French Meringue Macaron Recipe from Macarons by Cecile Cannone with Cookbook Review

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Writing that I love to bake comes as no surprise to anyone. When I was offered a copy of Macarons by Cecile Cannone at no charge for my honest review I could not respond yes fast enough. I was quite excited to try my first macaron recipe.

Macarons by Cecile Cannone

About the Book:

Cuter than a cupcake and more delicious, the adorable macaron is très en vogue. Now you can make these crowd-pleasing cookies at home! Packed with helpful and inspiring color photos, this book offers everything you need to bake stunning macarons, including:

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you buy from my link I might make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. See the full affiliate disclosure here.

?Step-by-step instructions for baking perfect shells

?Simple tricks for making smooth, melt-in-your-mouth fillings

?Decorating tips for dazzling, artistic cookies

?Delectable flavors from chocolate and espresso to lemon and pistachio

About the Author:

Cecile Cannone was born and raised in Paris and is well-known for her baking skills. She opened the first Macaron Café in 2007 in New York City and recently opened a second location in New York to meet increasing demand. Cecile still bakes macarons everyday and enjoys coming up with new flavors.

My Opinion:

I have done a lot of baking in my day but I had never made these delightful little French cookies. The book offers lots of tricks and tips to help a beginner get started. A beginner macaron maker that is; I think to make these crunchy little delights one should have some decent baking experience behind them. I may be wrong but I don’t think these are the kind of cookies a newbie in the kitchen will be knocking out easily.

The book gives recipes for French and Italian meringue macarons and the cookies require specific ingredients. They are not cheap to make. But, I must admit that the instructions were easy for me to follow for the shells. I also made the Vanilla buttercream and that recipe was a bit challenging – if I didn’t know what I was doing I think it would have just been a big mess. Fortunately I had made this kind of buttercream before. The instructions were not very clear – “compact batter” what exactly is a “compact batter?” Well, I have a photo later on in the post.

I made two batches and while not perfect I (and the firemen) were happy with them. I do think that 2 1/2″ is a bit large for a cookie this rich. When I make them again I am going to make them smaller. The many varieties of filling recipes was great to have and I know I’ll be trying several of them in the future.

Rating:

4

ALL AMAZON PURCHASE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS WHICH MEANS IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION (AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU)


macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD

French Meringue Macaron Recipe

2 3/4 cups Almond Flour
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup egg whites (7 – 8) at room temperature
pinch of salt
3/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
5 – 7 drops gel paste food coloring

For the Fillings:
Ganache
7 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 TBS honey
2 TBS unsalted butter

French Vanilla Buttercream
3 eggs
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
seeds from two vanilla beans or 1 TBS vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 TBS chilled, unsalted butter

Create a template for your cookies. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and put the template underneath.
Preheat the oven to 300° with convection or 325° without.
Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar to remove all lumps making the mix as fine as possible.
With the wire whisk attachment on a stand mixer whip the egg whites and salt until frothy. Slowly add the superfine sugar then the food coloring if using as they whip to stiff peaks.
I made two batches, one peach using copper colored gel and one green using mint gel.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
Add the egg whites to the flour mixture.
Fold in gently using a rubber spatula. There is a trick to getting the batter right and I suspect that it takes some practice. I think I did alright for my first try!

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
Now the book says to fill a pastry bag and insert a #8 tip. I had a #7 and a #12. I started with the 7 but found the 12 worked much, much better.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
Pipe the batter onto the rounds. It’s a matter of just letting the batter flow out of the bag and onto the circle. My first run didn’t go so well but by the second try I had it down pat!
Let them rest for 15 minutes before they go in the oven. Bake for 14 minutes; after the first 5 open the door to let the steam escape.
Let the baked cookies cool completely before removing them from the sheet.

Make the Fillings:
Ganache:
In a saucepan over medium heat gently stir together the chocolate, cream and honey until the chocolate melts and the mixture comes together.
Pour into a bowl and add the butter.
The recipe says to let this sit a room temperature for 30 minutes and it will be stiff enough to use. I did not find this to be the case. I had to refrigerate it.

French Vanilla Buttercream:
Beat together the eggs and sugar at high speed until they double in volume and become fluffy.
Pour into a saucepan, add the vailla and heat over medium heat, stirring, until if forms a compact batter (?). This is basically making a very thick pudding base.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
Anytime I work with eggs I strain. So I strained this into a shallow dish and put it into the refrigerator to chill. It was very compact – gloopy even.
When it has chilled take the butter, cut it into small pieces and add it to your mixer. Beat it until it gets fluffy.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
Add the cool egg mixture and whip it, whip it good.
Fill the Macarons:
Now you are ready to fill your macarons. I will say that I made the cookies one day and the fillings on the second day.
Line the cookies up for filling.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD
I did half of them with the buttercream and half of them with the ganache
Very, VERY lightly press the top cookie on the filling until it spreads to the edges.

macarons, macarons recipe, french meringue macarons, AD

How Was this Macaron Recipe?

They were very tasty. I’m not going to lie and say these are easy – they are not. They took a little bit of effort. I am sure that like with anything, the more you make them the easier it is to accomplish any macaron recipe. These were baked for the firemen and out they went to the meeting. None came home so I guess that says something about how much they were enjoyed, doesn’t it?

I preferred the buttercream to the ganache; the chocolate was just too rich for me. If you are looking for a gluten free cookie, this macaron recipe will fill the bill.

More Fancy Cookies:

Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies

Linzer Tarts

Madeleines

Below you will see both artificial and natural colorants. Since I made these I’ve switched to using only natural food dyes. My next batch of macarons will feature them.


 

 

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