bobwonderbuns Posted 13 Apr 2011 , 11:19pm
post #1 of

Hi Everyone!

I admit, I'm intrigued by the latest macaroon craze. However, with any new fad, the market is saturated with cookbooks on the subject. I have not made macaroons and quite frankly don't know where to start, so for those who have, which macaroon cookbook do you recommend (and why)?

Thanks in advance!! icon_biggrin.gif

27 replies
scp1127 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 12:09am
post #2 of

Google Dorie Greenspan and Helen Dujardin for great information. These people are considered the experts. The books are all the same in baking information. That is why I like the two bakers above. They are french bakers. I'm a purist (and my relatives came from France). The books are great for ideas. If you are going to sell them, Rigg, Colonna, and Cannone have the best ideas and look the most appealing to the public. The macarons just take time to master. I made templates that I can slide under my parchment. I'm not ready to sell them. All of the books are inexpensive.

Rigg... best. If amazon doesn't have it, Anthropologie is where I got mine.
Ogita... odd ingredients
Colonna... very good
Cannone... very good
Abraham... just ordered today, but reviews are great on amazon.

By the way, Rigg's brownie book takes brownies to a new level. I don't know about the recipes, but the execution is really nice... can be use on any brownie recipe.

Bluehue Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 12:23am
post #3 of

I have had this book for about 2 years now - and i couldn't reccomend it highly enough.
Especially if you are just starting out with making them.

Every step has a pictorial
And she gives you so many variations and what to use to make those variations.
Like so ... keep scrolling down and you will see another page.

http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2010/02/book_review_i_love_macarons.html


This is just the first link that came uo when i Googled I LOVE MACARONS...you can get it through Amazon cheaper if you wish.

Once you have made them - there will be no turning back icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
I get many requests to make them whether just to take to friends places or to put with an order.

Blue.

Wildrose6633 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 12:30am
post #4 of

Hi,
I also have the book "I Love Macarons" and I really love it the pictures and all the ideas she gives you are amazing. I have seen many books but I still love that one also. thumbs_up.gif

Wildrose6633

warchild Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 12:45am
post #5 of

I bought Hisako Ogitas book 'I love Macarons' but was kind of dissapointed in it. She recommends powdered sugar with no cornstarch for one and thats impossible to find in my area. A few measurements sound whacky compared to recipes I've read online also. I've been looking at other macaron books but haven't made any decisions yet as I want to make sure I get one I'm going to like this time.

Theres a good lengthy review on Amazon by Catherine Moore, about Ogitas book that pretty well explains my feelings too. Moore also had 21 replies to her review with some of them supplying helpful links. Check it out when you have time.

Bluehue Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 12:51am
post #6 of

Not sure where you live - re not being able to get pure icing sugar - icon_confused.gif
But Corn Flour / Corn Starch is the last thing you want in your Macarons.
A true Macaron should neverhave CF/CS in it.

I have tried other recipes but found Hisako's book and recipes the best by far

Weather has a lot to do when the setting up stage is happening -
Due to the high humidity over here sometimes it can take a good hour and a half before mine are touch dry.


Bluehue

bobwonderbuns Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 1:03am
post #7 of

Boy some great info here!! I've been all over the internet tonight thanks to y'all! icon_biggrin.gif As for the powdered sugar without cornstarch -- that's not available in the United States where I am (that I've ever heard of anyway.) Is there a substitute or some other way to achieve the same result?

Babs1964 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 1:19am
post #8 of

Can anyone suggest a good recipe for macaroons & fillings?

capitts Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 1:55am
post #9 of

Gesine Bullock-Prado has a new book out called Sugar Baby. The book is awesome and there is also a website to go with it for tutorials.

Also, I've made this recipe as a first timer and had no problems (not from Prado's book).

I do not have a food processor. I bought Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour-raw almonds already ground up, but I sifted the bag a couple of times and instead of forcing the bigger pieces through to become smaller, I discarded them. If you have a food processor, I would re-grind the whole amount of almonds called for with the powdered sugar. I also used regular powdered sugar from the grocery store which probably has cornstarch in it. I have made these four times (4 batches), but all in separate batches-not combining ingredients to make more than once batch at a time.

I've filled them with basic chocolate ganache, swiss meringue butter cream and played around with adding caramel to the buttercream, and lemon curd to the buttercream.

