French Macarons Recipe to End 2010

by Pamela

macarons, macaron, macarons recipe, french macarons
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The past two years have seen the, formerly, simple cupcake rise to heights simply unimaginable for a little cake that was shrugged off and utilized as merely a kiddie party sugar delivery system.  But as all good trends go…that meteoric rise must some day come to an end (just ask the pet rock, Rubik’s cube or Macaulay Culkin – if you can find any of them).  If the word on the street (or internet) is to be believed, the heir apparent to the crystal pedestal cake plate is the French macaron.

Macarons There’s no definitive answer as to why this precious little pillow of a confection has begun to strike a chord in people outside of Paris in the past couple of years.  Maybe it has to do with all of those obsessive food blogger types who are always looking for something bigger, better and more of a challenge than the last thing that they made.  I can’t say that I have been one to add to the macarons obsession.  Don’t get me wrong, I ate more than my fair share when I was in Paris this past Spring and if someone makes them available to me, I’m certainly not going to turn them down (unless they’re liver flavored).  But to make any one of the hundreds of macarons recipes that are floating around out there and then to obsess over them?  Not for me.  Give me a good bottle of red wine and some dark chocolate and I’m happy.

There are those who obsess over making the perfect Parisian macaron.  Please notice that I am typing m-a-c-a-r-o-n and not macaroon.  Yes, I’ve seen it spelled both ways but in my world a macaroon is a large (yummy) blob of coconut…definitely not something that people freak out about whether or not it has feet (more on that in a bit).

A macaron is two meringue like domes sandwiched together with ganache, jam or buttercream frosting.  The two halves are meringue like and made from 4 simple ingredients: almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, egg whites and granulated sugar.  Of course, it’s not quite as simple as mixing it all together and baking it.  No, this is no chocolate chip cookie recipe.  The perfect consistency of meringue must be made from these ingredients and to make the perfect consistency, things need to be folded together to form the perfect batter.  Too much or too little folding will result in cracked, mushy or footless domes.  UGH!  Who has time for this bs?  Oh, the foot thing….I prefer that the only feet on my plate belong to pig’s (when I’m eating trotters), except when it comes to the French macarons.  Leave it to the French to make something as simple as a cookie, to require an appendage which can be found on an anatomy chart (get your minds out of the gutter people – I’m talking about a cookie, not a French tickler).  This “foot,” as it is called, is the ruffled edges you see at the bottom of the meringue dome.  Yes, that’s really all there is to “the foot.”  But sometimes, when making the domes, they come out sans feet.  This would make Jets coach Rex Ryan very sad, as it would you.

I received the January issue of Bon Appetit and found that it too was debating the demise of the cupcake.  They weren’t waxing poetic about the emerging trend of French macarons so much as they were trying to determine if a macaron or a whoopie pie was going to dethrone the majestic cupcake.  It was from this article, and subsequent recipe, that I decided to try my hand at the temperamental macaron recipe.  I figured it couldn’t be as bitchy as I am (I’m a redhead for crying out loud).  And if it was, touché my little pastry nemesis.  Then I’ll just stick to making things like Pop-Tarts.

This was my first try at making macarons and I either had beginner’s luck or this recipe is pretty much foolproof.  I’m not sure which it is, at this point, but I’m going to give props to Bon Appetit on this one.  I know this is highly unusual that I am using a recipe as is, but hey – it worked and I thought I would pass along my experience.  At some point I may try and play with it some more or I may just take my victory and go along my merry way.

Relationship Advice

I realize that talking about a fetish isn’t exactly holiday table talk, but since I brought it up in today’s post (Coach Rex Ryan has a foot fetish – see link), I thought that I would give you a short list of what seem to be odd fetishes, but really are some things that turn others on.  So if you encounter someone who has one, or you have one, realize that you are in the company of others.  I’ll talk about my encounter with a fetishist at a later time.

Rest assured there are lots more than I’m going to list here and this list is going to be clean.  You can imagine all of the “other” fetishes out there.

  • Women holding swords
  • Spanking
  • Wearing Latex
  • Biting
  • Balloon Popping
  • Foot Worship
  • Food – Watching people eat
  • Tickling
  • Cheerleaders
  • Uniforms – both for men and women


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12 comments

Nancy@acommunaltable January 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You go girl!! I have yet to master the macaron … and yes, that is ALSO on my 2011 resolution list!!! Your fetish list taught me that yes, I do lead a sheltered life!! LOL!!

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and joyous 2011!!

Lentil Breakdown December 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I have not jumped on the cupcake OR macaron craze, but I say take a bow for your wonderful performance and move on, sister! I have recently realized that when I’ve baked things perfectly the first time doesn’t mean they turn out that way the second or even third time! But that may just be my special brand of ineptitude. Ok, I dare you. Make those beautiful macarons equally glamorous again. Then report back. Happy New Year! : )

Carrie December 30, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Heh, French tickler. I’m so easily amused after a glass of vino. You have also made me consider trying to make macarons while sauced up. This can’t go anywhere successfully.

Bunkycooks December 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Great success on your macarons! After my little recent recipe nightmare, I am hesitant to do any more fussy desserts, but my first attempt macarons was not so bad, so I may try it again… Happy New Year to you!!!

Brian @ A Thought For Food December 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm

One of my goals of 2011 is to make macarons… yours look like such a success!

Can’t say I’ve done a lot of those things you’ve listed… though I guess I’m up for anything once… except for tickling. I’m too ticklish… i wouldn’t last very long (or get much pleasure out of that).

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit December 30, 2010 at 12:04 pm

They’re gorgeous! I’ve not attempted making macarons, and with all that I’ve read about them I’m really impressed that you got such nice ones on your first try! Wishing you all the best in 2011. :)

MaryMoh December 30, 2010 at 9:55 am

Well done for your first attempt! I have not even dare to think about making them. I only feast them with my eyes each time I see them…and drool :P I need to try in the coming year. Wishing you a great 2011!

Belinda @zomppa December 30, 2010 at 6:19 am

I love the description of a pillow of confection. Yum. Haha…woman with swords? That’s a fetish? =) Happy New Year!

Sheri December 30, 2010 at 12:22 am

That issue of Bon Appetit has been sitting here and I was thinking about making them too. I’ve even had I <3 Macarons for six months! So glad to hear someone say they're not so hard, it's giving me the confidence to go ahead and try. I was actually considering a class before trying them at home!

Don't ask me why I'm being so timid. I spent three months trying to make fancy chocolates last winter. Talk about scary.

Lana December 30, 2010 at 12:13 am

Will I have to succumb and make the macarons? I hate trends! When everybody was reading Sidharta, I refused to even entertain the idea. But this is a challenge, like a thrown glove. And I am not a redhead:)
Your macarons look divine. I love the cobalt-blue background – so dramatic.
If I make them, I’ll have to research the alternatives to the almond flour (yes, you guessed it, Husband is allergic). Maybe hazelnuts? And dark chocolate ganache to bind them?
As for fetishes, there are several that Husband would not survive if he attempted (like balloon-popping or tickling). But women with swords? There is an old épée in the corner of our closet (yes, you guessed, Husband is a hoarder) – if nothing, it could be quite humorous:)
Happy New Year!

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