Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Friday, February 12, 2010

Macarons for Rachel

This is our 3rd daughter Rachel, who is a sophomore at university.  Right now she is on a semester abroad in Notting Hill in London.  One of the first things she discovered there was Laduree, inside Harrods department store.  For those of you (like me) who don't know; Laduree is a Parisian patisserie that is famous for their macarons.  Rachel was tipped off about Laduree by a friend who went to school in London last year, and now Rachel loves their macarons.

I make macaroons, not macarons.  Macaroons are cookies made from shredded coconut held together by meringue. Macarons are a whole other genre.  They are a French creation made of meringue and almond flour; no coconut involved.  They are also said to be very temperamental and difficult to make but I was determined to try.  I was quite sure I had never eaten a French macaron so I set out to find some to taste.  The are several pastry shops in my city that make real macarons.  I bought several from different places and tried them so I would know what I was supposed to emulate.  I hate to say it, but I was disappointed.  They were dry and slightly tasteless and really boring.  They had no flavor to speak of.  I couldn't figure out what Rachel was so enamored of, but I was determined to try and make some of my own.  I did a lot of research and then went on-line and ordered a book about making macarons.  After waiting for a month for the book to come, I got tired of waiting.  I talked to my friend Cristie (http://www.thetablerunner.com/2010/02/mac-vanentines.html) whom I knew had made successful macarons and I had seen a recipe on Deeba's blog (http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2010/01/milled-nut-flour-macarons-with-dark.htmland decided to start with that.  As it turns out, this was the same recipe that Cristie had success with.  Today I made my first French macarons.  It won't be my last batch!  Now I know why people love macarons.  They are simply delicious and unique. 

How I made them:

First you froth the egg whites, and then beat in the granulated sugar.  When your meringue is whipped to firm
peaks, you slowly and
gradually fold in the flour mixture

When it is just the right consistency (described as lava-like), you pipe it out in circles and bake.

Let them cool and fill with whatever you wish.
I used some of my homemade citrus marmalade and some leftover ganache from the cupcakes I made earlier this week.

All of the macarons were not perfect looking. Some were slightly lopsided.   But I got "feet" (the ruffly- looking bottom of the cookie), and the outer shell was crunchy, while the inside was nice and chewy.  I was quite happy with them.

 And...we all loved the way that they tasted.  Most importantly, I had fun making them and will continue to try other combinations until I get them perfect (or until Rachel comes home).  I have until the first of May to practice. Although I won't fool anyone who has eaten a macaron from Laduree, I know Rachel will appreciate the effort.


  1. Macaron are great fun and yours turned out so well. Even the little feet are perfect! Gorgeous color comginations too!

  2. Oh, they are just beautiful! You just have such a knack in the kitchen- your first batch and they look perfect. Rachel will be so delighted when she comes home.

  3. These turned out beautifully! I can't believe it's your first time! Now I'm wishing I had some Laduree macarons to try!

  4. Macarons are my favorite! Your's look beautiful! Just as good as Lauderee!

  5. Ana, Come on up. There are some with your name on them, but you'd better hurry. They're little things and they are going fast.

  6. I can't tell you how helpful this post was for me as I made my macarons! I kept running back to the computer to look at your pictures and see if mine looked anything like yours! Thank you!

    I love your blog! I am very inspired by all the wonderful things you make! I also got word that these macarons of yours were some of the best tasting out there!