I know there a lot of pricing questions on this forum and they have all be an AMAZING help. I am (thankfully) starting to feel more confident in my baking and in turn pricing abilities and then POW! I get a curve ball and asked by a friend to make 100 french macarons.
I am very new to macarons and worried about pricing. The tower will be alongside a cutting cake which I have already costed up so that bits fine. It's just the little fiddly french macarons that I'm struggling with pricing.
Any ideas are welcome! thank you in advance!
Have you made macarons? Not as easy as you might think. Anyway I get $1.75 each.
Macarons are very difficult - I am speaking as one who mostly has it down, but so many things can go wrong. If you don't make them regularly try practicing before you commit or you will be cursing the day you were born. I get $2 each.
A year ago I was making a lot of macarons, and had it down. Just made some last week, and I had a 50% fail rate. Pastrybaglady is soo correct - you need to make a lot of them to understand them.
I teach Baking & Pastry culinary school and macarons are one of my favorite things to teach. Mostly because perfect macarons eluded me for so long as a student. I could never make them perfectly. After many trials and heartaches, I finally figured them out a few years ago and now have near 100% success rate with them.
This is a recipe and more importantly step by step instructions I have on hand I use with my students. Much thanks to Bravetart for the recipe. Check out her posts on macarons although some of her advice has been wrong, at least for me. Such as she says you don't have to wait for them to proof and develop a skin before baking, which at least for me and my kitchens, is wrong and skips a crucial step). Anyway, see if these instructions help any. I also found I have to use an oven at 330-350°F instead of the 300°F I see so often online (which makes me wonder if they are using convection). One of the other most important steps I found is making sure to process the almond flour and a powdered sugar down until it can pass through a fine fine mesh sieve. Hope this helps!! Also, if you want just regular macarons, just take the grams from the cocoa and graham cracker crumbs and add them to the Almond flour. Be careful with your coloring agent as it can make the batter too wet if you add too much.
For the shells (makes 60-80 shells or 30-40 full cookies)
Almond Flour 3 1/2 ounces (100g)
Cocoa Powder 1/2 ounce (15g)
Graham Cracker Crumbs 1 ounce (30g)
Powdered Sugar8 ounces (200g)
Egg Whites5 ounces (144g) (I use the container egg whites as long as it says 100% egg whites and nothing else)
Granulated Sugar2 1/2 ounce (72g)
Cream of Tartar (optional)1/8 teaspoon
Coloring agent As needed
1.In a food processor, grind almond flour, cocoa powder, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar together for one minute. Sift through a fine sieve into a large bowl. If any crumbs will not sift through, process the large pieces for one more minute and sift again, tossing any crumbs that will not fit after the 2nd sifting. Set aside to make the French meringue
2.In a mixing bowl, add egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar and mix on high speed until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, transfer meringue to the bowl with the almond flour mixture.
3.With a spatula or bowl scraper roughly fold the almond flour mixture and meringue together until they form a seamless batter that flows slowly off the tip of the spatula and takes about 10-15 seconds to incorporate back into the batter. If you tip the bowl, it should slowly ooze to the side of the bowl. Do not be gentle with the folding technique as you are literally trying to deflate the egg whites against the flour mixture and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Do not go too far with this technique because it will
4.Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a smooth or plain tip. In a baking sheet, pipe onto parchment paper with uniform circles traced underneath. The circles can be traced out by using a lid or circle of any kind as long as they are all the same size. Keep circles about 1 ½ inches apart from each other. You can make a master circle template and place it under another piece of parchment and remove for use again after piping the batter. Pipe the batter until it fills about 75% of circle. The batter will slowly relax and fill in the rest of the circle. Rap the pan hard against a table 3 to 4 times to release any trapped air bubbles.
5.Preheat oven to 330-350°F depending on your oven. Place baking pans with piped macaron batter in a cool, dry location for them to dry out. If you check the batter and it still sticks to your finger, it is still too wet to bake and will crack on top if baked. Depending on how hot and humid your kitchen is, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. A fan directed at the pan will assist the drying process. Once it forms a skin and will not stick to your finger, place in the preheated oven. Rotate the pan 180° after 8-10 minutes. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until macarons are baked through. Some people test them for doneness by lifting them off the parchment paper to check if they are done, but they will not release until they have cooled for about 10 minutes so I do not advise this method. Baking time will vary depending on the sizing of your piped batter circles.
