Macaron Framboise (Raspberry)

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It’s been a while since I’ve really gotten a chance to cook anything for myself, let alone photograph and prepare a post for all of you. I personally wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who’s been following along throughout the past couple of months–seeing the statistics on my dashboard really became one of the highlights of this hectic quarter.

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As I’m working my way through senior year, a few things have changed in the past couple of months. First off, I’m finally affiliated (sort of)! I’m currently pledging to become a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and my friends have definitely joined the bandwagon of excitement. Thanks JenaLyn for the awesome Secret Santa gift… this was definitely (and very carefully) used in the making of these macarons 🙂

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In addition, I’m starting my grad school search for a student affairs program. Even though  I managed to finish all of my finals this quarter on Monday of finals week, it really wasn’t much of a break time for me, but more so a time to work on letter of recommendations. But of course, kitchen duty called and I took it upon myself to feed everyone around me.

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I think one of the biggest inspiration for these macarons was my newest addition to the lens family, a 24-70mm f/2.8. I knew I wanted to highlight a pretty color– something that was fun. Raspberry jumped at me. I was lucky to have two excellent l helpers,  Katie and Megan, help out with my baking the past week. Unfortunately Katie had a final the next day this was being made, she definitely got to reap the benefits of my baking spree though.

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What really makes the raspberry flavor jump out at you is the fresh raspberry jam that is really irreplaceable to this recipe. Although you could probably substitute the filling with a store bought jam, I’d encourage using a fresh batch. It was definitely an experience for me and to quote Megan: “it really wasn’t that hard!!”

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Raspberries are first macerated with a masher over medium heat. Sugar, first whisked with pectin, then joins the mix with some lemon juice. Everything bubbles away for two minutes before its allowed to cool in a bowl covered with saran wrap pressed against the surface. Doing this, prevents a film from forming on top, yuck.

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Everything else is relatively standard to the Pierre Herme Macaron recipe. Feel free to reference the pistachio flavor if you’d like! I’ve had some success substitute the raspberries with other fruits such as cherries, blueberries, and mangos. Can’t wait to share some other winter-y treats with you in the next few weeks. I have a sugar cookie decorating series I can’t wait to show you!

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Macaron Framboise

Raspberry Jam originally on: Not so Humble Pie

Ingredients

Filling

  • 225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp powdered pectin
  • 375g (3 cups) french raspberries
  • 1/2 lemon

Macaron shells

  • 300g ground almonds (ground to a powder)
  • 300g powdered sugar
  • 110g aged egg whites
  • 4.5g pink, fuchsia, orr rose  food coloring
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 75g mineral water
  • 110g aged egg whites

Directions

  1. Start by making the jam. In a medium sauce pan, macerate raspberries with a potato mashers. Alternatively, process in a food processor or blend in a blender and then heat up over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and pectin and then add it to the raspberries. Squeeze in some lemon juice for some tang and then allow to boil for two minutes. Strain the seeds out if desire, and then allow to cool in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the bowl until cooled
  2. Process powdered sugar and ground almonds in a stand mixer and sift into a large bowl. Combine the other 110 g of egg whites with the food coloring and add to the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar.
  3. In a sauce pan, combine water and sugar and bring it to a boil. In a stand mixer, start beating your egg whites on low speed. When your syrup reaches 115 C, turn the mixer to medium (6 on a kitchen aid) and whisk. When your syrup reaches 118 C, remove from heat immediately, increase the speed to medium high (or 8) and pour the syrup down the side of your mixing bowl bowl. Keep whisking until your mixing bowl is warm to touch (50 C).
  4. Pour the merengue over the mixture from step 2. Fold gently.
  5. Pipe circles of macaron batter out on parchment paper 3/4 of an inch apart. Rap baking sheets against counter, rotate by 90 degrees and wrap again.
  6. Preheat your oven to 325 C and let the macarons rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, opening the oven door quickly twice throughout. At the end of the 15 minutes, remove from oven and check for doneness. If the macaron needs more time, bake for another 2 minutes and remove.
  7. Cool on wired rack and fill when completely cooled.

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Pierre HermĂ©’s Lemon Macaron

After making what was the best lemon dessert I’ve ever had, I didn’t want to just settle with a boring old tart.  I wanted to make macarons. Remember when I was trying to find the ultimate macaron recipe? Well I can’t say that I’ve found the recipe yet, but I can say that Pierre HermĂ©’s recipe comes pretty close. I didn’t come across Pierre Herme’s Lemon macaron when I was first making the comparison recipe. If I had made these macarons, I think my decision-making skills would have been severely impaired.

Here’s a secret to Pierre HermĂ©’s macarons: the shells aren’t flavored. After years of “research”, Pierre believes that the easiest way to infuse flavor into a macaron is by letting the entire cookie age and letting the flavor take over the shell. I don’t think he’s wrong – it’s worked for me so far.

