adapted version. Also, in all of Helen's recipes she uses 90gr wgg whites (about 3) and we used about 200gr (5-6 egg whites) to double the amount. Thank you Farida for the wonderful adaptation (and for letting me use your pics until I make macarons again) and Helen for the recipe.

Macarons with Ganache Filling
Basic French Merengue Macaron recipe by Helene of Tartelette. Published in Desserts Magazine -
slightly adapted by AZ Cookbook
Ganache Mousse recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Baking

You will need (for the shells);
5 large or 6 small egg whites (or 200 g weighed), at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup (220 g)
blanched skinned almonds, whole
4 cups (400 g) powdered sugar

1. In a bowl, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar and continue beating until you obtain a glossy meringue.

2. Finely grind the skinned almonds in a food processor. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and stir to mix. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

3. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. (You can also use a teaspoon)

4. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for about 15 minutes, until they have changed their color slightly. Do not overbake. Let them cool completely before filling.

Spread a thin layer of the ganache (about 1 rounded teaspoon) over the cookie bottoms. Press a plain cookie onto the ganache mousse. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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