Chatelaine Kitchen

It's Macaron Day!

Celebrated internationally, participating bakeries donate a percentage of the day's macaron sales to charity — and we can't think of a better reason to indulge in these decadent delights.

Raspberry-chocolate-ganache macarons

Raspberry-chocolate-ganache macarons.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Macaron Day, or Jour de Macaron, is an annual tradition started by Parisian pastry chef Pierre Hermé in 1995. Celebrated internationally, from Paris to Hungary, NYC and Canada, participating bakeries usually donate a percentage of the day’s macaron sales to charity — and we can’t think of a better reason to indulge in these decadent delights.

Here in Canada — in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto (to start!) — a number of bakeries and patisseries are joining in on the extravaganza. This includes one of our local favourites, NADÈGE patisserie, where in addition to their regular roster of flavours, they will also be offering a special blueberry-vanilla macaron in honour of their chosen charity’s (SickKids Foundation) signature blue.

Don’t miss out on this celebrated cookie; but if bakeries in your town have yet to join the charge, you can make them at home with our recipe:

Raspberry-chocolate-ganache macarons

Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour, preferably Bob’s Red Mill
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pink or red gel food colouring

FOR RASPBERRY-CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

  • 150g good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Instructions

  • Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  • Pass icing sugar and almond flour through a sieve into a medium bowl. Discard any coarse grinds in your sieve. Set aside.
  • Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium, until frothy, about 30 sec. Dip the tip of a paring knife into gel food colouring and swirl through egg whites. Continue beating while adding granulated sugar in a thin, steady stream. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 1 min.
  • Fold half of almond mixture into egg whites until almost combined. Gently fold in remaining almond mixture until no streaks remain. Mixture will look like thick, moist cake batter.
  • Fit a piping bag with a #7 round tip. Fill bag with batter. Pipe 1-in.-wide rounds onto prepared sheets 1/2 in. apart. If piped rounds have peaks, spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Smack the bottom of the sheets on towel a few times until tops are smooth. Let macarons rest until the surface of the batter feels dry when touched, 45 min to 1 hour (batter will not stick to your finger). It may take longer if the weather is humid.
  • Preheat oven to 280F.
  • Bake in centre of oven, until macarons are firm and dry, 16 to 18 min. They should not shift when they are touched. If macarons are not done, continue baking and checking at 2-min intervals. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cookies should come off the parchment easily when cool.
  • Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Microwave on medium, stirring halfway through, for 1 min until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in jam. Set aside to cool.
  • Spread or pipe 1/2 tsp ganache on the bottoms of half of the macarons. Sandwich with remaining macarons. Macarons will keep well, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Prep Tip:
For best results, all ingredients need to be at room temperature. Gel colouring works best, because it will not dilute the macaron mixture.

Shopping Tip:
If you cannot find almond flour, substitute 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds for almond flour. Whirl along with icing sugar in a food processor. Sift into a large bowl. If there are any coarse grinds in your sieve, return to food processor and whirl again. Repeat sieving. Discard any coarse nuts remaining.

Storage Tip:
Freeze sandwiched macarons in an airtight container in freezer for up to 2 weeks. Let macarons come to room temperature overnight before serving.

Baking Tip:
If your piped rounds are larger than 1 in., you will get fewer macarons. Larger macarons will need a longer baking time.