6.Remove from oven and cool. Can be filled once cool or can be placed in a airtight container or plastic and placed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Do not fill until ready for consumption.
7.With a piping bag fitted with a star tip, fill half of the shells with the Swiss meringue filling (follows). Torch the filling until golden brown. Place other half of shell on top. If desired, pipe dark or white chocolate ganache on top. Enjoy with campers of all ages.
Swiss Meringue Filling
Egg Whites5 ounces (144g)
Granulated Sugar3 ounces (80g)
1.Over a steaming pot of water, place bowl with egg whites and sugar on top of the pot, but not touching the water. Whisk the two ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 140-160°F.
2.Immediately remove the bowl from the steaming pot and place contents into a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
3.Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe onto macaron shells and torch until golden brown.
That's my method also, except that I don't bake as long, nor as hot. Interesting. I've found the critical stage is making the macaronage. It goes against everything you think about handling meringue.
Yeah, when I would have so many problems in the past with the macarons it came from the macaronage. I would be too easy with it and it would go to liquid eventually since I was trying my best to be gentle with it like you would when folding meringue into other dry ingredient recipes. Another thing that also threw me off was everyone always says to fold it until it looks like lava. I feel that is too subjective. Lava to me is flowing magma and I would take it too far nearly every time. As long as the batter SLOWLY drops off my spatula, I am good to go. If it is flowing off quickly, it's usually too far. The 300°F oven temp always seemed to make them crack too until I started going higher with it although I still think the skin on them is the most important part. Forces them to puff up since it keeps the heat from escaping too quickly which causes the shell to fall inward since it cannot maintain its shape.
I really do think the oven you use makes a huge difference. I went to my friend's house to experiment because she had some issues with her chocolate macarons. All of the other flavors she makes are lovely. The first thing I noticed is that her oven has an element on the top and the bottom along with convection. She has to crack the door open, double pans and bakes at 285 degrees. I took her recipe home to experiment and just could not get it to work. My oven has an element at the top and wants to brown the macarons. So rack placement, temp and time all had to be adjusted. The recipe that does work for me is Martha Stewart's baked at 310 degrees. And I agree with both Leah and tennacvol you gotta smash that meringue into submission and I also look for a 10 second flow.
I got my macarons right at 1st attempt ( Tasted by an expert) A strawberry flavored macarons with lemon honey filling. They were all same sized smooth top with perfect lil feet with no hollow cavity. I did wait for 30 mins for each batch as it is so dry out here that my 1st batch was ready in just 15 mins and came out perfect. Baked at 330 for 14-15 mins. PS: Don't get me wrong, it tasted good but I don't understand the hoopla behind french Macarons. Why it is a big deal?
Well, most trained pastry chefs consider them an advanced technique. Glad you were so successful on your first attempt.
So much for my $30K culinary school degree.
I was able to be successful with my first batch too, but couldn't duplicate it. When you have to make pan after pan after pan and they all come out then you know you've mastered them. I've had good ones, ones with cracks, ones with no feet, lopsided ones all ON THE SAME PAN!
Well thn I would say I am lucky with all my batches so far..I really din't mean to offend anyone with their expertise level or talent. I am no professional by any means.
I stupidly committed prior to trying them out. Mine aren't terrible but not great at the moment taste awesome but bumpy and cant quite get the cooking time right! I can only hope to have your success @Minileo but not looking likely at the moment =[
i feel theres going ot be a l lot of late nights and tears ahead!
I'm going to try out your recipe tonight @tennacvol thank you so much.
The only other advice I would give is be careful with your coloring agent. One of my students the other day was making them and used the Wilton icing color in them even though I have told them not to haha. And of course they all cracked and were uneven. It is why I give them the bare bones recipe first without any color. I have read the gel colors from Americolor works well. What we use here is usually the powdered colors which I have not had any problems with in the past.
If they come out bumpy, I cannot recommend enough processing the almond flour and powdered sugar together for at least a minute and then sifting them in a really fine mesh sieve. If any do not go through, do not press on them to force them through. Just process them again for a minute and sift again. Any that do not go through this time, just toss those crumbs in the trash.
Hope yours come out Holiver. Let us know if you have any more problems and we will try to help.
I hope your macaroni turn out great. Has any bought the almonds at Sam's club? are they toasted or blanched it doesn't say on the package.
Macaroons not macaroni, tablet filled in wrong word for me