You'll need:
1. Strainer
2. Parchment paper
3. Almonds
4. Powdered sugar
5. Granulated sugar
6. Egg whites
7. Bowls
8. Round tip
9. Piping bag
10. Spatula
11. Stand or hand mixer

Basic recipe for French meringue macarons
Makes 35-40 whole macarons

Ingredients:
-100 gr (1 1/8 cup) ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams/1 1/8 cup)
-100-110 gr (3/8 cup) egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged 1 day at room temperature covered with clingfilm
-200 gr (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar
-4 tablespoons (about 45 gr) granulated sugar

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Sift to get rid of any large pieces (read visible) or lumps.

Mix the powdered sugar together with the ground almonds in a food processor.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out!

Fold the dry mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Add food coloring if desired and fold until fully mixed. The mixture should flow like a ribbon when you hold up the spatula. Dont overmix! If you want to test if the batter has good consistency, just dollop some batter on a piece of parchment paper. If the dollop slowly flattens, youre good to go! If not, just keep folding.

I usually find that a slightly under-mixed batter is better than an over-mixed.
If you want to color your macarons, its generally better to use powdered food coloring, or pastes that are low in liquid.
If you, like me, find it difficult to fill a pastry bag with only two hands, put your piping bag in a tall glass or jar.

Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets, I usually end up with two sheets. Remember that the shells will flatten once youve piped, so dont make them too big. About 2,5-3 cm (1 inch) is enough.
Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.

Heat the oven to 150° C (300 degrees F). Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven. Keep a close eye on them the last couple of minutes as they brown easily. You can test if they are done by touching the tip of a macaron, if it wobbles they are not done.
Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets. If you have trouble removing them from the paper, put them back in the oven for a couple of minutes. Pipe your filling of choice on a shell and sandwich together with another shell.

Flavors
There is an endless list of flavors you can use for macarons. The best way to flavor the shells is to use dry flavorings, such as dried, ground zest from lime, lemon or orange. You can replace half of the ground almonds with ground pistachios or any other type of nut. If you want to make chocolate shells, just replace 15 grams of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder (that means 185 gr powdered sugar + 15 gr cocoa powder). Chocolate macarons usually need to be baked for a few minutes more, about 14-15 minutes. Dont worry if the shells seem too hard and crunchy, after a day or two in the refrigerator (with filling) they will be perfect! Ground instant coffee is also a perfect way to add flavor to your shells, just add 1-2 tablespoons to the dry mixture depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor to be.
The shells can also be sprinkled with, for example, chopped pistachios or a pinch of sea salt to add even more flavor. Just remember to do this right after youve piped the shells on the baking sheet, before they form a dry skin.

Fillings
You can use any type of filling you like, my favorites are ganaches and buttercreams, but you can also use jams and curds if you want to. If the filling contains a lot of liquid I recommend eating them the same day. If not, keeping them a day or two (in a box with an air-tight lid of course) in the regrigerator will only make them taste better! It's best to sandwich the macarons and leave them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Filling suggestions:

Dark chocolate ganache

-150 gr (1 3/8 cup) chopped dark chocolate
-150 ml (5/8 cup) heavy cream
Put the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir until combined. Let cool until firm enough to pipe.

Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

-2 large egg whites
-90 gr (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
-110 gr (1/2 cup) softened butter (cut in pieces)
-1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl. Put the bowl in a double-boiler with simmering water. Keep whisking until the mixture reaches 65 degrees C (150 degrees F). Remove from heat. Start whipping the mixture with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until it is white and fluffy, like meringue. Whip until cool, this can take up to 10 minutes. Add the butter slowly, piece by piece and keep whipping for another 3 minutes. If the mixture looks soupy and grainy, dont give up! Just keep whipping and itll come together. Add the vanilla or any other type of flavoring and whip until fully combined.

Store filled macarons in an air tight box in the refrigerator for 5-6 days. It is also possible to freeze them once theyre filled.

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 2:02am

You definitely don't want to use corn starch in macarons. It can cause them to crack, and you don't want a cracked macaron! thumbsdown.gif They are probably the most temperamental thing I bake - over-beat and they won't set up, under-beat and they will crack; if your kitchen is too hot, they won't dry; cooking times can vary with each batch. And they can be expensive to make...almond flour is $$$ (although you CAN make your own).

If you try them, I suggest separating your eggs at least 3 days before you plan to make the macarons. The whites will whip up better by doing this. Oh, and definitely measure your ingredients by WEIGHT rather than volume! I also double up my baking sheets to prevent the macarons from burning. That might not be necessary, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

princesscris Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 2:13am
Quote:
Quote:

As for the powdered sugar without cornstarch -- that's not available in the United States where I am (that I've ever heard of anyway.) Is there a substitute or some other way to achieve the same result?




