French Macarons with Almond and Orange Chocolate Ganache

The french macarons are my new goal now in the kitchen. The first french macarons that I’ve made few months ago were a total fiasco. Flat shells, they lost the color after baking and they were very sticky. I tested and tested and tested and after the 5th attempt they started to catch some shape and some color.

There are few “secrets” about perfect macarons. First : let the egg whites to rest 24 hours before making the macarons. Second : beat well the egg whites, at least 3 to 5 minutes, until meringue it’s keeping the shape. Third : try to stick to the quantities listed in the recipe as much as you can. Use some digital balance to be sure that your measuring it’s correct. Forth : sift well the almonds and the sugar before mixing them with the meringue. Fifth : let rest the macarons after piping them on the baking sheet at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours before baking.

Ingredients for 30 small french macarons :

– 1 egg white
– 33 gr powdered almond
– 75 gr powder sugar
– 17 gr crystal sugar
– red and yellow food coloring

Beat well the egg whites and add the crystal sugar all, at once. The result should be a meringue that holds its shape. Mix the powdered almond and the sugar and sift them well before folding together with the meringue.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula, instead of using a ordinary spoon. When the mixture is just smooth, stop folding. Add the food coloring and fold once again. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in small circles (it depends on you how big or small you wish to make your macarons). But don’t forget to keep enough space between them. Bake them for 8-10 minutes, decreasing the temperature to 120°C with 2-3 minutes before they are completely baked. Be careful not to over-bake them, because they will loose the color.

Ingredients for the chocolate Ganache :

– 50 gr sweet chocolate
– 25 gr butter
– 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
– 2 drops of almond extract
– 2 drops of orange extract

Using a bath water melt your chocolate and the butter. When melt add the heavy cream and mix well.  Divide the chocolate cream in two small bowls and add the almond and orange extracts in each of the bowls. Let cool completely before using.

Spread or pipe a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze.

I love the french macarons because of their exquisite sweet taste, of their rainbow colors and because they remember me of Paris. It’s a delight to have macarons with a cup of tea or coffee and feel like in Paris.