French Macarons with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

by Carrie on April 15, 2012

Until I made these I had never had a french macaron and most likely would have no idea what they were if I wasn’t on a cooking message board. They are suppose to be this very hard to accomplish, pain in the butt treat. So when the challenge was brought to me I went for it. I’m happy to report that mine grew feet which is good, they aren’t as big as they should of been, but they were there. I also didn’t blend my almond meal enough so there was almond pieces in it, next time I know better.

These are delicious and I can’t wait to make some more combos.

French Macarons (From: Martha Stewart)

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Found On: Beantown Baker, Originally From: Epicurious)
  • 2 oz egg whites (2 large egg whites or about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks butter unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg-white mixture is hot to touch or a candy thermometer reads 140°F (60°C).

Pour hot whites into a room-temperature bowl and whip with a wire whip until double in volume on MEDIUM-HIGH speed. When the mixer stops, the meringue should not move around in the bowl. Meanwhile cut up butter into 2-inch pieces. (The butter should be slightly moist on the outside but cold inside.)

On your mixer, remove the whip and attach the paddle. Add half the butter into the bowl immediately and pulsate the mixer several times until the meringue has covered the butter completely. To pulsate the mixer, turn it on and off in a jerky motion. This forces the butter on the top to the bottom of the bowl. Add the balance of the butter and pulsate mixer several times. Slowly increase the mixer’s speed, starting with the lowest speed and increase the speed every 10 seconds until you reach a MEDIUM-HIGH speed.

Continue beating until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Reduce speed to LOW. Add flavoring and continue to beat on LOW speed for 45 seconds. Then beat on MEDIUM-HIGH speed for an additional 45 to 60 seconds.

© 2012, Carrie. All rights reserved.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alida April 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

I am impressed – these look fantastic!!

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2 Everyday Commotion April 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Yum! I love macarons!

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3 Bill Robinson April 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

Just tried them – they turned out well. Now I will experiment with different fillings and flavours. Thanks for the recipe.

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4 Kate April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

These are gorgeous for your first attempt! My first attempt looked more like whoopie pies!

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