If you have a good food processor, you could probably make your own powdered sugar using regular sugar - I've never tried this (we have the pure stuff here), but I do make my own almond flour using almond meal this way and it works fine. I then pass it through a fine sieve to make sure there's no lumpy bits. If you don't sieve, your macarons won't be smooth, glossy perfection, but will probably still taste good.

I've read a few blogs by American bakers who use powdered sugar with corn starch and seem to get good results.

What to fill them with? Chocolate ganache (flavoured or as is), white chocolate ganache (flavoured or as is), buttercream (flavoured) or jam/preserves are commonly used. My favourite filling is salted caramel. These are To. Die. For. If you google salted caramel macarons you'll find a recipe.

Regards (and happy macaron-ing),
Cris.

Bluehue Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 3:45am

For those of you having trouble finding PURE icing sugar in the States....

I just went and Googled where you could buy it - sadly none of the Australian on line shops seem to stock it ..........(sorry)

HOWEVER...i did find this which might help you in your search...

If you live in an area with a large Jewish population, you might be able to find powdered sugar without corn starch in a Kosher market, or in the Kosher for Passover section of the market, in the weeks preceding Passover (early spring).

Hope that might help some of you.


Bluehue icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 4:36am

Our health food store in rinky dink town, WV had powdered sugar without cornstarch right on the shelf. Check around. If we have it, everyone should have it. If anyone needs the brand, I will get it. Most health food stores will order it... no shipping.

I thought I Love Macarons was good too until I saw the other books and studied Greenspan and Dujardin. Of all of the new books out, this is my least favorite, but it was one of the first.

Bluehue Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 4:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Our health food store in rinky dink town, WV had powdered sugar without cornstarch right on the shelf. Check around. If we have it, everyone should have it. If anyone needs the brand, I will get it. Most health food stores will order it... no shipping.

I thought I Love Macarons was good too until I saw the other books and studied Greenspan and Dujardin. Of all of the new books out, this is my least favorite,



but it was one of the first.
There have been many books published about Macarons - this was hardly one of the first......... icon_confused.gif
Perhaps seeing as they have only become fashionable in the States in the last 2 years - thats the reason why many have never heard of the other books from years and years ago.

My grandmother always had them sitting on her dinning room table for Afternoon Tea every Sunday... just an arms length from the Scones jam and cream.


I have cookbooks from over 30+ years ago relating to just Macarons.

Bluehue.
.





scp1127 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 5:46am

They have obviously been around. I studied them and made them when I was in the French National Honor Society in the 70's. French cooking is part of my heritage and my daughters have carried on the tradition. I was referring to the new group of books on the market which is what the OP is asking. If you will notice, I referred to the two french chefs as a good source of information.

Bluehue Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:06am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

They have obviously been around. I studied them and made them when I was in the French National Honor Society in the 70's. French cooking is part of my heritage and my daughters have carried on the tradition. I was referring to the new group of books on the market which is what the OP is asking. If you will notice, I referred to the two french chefs as a good source of information.




Yes, i know what you were referring too
Its just that you wrote ..........but it was one of the first.
My post was just stating that no it wasn't.
Doesn't matter what your heritage is - or what you have done back in the 70's - point of fact is - Macaron books have been around for eons - before you and i were born
Best Macaron i have have ever eaten was made by an Italian in Germany -

Its just that new glossy covers and pretty pictures are being produced this time around...simple as that.

Like with anything else - what was old........... is new again.

Bluehue

scp1127 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:13am

I was actually trying to help the OP who, I am sure, could not care less about looking for a thirty year old book. I have no intention of debating this with you, as all of the other posters have also contributed current information. What is your point?

butterlove Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:25am

I am a bit Mac Mad too and haven't gotten around to testing all the books I've collected. They're really worth trying to make at home because they're often so expensive to buy.

I recently got a really pretty little book by Jose Marechel called The Secrets of Macarons. I still have to test it but it's a really nice book to look at - beautiful, clean photos.

I also heard that Pierre Hermes will have a book out in a few months time simply called 'Macarons'. I'm hoping it will be the English version of his popular French book.

I think it's a fun project to go ahead and make your own macarons.

