This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Baking Chez Moi was one I guess folks have been putting off since it’s our THIRD LAST RECIPE (we started baking through this book in 2014!). Macarons intimidate a lot of people (and, indeed, Dorie’s recipe is LONG at first glance, although none of the steps are particularly complicated, they require practice and intuition that only comes with a lot of practice), which is why it’s so far down in our recipe playlist, I suspect!
Dorie’s recipe is for Italian meringue macarons – most commonly used in pâtisseries and classes because it’s more reliable (you’re cooking the egg whites before you get the shells in the oven with the boiling sugar syrup) unlike the one I have taught for nearly a decade, which is French meringue and relies on the heat of the oven to do its magic with the shells. I choose not to teach the Italian method for a couple of reasons, even though typically is IS more reliable, one of the most important reasons being that people DO get intimidated by the boiling sugar step and many don’t want to make the investment of a digital thermometer, even though it’s actually a super useful tool for everything from meat to candy! I like to send people away from a class with a recipe that requires the least amount of equipment as possible and the highest level of confidence and I’ve been to enough macaron classes myself (and made Italian meringue macarons enough times) to know that Italian meringue isn’t the method for my own classes.
That said, making hundreds of batches of macarons of ANY sort over the past ten years has definitely helped me know what to expect and look for at various stages of the recipe (especially when the batter is ready to pipe) and because I’ve made Dorie’s recipe before, I felt ok about these (even though I haven’t made ANY sort of macarons since February!). I made a half-batch (because, really, 20 macarons is enough even to share with a fair few people!) which was the perfect amount to manage during a busy day of cooking a Thanksgiving meal (hello 7lb chicken!).
Dorie’s recipe is baked at a MUCH higher temperature than most macarons (350˚F as opposed to max 325˚F though I find the most success with lower temps around 280˚F – 300˚F) and I think this contributes to the small “feet” (the ruffly part around the sides). In the oven, mine puffed up beautifully and were very high, on removing them from the oven, they sank visibly in the first couple of minutes (the shock of going from hot oven to room temp?).
In any case, the recipe is very well written and descriptive which is what you need to have success with macarons – as I said before, though it is a long recipe, it’s not complicated, there’s just a LOT to explain! Her timing for the meringue cooling after you pour in the hot syrup was way off for me but I put that down to a cold kitchen, my half-batch and less ingredients (it was cool after about 3 minutes, as opposed to the 10 the recipe suggested).
I filled mine with a cream cheese frosting which had a little pumpkin spice mixed in and these tasted exactly like pumpkin pie cheesecake! Neighbours who tested them as soon as they were filled reported that they were “the best yet” (and they’ve eaten a LOT of macarons!) but I squirrelled mine away to the fridge to rest overnight – them’s the rules – macarons are SO much better after a night’s rest in the fridge!
You can see the colour better in natural light…
And the good news is that over the next month, I’ll be working on an online (pre-recorded, take at your own pace) class where you’ll learn to make macarons yourself! Should be ready just in time for the holidays! (now that I’ve said it out loud, I’m committed! Stay tuned!).
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Parisian Macarons on page 288 of Baking Chez Moi.
Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes on our blogs, so you’re encouraged to purchase Baking Chez Moi for yourself which you can do on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us, baking our way through the book!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!
Like this post? Get blog posts delivered to your inbox! Sign up here!
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids is out now! Click here for details and how to order!