Like his other macaron recipes, this utilizes an italian merengue. In fact, other than the food coloring, these macarons are indistinguishable from the pistachio macarons (as far as the shell is concerned). The filling is essentially the lemon cream, thickened with some extra almond flour. After aging in the fridge for 24 hours, these macarons seemed to be heaven sent.

As you can see from the pictures, I used the Trader Joe’s almond flour. If you’re interested in the difference compared to the typical Bob’s Red Mill almond flour I use, check out my recent post here. My friend/co-worker Melissa (shout out!!!)  mentioned that she would have preferred not seeing the brown specks throughout the cookie. As a designer and crafter that I regard highly, I can’t say I disagree.

Pierre Herme’s Lemon Macaron

Ingredients

Macaron Shells:

  • 300g Ground almonds
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 110g Aged egg whites
  • yellow food coloring
  •  300g Granulated sugar
  • 75g Mineral water
  • 110g Aged egg whites

Lemon Filling:

Method

Macaron Shell

Pulse the the icing sugar and ground almonds and sift twice. Stir the coloring into the first portion of the egg whites. Pour them over the mixture of icing sugar and ground almonds but do not stir.

Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C (244F). Start whisking on low when the water boils. When the syrup reaches 115C (239F), simultaneously start whisking the second portion of liquefied egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.

When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50C. Fold meringue into the almond-sugar mixture. Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Rap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, until a skin forms on the shells.

Preheat the fan oven to 180C (356F), then put the trays in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes, quickly opening and shutting the oven door twice during cooking time. After 12 minutes, remove the macarons and slide the shells on to the work surface.

Filling

Fold almond flour into the lemon cream. Pipe onto a macaron shell and place another macaron shell on top, squeezing gently.

Almond Flour Showdown: Trader Joe’s VS Bob’s Red Mill

Almond flour is the one distinctive ingredient used in french macarons. As a budding baker one year ago, I attempted to address some questions regarding the almond flour used in macarons. Over one year later, one of the top viewed posts on this blog is my post on almond flour for French macarons.

Today I want to revisit the reoccurring question that many emerging bakers have – does the type of almond flour used in macaron batter matter? To address this question, I decided to run a little experiment of my own, I made Pierre HermĂ©’s Pistachio macarons from another post using almond flour purchased from Trader Joe’s and Bob’s Red Mill.

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Bitter Chocolate Macaron

My fascination for macarons began summer after high school. I was interning as my real-estate-agent-of-an-aunt’s secretary. In the early afternoon, we visited some relatives who were leasing a studio. They had just moved into a unique 4 story town house/condo complex in Pasadena.  It was through them, I found my favorite pastry. Two years later, I’ve returned to share my joy and what drew me to macarons, the bitter chocolate macaron.

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Review: Merely Sweets’ Macarons

I don’t typically review restaurants, bakeries, purchases, or pretty much anything. I’ve always believed that each person will have their own opinions, especially when it comes to food. Today, however, I write this entry as a changed man.

I still remember my mixed emotions when I found out that I was going to be visiting a bakery that sold macarons. On one hand, I was filled with anticipation of purchasing my first macaron. On the other, I was afraid of ruining my self-esteem, especially when it comes to making macarons. And while these emotions followed me through the doors of Merely Sweets, a small bakery located in Brea, California, I wondered why I was hyped up over a dessert that I’ve made countless times.

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Pierre HermĂ©’s Pistachio Macaron

Today I will be showing you my interpretation of Pierre Herme’s macarons. I’ve tried to keep the recipe as similar as possible to the original for my “LaudurĂ©e VS. Pierre HermĂ©” post. The changes include using gel food coloring instead of powder, using granulated sugar instead of caster in the syrup, and substituting almond extract for bitter almond essence.

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Laudreé Macaron Citron

Today I will be showing you how to make macarons like those sold at LaudreĂ©. LaudreĂ© is known to be the creator of the modern macaron. They have been selling the now-famous cookies since the late 19th century. This batch of macarons were featured in my “LaudurĂ©e VS. Pierre HermĂ©” post.

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LaudurĂ©e Macaron Citron VS. Pierre HermĂ© Macaron Pistachio

Boomie’s Kitchen Macaron comparison between LaudurĂ©e and Pierre HermĂ©

One cannot be a true macaron connoisseur without having heard the brands LaudreĂ© or Pierre HermĂ©. Both highly regarded bakeries for the macaron, they have different approaches both in methodology and ideology. There is a lot of discussion between who’s macaron reigns supreme. I decided to take on the ultimate challenge of reproducing both recipes in my own kitchen and deciding for myself. Understanding that I won’t be able to produce the exact same results, I’ve decided that today I will be focusing on the shell of the macaron and developing my stance on the “Pierre HermĂ© vs LaudreĂ©” issue based off of their unique techniques.

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