These Bittersweet Chocolate Raspberry French Macarons were my second try at these tricky little cookies! My first attempt was at a french macaron making class at Sur La Table.
If you haven't taken any baking or cooking classes there I highly recommend! The classes are hands on and around 16 people total so its lots of fun and you learn a lot too. When i made the macarons in class they were cracked on top! Ugh!
I was so disappointed! So I went home and studied the recipe thorougly and gave them another try! I think they came out pretty good. So if you at first don't succeed with these cookies, give em another shot! Here are some tips for making your own macarons:
Mise en Place: The best advice I can give on making these cookies is to prep everything in advance. I prepped everything the night before so that in the morning I could concentrate on creating the actual cookies. Weigh all your ingredients! This is really the only way to get a good result.
The dry ingredients need to go thru the food processor and then thru a sieve several times. Make yourself a template of circles to place on your cookie sheet under your silpat (Sur La Table also sells a silpat with the circles already on it!). This is one case in baking where the silpat works much better than parchment paper.
The egg whites need to be strained thru a sieve and weighed then left on the counter overnight (or in the fridge) to "age" before using. Also make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before whisking. Clean mixing bowl and whisk with apple cider vinegar before using. This ensures there is no grease or fat that could interfere with the meringue process. Whisk egg whites until firm and glossy.
Probably the most important step in macaron making is the mixing or the "macronnage". You have to mix the batter enough so that it flows off the spatula like lava.
When the consistency is right, pipe even circle using the template as your guide.
Once the batter is piped, rap the tray on the counter to dispense any air bubbles and let sit for around 48 minutes before baking. The batter must sit at room temperature to create a firm skin over the tops in order to get a smooth top and little feet on the bottom.
Let the baked macarons cool completely before trying to remove from the silpat. When they are completely cool they should come off cleanly and easily.
Here is close up of the "feet" or ruffled edge on the macaron. Once the cookies are completely cooled go thru and match up tops and bottoms. I decorated the tops of mine with gold luster dust.
Pipe your desired filling on one cookie and carefully top with a second cookie. Chill finished cookies in an airtight container in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. You can also wrap each cookie in plastic wrap, place in zip lock baggie and freeze for up to a month. Let frozen cookies thaw then come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.