Foolproof Macarons using Swiss Meringue

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This recipe is adapted from Broma Bakery https://bromabakery.com/foolproof-macaron-recipe-step-by-step/.

Note: If you want a nut-free version of the macarons, you could try using pumpkin seed flour as explained by Stella Parks in this article: https://honestcooking.com/nut-free-macaron-recipe/.

INGREDIENTS

For the macarons:
100 g egg whites
100 g granulated sugar
100 g almond flour
100 g powdered sugar
Pinch salt
Food coloring (optional)

For the buttercream filling:
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup seedless jam

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt — either by sifting them twice or by placing them in a food processor and pulsing several times. Set aside this almond flour mixture.

Prepare the Swiss meringue:

Pour water in a pot until it is 1″ or 2″ deep. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat until the water is at a simmer and starts to steam.

Take the bowl of your stand mixer and into it combine the egg whites and about 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Place the mixer’s bowl over the steaming pot to create a double boiler.

Whisk egg whites and sugar continuously until the sugar melts completely and egg whites become white and frothy, about 1-2 minutes. If using non-pasteurized eggs, heat to 160 degrees F. Remove from heat and place the bowl back onto the stand mixer.

Fit stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed while slowly adding in the remaining granulated sugar. Add the optional food coloring. Continue to whisk for another 3-4 minutes, until a stiff meringue peaks form. Making the meringue from the mixture of melted sugar and heated egg whites is known as a Swiss meringue.

Make the macaron batter using the Swiss meringue:

Gently shake the almond flour mixture into the mixing bowl that has the meringue.

Place the bowl back onto a stand mixer, still fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium speed and whisk for 5 seconds, which is just long enough to combine the almond flour mixture with the meringue.

Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Use a large spatula to finish mixing the batter by hand. Do this by gently folding the mixture with your spatula, scooping up the batter from the outside of the bowl and gently twisting it into the center in a circle-like manner. You’ll know to stop mixing when you can make a figure-eight out of the dripping batter without the batter breaking. Don’t over mix. The best way to describe the perfect consistency is like slow moving lava.

Once your batter is the correct consistency you need to transfer it to a pastry bag. An easy method to do this is to place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Scoop the batter onto teh middle area of the plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the batter and form it generally as cylinder. Spin the two ends of the plastic wrap. Cut off one end of the plastic wrap near the edge of the cylinder and place the cylinder (both the batter and the plastic wrap, with the side that you cut off the plastic wrap facing down near the bottom of the pasty bag) into a pastry bag fitted with a 1 inch tip.

Pipe silver dollar-sized circles onto prepared baking sheets, keeping about 1.5 inches between each meringue.

Hit the baking sheet on the counter two times to remove any air bubbles. Optionally, sprinkle tops with a little sea salt as a garnish.

Let the macarons air dry for 15 to 30 minutes — until dry to the touch.

Place the macarons in the pre-heated oven for 13 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

While the macarons are cooling make the buttercream filling. Cream the butter for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar, a portion at a time, mixing between portions. Add the jam a bit at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Using a spatula, scoop about half the buttercream onto a piece of plastic wrap, in the shape of a cylinder. Wrap the plastic wrap around the buttercream and spin the ends. Cut off one end of the plastic wrap near the cylinder and place the cylinder (buttercream and plastic wrap) into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip (with the side that you cut facing down near the bottom of the bag).

Once the macarons are completely cool to the touch, carefully remove them from the parchment paper. Pipe the filling onto a first macaron and then make a sandwich (like an Oreo cookie) using a second macaron. Repeat with the rest of the macarons.

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