Apparently they are quite the fussy cookie to perfect but according to Jill Colonna even broken/ cracked macs can come in use as sprinkles for ice cream or something.

scp1127 Posted 14 Apr 2011 , 6:42am

Earlier I posted that I had ordered Berengere Abraham's book today. I did. But I guess I really wanted it because I ordered it last week from Borders. I always order from amazon and keep up with my orders. Oh, well. I have just flipped through the book. From a sales point of view, he does have quite a few interesting combinations... licorice, salted caramel, gingersnap, chestnut and hazelnut, rhubarb,pear, mango, and fig. And some are the same... lemon, violet, rose. As far as technique, it only has two pages with pictures. I don't see it as complete. But the combinations are very interesting and make beautiful color presentation. I am happy with it at a glance.

I did order (hopefully only once), Sugarbaby, by Bullock-Prado. I thought the whole book looked interesting and the reviews are very good.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:32pm

I've also ordered Sugarbaby, after reading the reviews. Will get it tomorrow!

Sugarbaby has a companion website, separate from Bullock-Prado's blog, if anyone wants to check out what's inside the book (no recipes are given, just pictorials and a peek to what's in the book). I always check recipes against other authors' recipes anyway. I don't bake blindly. Like SCP1127, I'll be happy with whatever I get out of it, even if just flavor combinations.

Here's the link:

http://www.sugarbabycookbook.com/

Warning: Croquembouche doesn't look like the real version, but it might be easier this way!

scp1127 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:15am

imagenthatnj, Sugarbaby is a really good book. I have only read it... no recipes yet. Some really great recipes for additions to cake and cupcakes. Not like other books on the market that seem to repeat other books. This one is unique. I hope you enjoy it.

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 3:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

imagenthatnj, Sugarbaby is a really good book. I have only read it... no recipes yet. Some really great recipes for additions to cake and cupcakes. Not like other books on the market that seem to repeat other books. This one is unique. I hope you enjoy it.




I'm sure I will. I like how she writes. It's funny, but at work where everyone is usually talking about the sister, I'm thinking about reading the not-so-famous sister's blog. I think they're both great women, though, despite what they work at, so if it reads like a storybook (with recipes in between), I'll be happy with it.

bobwonderbuns Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 12:28am

Thanks for all your suggestions! I went a little crazy on Amazon with the books and I got SugarBaby, and the books (all called Macarons) by Cecile Cannone, Annie Rigg, Berengere Abraham and the Squires Kitchen guide to Macaroons by Mark Tilling. They all showed up a couple days ago and I'm thrilled with them. Lots of great ideas and such!! Thanks all -- I'm off to play with macaroons!! icon_lol.gif

scp1127 Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 12:48am

bobwonderbuns... I'm glad you aren't in my area. You sound as obsessive as I am!

warchild Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 12:56am

bobwonderbuns, what did you think of the Macaron book from Squires? I noticed it on the last newsletter, and I've been thinking about buying it, but as usual, sitting on the fence before deciding.

Thanks

bobwonderbuns Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 12:17pm

I love it!! Actually it's my favorite of all the books. He has some great ideas in there -- a macaroon wedding cake, little hamburger macaroons, etc. Very clever!! icon_biggrin.gif Of course I must admit I'm kind of partial to the Squires Kitchen books -- I have the cake shaping book, the fondant animals book, Mark's chocolate book (very cool!) and such and I love all of them!! icon_biggrin.gif They have such great ideas in them! icon_biggrin.gif

warchild Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 3:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I love it!! Actually it's my favorite of all the books. He has some great ideas in there -- a macaroon wedding cake, little hamburger macaroons, etc. Very clever!! icon_biggrin.gif Of course I must admit I'm kind of partial to the Squires Kitchen books -- I have the cake shaping book, the fondant animals book, Mark's chocolate book (very cool!) and such and I love all of them!! icon_biggrin.gif They have such great ideas in them! icon_biggrin.gif




Thanks bobwonderbuns! I figured Squires macaroon book would be a good one. I've got Tillings chocolate book, as well as Helen Penmans not yet released book on my wish list along with way many others.
If I could buy Squires books at US amazon prices, I'd buy the four of them together as the prices are so much more reasonable. But, theres no free shipping option if you live outside the US, and shipping is a killer on the pocketbook otherwise.

Tillings chocolate book is $14.37 on amazon US, but its $20.46 on amazon ca and it ticks me off we always have to pay so much more for the same books. Same with the Sugar Baby book that I've been wanting to get. Its $17.82 on amazon US but $22.53 amazon CA.

I've sent more than a few emails to amazon ca questioning why they charge us so much more on books since the dollar value between the US and Canada is not much different, but I always get the same lame excuse. That its the cost of buying. thumbsdown.gif

Rosie2 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 6:43pm

Great info, thank you all!!!

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