Baking has lot to do with patience, determination, and passion. Sometimes, no matter how strictly you follow a recipe, it just won’t turn out right and you will be disappointed. The cake will be dry, the frosting lumpy, or the bread will be hard.
This is why baking requires time and patience.
I have a special place in my heart for macarons. I think they are fantastic. They are colourful, delicate and smooth, with so many different flavours out there.
There’s a debate about the origins of the macaron. According to a bit of reading I did on the subject, Macarons were first made in Italy, in 1533, by Catherine de Medicis’s personal chef. He created them when she married the Duc d’Orleans who later became King of France in 1547 as Henry II. At that time, macarons were served as single cookies. We had to wait until the 20th century to see two of the cookies brought together by a fruity or chocolaty filling, creating the macaron that we know today.
Five years ago I decided to bake macarons for the first time. Since then, making them has been a passive-aggressive love story.
I had no idea how hard it was to give them the right shape, texture, and size. So for a whole week, I have tried again and again to do a single recipe of macarons that would be perfect. Now those who know me know I can get a little obsessive when I really want to achieve a goal.
For a full week, I did macarons every night, trying to find the right recipe, the right mix, the right time to let them crust, the right way to make them. I would end up each evening frustrated, but the next day I would buy more almond powder and do them all over again, adjusting ingredients, and hoping for a better result.
I now have relatively good understanding of how to do them, but they ARE tricky to do. There is a lot of technique involved, and the quality of the ingredients, as well as the temperature of the egg whites, actually have an impact on how they will turn out.
If I started doing macarons five years ago, I am still far from being an expert at making them. Today, for example, I had to do two batches to get one right. And still, they are not perfectly shaped or as smooth as they could be.
But because I actually do have determination, patience, and passion for baking, it’s ok to start over again from scratch more than once when I feel like enjoying them.
You will need:
200 grams of icing sugar
125 grams of almond powder
1 tablespoon of cappuccino powder
3 egg whites
30 grams of sugar
6 ounces of chocolate (dark if you like them to be a bit bitter, chocolate milk if you like them sweeter)
½ cup of cream
Blend and sift the icing sugar with the almond powder.
Add-in the cappuccino powder.
*I normally sift a second time to avoid a lumpy batter.
In a bowl, whisk the egg white until you get a foamy texture. Keep whisking and add in the sugar. Whisk until you get soft peaks.
With a spatula, delicately add the sifted almond powder, icing sugar and cappuccino powder.
With a piping bag, make small cookies on a pan filled with parchment paper. Let it sit for an hour. The idea is to create a light crust on top of the cookie and one that will crack at the base when baked.
Bake at 300F for about 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool, then fill with chocolate ganache.
Boil the cream and pour onto the chocolate. Stir until melted. Let the chocolate chill before making the macarons.
Here is a great store to get macarons if you live in Ottawa:
For cool ideas of macarons: