Macarons


Okay, sure, all right.  I know this theme has showcased only a very small sampling of recipes from the Ladurée Sucre cookbook, but hopefully as you have all since rushed out to claim a precious copy of your very own, you are continuing your own sampling at home?

I do have to admit, as much as I adore all things Ladurée (and oh how I do!), my baking enjoyment comes from being somewhat more fluid in the kitchen.  Being a little experimental – and not being worried if my plans do not always come of.  I find it harder to follow a selection of recipes strictly from one book.  Hmmmm, not sure what that says about me?

In saying that though, my very-greatly-loved-copy of this cookbook sits with a sticky note on practically every second page.  So needless to say this sweet Ladurée journey will certainly not be my last.  Those sticky notes will be tackled, all in good time.  But just not all at once.

Until then, here is a round up of my small, but well loved selection of adapted recipes from the Ladurée Sucre cookbook.

 

{ Ladurée :: Orange flower & almond kugelhopf } I had high expectations of this recipe (and every recipe in this treasure of a book, in fact), but my expectations were blown away.  This kugelhopf recipe is simply superb.  But I am not surprised.  It is Ladurée, after all, no?  { Read more here … }

 

{ Ladurée :: Hot chocolate & vanilla marshmallows } When there is a chill in the air, is there really anything more comforting that nursing a mug of warm chocolate (really should be called chocolate sauce), and some bitesized cubes of homemade vanilla marshmallow.  I think not!  { Read more here … }

 

{ Ladurée :: Hazelnut and chocolate macarons } These Ladurée inspired macarons were sensational.  Every element exaggerated.  The shell was excessively delicate and fragile and gave away to a thick and beautifully chewy centre.  This flavour is not in the Ladurée book but is a tribute to one of my favourite things in life.  Nutella.  { Read more here … }

 

{ Ladurée :: Brandy rice pudding } Sultanas have been soaked in brandy to add a depth of flavour to this simple rice pudding.  With or without the brandy addition, the pudding is very rich — hence the small serving size.  As such, it seems such a delicate dessert, even though it is a very straightforward recipe.  { Read more here … }

It was the reason for the dash across to Saint Germain that sunny, summer Paris day.  To sample as many flavours of macarons as elegantly possible.   To soak up the certain je ne sais quoi of the boutique – and lingering only long enough before being considered a pathetic patisserie stalker by the staff.

I recently came across some notes from that trip to France.  A hand written list of all the Ladurée macaron flavours that Mr Mélanger and I wolfed down, oh, I mean gracefully consumed, over multiple visits to Ladurée during that particular visit to Paris.  The notes were carefully written on stationery from the hotel we stayed, and had been accidently tucked away in the front compartment of a piece of luggage.  Finding it brought a massive smile to my face.  Oh how I adored the texture of those macarons.  They were so delicate.  So shiny.  The flavours so perfect.  All my own macarons came up short compared with the elusive standard that I had formed in my head.

Until now.

Enter the Ladurée macaron recipe.

After wolfing down (and yes, it was wolfing down on this occasion), about half a dozen filled macarons from this batch, Mr Mélanger declared these were one of my Top 5 macarons.  A big call seeing I have posted 30 different macarons on my blog over time (if you can believe it!), and made many more.

I personally would rank these macarons in my Top 2 – the champagne macarons made for my wedding surely need to be awarded a permanent first place, no?  Either way, these Ladurée inspired macarons were sensational.  Every element exaggerated.  The shell was excessively delicate and fragile and gave away to a thick and beautifully chewy centre.

Mr Mélanger was actually shocked I had got back on the macaron saddle again, so to speak.  The last time I made macarons was almost a year ago -  back ‘once upon a time’ when I was pregnant.  The year before that, though, I had gone macaron crazy, testing batch after batch for my wedding.  It was perhaps a combination of burning out on one particular sweet, and also trying to avoid something that had become too popular, as to why I turned my back on macarons.  For a while, anyway.

This flavour is not in the Ladurée book but is a tribute to one of my favourite things in life.  Nutella.  The jar of chocolate hazelnut goodness that is banned in my house.   (L-o-n-g  story.)  Close your eyes and in just one bite you could be savouring the creamy, delicious flavour of Nutella.

I WILL make these again, and this method WILL find its way in my regular baking repertoire moving forward.  This little recipe is the closest to producing something that actually tastes like a Ladurée macaron.  (Funny that!)  And they produce the best macaron around, in my humble opinion.

{Hazelnut and chocolate macarons} adapted from Ladurée Sucre cookbook

The recipe mentioned that the shell may crack on top.  This happened to my first two batches.  So I experimented with the oven temperature, and found my perfect point was 120C (not the 150C recommended in the recipe).  You may need to adjust your temperature accordingly.  But rest assured, any cracked macarons will taste just as delicious!!!

