Fear no more, Helene of My Tartelette wrote a detailed how-to article with step-by-step recipe and photos on macaron in the second issue of Desserts Magazine, Issue #2. Helene demystified the making of macarons.
100 g egg whites
50 g granulated sugar
200 g confectioners’ sugar
110 g blanched almonds, whole or ground
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue.
2. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a quick pulse if you use already ground almonds (that you have ground ground yourself separately.) It will break the powdered sugar lumps and combine your almonds with it evenly. If you use whole almonds, pulse thoroughly for a minute or so.
3. Add them to the meringue and start to give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: If the tops flatten on its own, you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple more folds.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe a small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on their size. Let them cool completely before filling.
6. Pipe or spoon some of your filling on one shell and sandwich with another one.
For flavored macarons:
1. After the first few folding strokes necessary to start incorporating the ingredients, divide your batter into 3 equal amounts.
2. Keep one third plain, add 2 teaspoons sifted matcha powder to another one, and 1 Tablespoon red powdered food coloring to the last one.
3. Proceed with the rest of the recipe, following the folding guidelines explained above.
4. Sprinkle crushed toffee on the plain shells right after they were piped.
For the fillings, use a white chocolate ganache for the matcha macarons, a toffee bittersweet chocolate ganache for the plain ones and a white chocolate raspberry ganache for the red ones.
Bittersweet Toffee Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup crushed toffee
In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate to it. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. Let cool until firm enough to put in a small piping bag.
For the White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache:
1-1/2 cup white chocolate 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam
Heat the cream until hot. Drop the chocolate and jam into the cream and stir until all are melted and come together. Let cool until firm enough to pipe or spoon onto the macaron shells.
For the white Chocolate Ganache:
Proceed as for the one above, minus the raspberry jam.