It’s early June, sometime shortly after the sun has risen but before the city is really awake. You’ve just grabbed a hot coffee and some pastries from a bakery along the cobblestone road. You stop, listen to the birds chirp, smell the baguettes baking and take a bite of your white chocolate pistachio macaron as you stare at the Eiffel Tower.
That’s what it’s like to visit Paris, right?
Clearly I’ve never been. I’ve never even been to Europe. Maybe one day I will… Hopefully one day I will!
Whether you’ve lived out every 20-something-year old’s dream of backpacking through Europe or not, we can all still appreciate a good classic macaron.
In this case, we are specifically talking about white chocolate pistachio macarons (or if you prefer peppermint, I’ve got you covered there too).
Macarons are one of those desserts that we view as untouchable to make unless you are classically trained chef. And I won’t lie, they aren’t the easiest thing to make. But once you have a good base recipe and general technique, it’s not so hard.
The trickiest part is mixing it just right. Under mix or over mix and they just won’t come out right. Either too chewy and hard or don’t develop the signature feet. There are lots of ways to test if it’s mixed enough. Some people count the number of folds, some people know how long it should take for a blob to fall. I prefer the figure 8 test. Basically after roughly 40 folds, scoop up some of the batter onto your spatula. At is starts dripping off, try to make a figure 8 with the batter back into the bowl. Once you can make the 8 without the ribbon breaking, it’s done!
This particular recipe also calls for pistachio paste. You can buy it, though it’s easy (and probably cheaper) to make it yourself.
To make your own pistachio paste, simply put a few handfuls of shelled pistachios into a food processor. Add a little water at a time (I’m talking like 1 teaspoon) and blend until it reaches a paste consistency.
One last piece of advice I have is use a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups/spoons. I know… what a PAIN. Can’t I just scoop and measure then go? The short answer is, eh, not really. Trust me, as someone who wants cooking extravagant things to be as simple as possible I tried this a few times. The problem is that it just isn’t exact enough. Sometimes your flour might be packed more than others, cups slightly under filled or overfilled. Unfortunately, this could be just enough to sabotage your macarons. So while it might seem unnecessary, I promise this is the first major step towards success. You might even end up liking using a scale more. Maybe? I mean, you can try without a scale, but why risk it when you’re just one scale away from perfect macarons?
122 grams almond flour
62 grams powdered sugar
3 egg whites, at room temperature for 2 hours before you start working with them
50 grams granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
green food coloring
100 grams heavy cream
250 grams white chocolate
2 tablespoons pistachio paste
green food coloring
1 cup chopped pistachios, to garnish
2 DoveWare Casserole Dishes
about 12 macarons
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour and powdered sugar.
2. Sift the mixture 3 times and set aside. Make sure to sift multiple times to ensure the macaron tops are smooth.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed using a hand or stand mixer until they start to get foamy.
4. Once foamy, add the cream of tartar. Keep beating until the eggs have reached shaving cream consistency.
5. Add the granulated sugar. Keep beating the eggs until the whites develop still peaks and are shiny, a few minutes.
6. Add in a few drops of green food coloring and again beat with the mixer until they are the desired color.
7. Put the almond flour mixture into the egg whites all at once. Fold it 40-50 times until it is incorporated, but not too liquidy. To test if it is done, scoop a glob onto your spoon. Drop it back into the bowl trying to make a figure 8. Once you can make an 8 without the ribbon breaking, the batter is done. DO NOT continue mixing.
8. Transfer the batter into a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag, cutting off one of the corners to make about a half-inch opening.
9. Line your casserole dishes with parchment paper.
10. Pipe the batter into the casserole dishes making small blobs about an inch large. You should be able to fit about 12 in each dish. If you have extra batter, either save to make a second batch or pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
11. Once the macaron shells are all piped, let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes until they have developed their traditional feet and you can gently touch the top and feel a slight crust. They should not stick to your finger.
12. While they are resting, preheat the oven to 300℉. Bake for about 15 minutes.
13. Remove the dishes form the oven and allow the macarons to cool completely before you try to remove them. If they are not completely cool, the bottoms will stick and crack.
14. While the macaron shells cool, make the filling.
15. In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave the heavy cream for 45 seconds.
16. Stir in the white chocolate, pistachio paste, and green food coloring. Mix until the chocolate is fully melted.
17. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag, then place in the fridge to slightly harden for about 20 minutes.
18. Once the filling has firmed up a bit, go through all of your macaron shells and separate them into pairs that are roughly the same shape and size as each other. On one half, pipe a little bit of the filling, then gently place the other half on top. A little filling should be coming out of the edges. Roll the edges in the chopped pistachios to garnish.
19. Repeat filling and garnishing until all of the macarons are complete.