Happy Valentine’s Day!
Any sweet plans today? Well I don’t know about you but Valentine’s Day always got me in the baking mood… it kind of became a tradition for me each year (last year I shared my Greek Yogurt Chocolate Banana Bread). I mean, I bake alllll the time but on Valentine’s Day I like to make something a little challenging and put in a little more effort because a big part of this day is about desserts, am I right?
This year I decided to make macarons. Ok, I may have tried these in the past too, but after many failures, I gave up (sigh). I remember the first time I made them and they turned out perfectly! But trust me, it was pure luck cause when I tried them over and over again it was one fail after another… pride comes before the fall, people. As someone who enjoys baking, macarons can be a little discouraging at times. But I promise, with the right steps and techniques it’s really not as bad as you think (and I thought). After my last attempt (nearly a year ago) I said I wouldn’t bother again… but what kind of food blogger would I be if I couldn’t make macarons? I had to try again.
So this past weekend, my lovely cousin and friend were over and we decided to make this happen- we were extremely determined. We each have experienced our failures in the past so we came prepared with our research and high hopes. And guess what? They turned out picture-perfect (literally)…and they tasted even better. My friend, Ema came up with the idea of decorating the macarons with candied rose petals (which are SO easy to make, see recipe below). They’re a great way to add detail, and elegance to your dessert. And yes, desserts can be elegant. 🙂
So if you’re a little discouraged and have no idea where to start, follow my basic recipe, and make sure to read my most valuable tips on achieving the best macaron outcome. I’ve tried this recipe twice just to make sure it was fail proof, so I encourage you to read through the whole recipe once and be brave enough to try it out too. 🙂
These are the classic French Macarons with my favorite filling, cream cheese frosting. Once you feel comfortable with your outcome, it’s so easy to switch up the flavours, colours and fillings. There are a bunch of recipes online that you can find. In the mean time, let’s master the art of the macaron.
French Macrons with Candied Rose Petals
Personally, these tips worked best for me, based on the recipe that I used.
- You don’t need to weigh your ingredients, I mean you can if you really want too, but I didn’t see a difference
- Sifting and mixing dry ingredients is a must. This is a delicate batter so you want to make sure you have fewer lumps to lessen mixing time and avoid overmixing (which is a big reason for failure)
- Eggs must be at room temperature. This is something I never really considered in the past, but now I see how important it is! Forgot to take your eggs out? No problem, let them sit in warm water, about 20-30 mins.
- Stiff peaks: This can mean so many things to different people, but just think of it as shaving cream, it needs to be firm and glossy, in addition to that, if you can hold the bowl upside down without leakage, they’re ready.
- Use almond flour, and not almond meal. As mentioned above, this batter is very delicate. You need flour because meal is not fine enough.
- Over-mixing/undermixing: this can be so hard to interpret, what helped me understand this consistency is thinking of lava; its thick, and runny. That’s exactly what you want. Fold your batter slowly, and try to achieve that outcome.
- Tapping: tap the pan after you pipe the macarons to eliminate any air bubbles, if you skip this step then you may get cracks during baking time.
- Resting time: this is something new that I tried and that worked out perfectly for me! Resting the piped macrons helps create a “coat” to seal their shape and structure. If you’re still unsure about the batters consistency, let them sit a little longer, up to 50 minutes, max.
- Piping mark: depending on how you pipe the macarons, sometimes a little tip remains, before you get worried, just let it sit for 10 minutes, and slightly dampen your finger with water and gently smooth out the tip.
I hope these tips help you, as they personally helped me achieve the best macaron. 🙂