Monday, April 18, 2016

Big Batch Macarons

Macaron shells resting before baking.
I took a big risk, but it worked! I made 400 macarons for an event in record time because of a few recipe and baking changes.

I made Oregon Raspberry Macarons, Lime Coconut Macarons, Mocha Macarons and they were all enjoyed at yesterday's reception, celebrating Nathan LeRud as the new Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

As you know, macarons are delicious but finicky, so I was hesitant to implement my spur of the moment ideas, especially without testing them first. But the thought of cutting hours out of my work time was just way too attractive.

So here are the changes I made:

1. I increased my recipe by half to make more macarons.

With the new recipe, I can get a few more than 100 instead of 70 small macarons out of a single batch. I was tempted to double the recipe, but knew that if I made too much batter, it would be difficult to get the macaronage (the process of incorporating the dry ingredients into the egg whites) right.

Big Batch Macaron Recipe Quanities
225 grams egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
270g ground almonds, sifted
405g powdered sugar, sifted
140g granulated sugar

Proceed as usual but lay out six sheetpans lined with parchment paper and set aside three pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Many Mocha Macarons!


2. I baked two pans of macarons at a time. 

The baking is what really eats up time. Usually I bake one pan at a time, in the middle rack of a convection oven. Each pan takes an average of 11 minutes, so you are looking at a full hour to bake a batch. The reason for baking one pan at a time is to ensure that the shells get even heat in the oven and end up with a nice rise and feet.  My solution was to put two pans in the 325 degree oven and then rotate them midway through the baking. Phew! It worked just fine.
The shells after baking.

For the Oregon Raspberry Macarons, I added a swipe of red to the tops of all the shells. I mixed red gel coloring with a bit of vodka to make a paint.

3. I asked my daughter to help me.

Another time consuming, but not hard job, is sorting the macarons into pairs. I asked my daughter Eleanor to take over the sorting while I prepared the buttercream fillings. Besides speeding up the process, it was nice to have company in the kitchen.


Eleanor sorting Lime Coconut Macarons into pairs.

Filling the macarons.


Filled and ready to eat Oregon Raspberry Macarons.

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