*  Ingredients *
70g ground almonds
70g ground hazelnuts
125g icing sugar
3 egg whites + 1/2 egg white
105g caster sugar
Ganache
100g dark chocolate
100g cream
25g butter

* Directions *
Combine the ground almonds, hazelnuts and icing sugar in a food processor.  Separately, whisk the egg whites to a foam.  Add a third of the sugar and whip until dissolved.  Add another third and whip for another minute.  Add the remaining sugar and whip until you reach soft peaks.  Delicately fold the mixture of ground almonds, hazelnuts and icing sugar into the egg whites.  In a separate bowl, beat the 1/2 egg white until frothy.  Then add to the final mixture, folding only to slightly loosen the batter.  Transfer mixture to a piping bag and pipe rounds onto prepared baking sheets with non-stick parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 120C.  Allow the macarons to sit uncovered for 10 minutes.  Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on your size.  Allow the shells to cool, and prepare the filling.  To make the ganache break up the chocolate and place into a bowl.  Heat the cream until it just reaches boiling point.  Pour over the chocolate to melt and combine.  Finally, add the butter.  Allow to cool and slightly set.  Once it has reached a good consistency, transfer to a piping bag and pipe ganache on one macaron shell, topping with another macaron shell.

Makes about 25 filled macarons

Have you guessed yet that I love macarons?  They have been a small obsession for a few years now.

So from the idea of celebrating the ’12 days of Christmas’ with holiday inspired macarons, to the selection of flavours (borrowing ideas from traditional Christmas desserts, cookies and breads), to the festive and quirky photographs, it has been a joy to share these creations with you.

Here is a re-cap of my seasonal inspired holiday macarons.  I hope you enjoyed the series and discovered a few new tastes and flavours from around the world.

Day 1 :: White Christmas macarons
Day 2 :: Pfeffernussen macarons
Day 3 :: Candy cane macarons
Day 4 :: Coconut praline macarons
Day 5 :: Rugelach macarons
Day 6 :: Maple date macarons
Day 7 :: Melomakarona macarons
Day 8 :: Cucidati macarons
Day 9 :: Eggnog macarons
Day 10 :: Cranberry macarons
Day 11 :: Chestnut macarons
Day 12 :: Joululimppu macarons

Day 12.  The inspiration?  Joululimppu.  This light rye bread, studded with orange and flavoured with anise and fennel, is festively traditional in Finland at Christmas time.  For the grand finale of the ’12 days of holiday macarons’ - and now that I boast half a dozen vowels in my last name - here is a tribute to my Finnish husband, and to Finland.

Hauskaa Joulua!

{ Joululimppu macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Orange food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Joululimppu Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
2 tsp dried ground orange peel
1 teaspoons each of crushed anise seeds and fennel seeds
2 tablespoons of unsulfured molasses or treacle

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the orange, spices and molasses.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 13.  The inspiration?  Chestnuts.  Chestnuts are used abundantly in French cooking and especially at Christmas.  They feature in a range of dishes including the famous Bûche de Noël – a seasonal chestnut log traditional in France.  Here is my salute to France.

{ Chestnut macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Brown food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chestnut Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup pureed chestnuts

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the chestnuts.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 10.  The inspiration?  A fruit native to North America.  The cranberry.  This tart and sharp berry is a regular guest at Christmas tables across America – and is one of my strongest food memories from living in Boston.  Here is my tribute to the USA.

{ Cranberry macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Red food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Cranberry Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup cranberry sauce

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the cranberry sauce.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 9.  The inspiration?  The creamy and sweet drink, flavoured with milk, cream, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg, popular at Christmas time.  Eggnog.  Here is my tribute to this rich, and decadent beverage.

{ Eggnog macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Grated nutmeg
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Eggnog Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the spices.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 8.  The inspiration?  The Sicilian fig cookie, Cucidati. Tender cookie dough is packed with figs and a combination of fruits, nuts and spices.  There are quite a number of variations on this cookie,  and I have limited the focus to figs, with a few complementary flavours within the buttercream.  Here is my nod to Italy.

{ Cucidati macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Coloured spinkles / Nonpareils
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with nonpareils.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Cucidati Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cloves
1/4 cup chopped figs, or fig jam
2 tablespoons of mixed orange peel, chopped almonds, and raisins

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the spices, figs, dried fruit and nuts.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 7.  The inspiration?  The honey and spice of Melomakarona, a traditional Christmas cookie in Greece.  Walnuts sprinkled on the macaron shell, and buttercream infused with cinnamon, cloves and honey is my spin on this honey dipped cookie.  Here is my salute to Greece.

{ Melomakarona macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Melomakarona Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cloves
2 tablespoons honey, to taste

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the spices and honey.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 6.  The inspiration?  Quebec Maple Date Cookies.  This little cookie showcases the deliciously sweet syrup most often associated with Canada.  Dates and pecans combine to perfectly highlight the maple syrup in this cookie.  Here is my tribute to Canada.

{ Maple date macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
2 tablespoons chopped dates
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with chopped dates.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Maple date Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of chopped mixed dates and pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the syrup and chopped fruit and nuts.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

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