Bonjour mon chéris!
Happy Bastille Day 🙂 Ah yes, the French national day celebrating prison break-outs and giving a big f-u to the “Man”.
I’m not a regular celebrator of this French holiday, but it does come to my mind thanks to several (fruitless) years of taking French classes in school. Mr. Gerard, my sophomore and junior year native French professor (and super hottie) also comes to my mind too… ;-).
But mostly, I have been wanting to try my hand at making French macarons so Bastille Day gave me the perfect reason to get in the kitchen and stop being afraid of the egg whites!!
Yes, I am afraid of working with egg whites. I feel they are finicky and unmanageable. I know Julia Childs would be very dissapointed in my lack of egg-white related self confidence. (No Julia, No!)
Yes, these macarons look lovely, delicate black tea infused cookies stuffed with lemon curd. Yes, maybe they even look effortless (ya right).
But it took a battle with the egg whites to get there. Round 1 ended with Erin: 0 Egg Whites: 1.
Round 2, I evened the score.Victory!
After carefully reviewing my game plan, I think the fatal flaw occurred in round 1 when I didn’t let the egg whites come up to room temperature before whipping them. Room temperature whites hold their shape when whipped much better than cold ones.
So I adjusted, did it ‘right’ the second time around and was successful!
Here is the recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s 2010 holiday cookie magazine special.
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- Contents of 1 Earl Gray tea bag
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- pinch of cream of tarter
- 1/4 cup fine sugar
- lemon curd, for filling
Pulse confectioners sugar, tea and almond flour until combined. Sift. Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy, add the cream of tarter, whisk until soft peaks form, then add in the 1/4 cup sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Sift flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold to combine. The batter should be thick and hold its shape, not runny. Transfer to a piping bag, and pipe out 1 inch rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Tap the bottom on the baking sheet onto the counter top to release bubbles. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. (I baked one tray immediately and another tray after letting it stand for 15 minutes. That method worked better, I recommend not skipping this step!)
Turn the oven down to 325° and place one sheet at a time in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Raise oven temp back to 375° after the first tray is done and repeat the heat reduction technique with each subsequent tray. Let cookies cool before removing from baking sheet. Fill with lemon curd. Enjoy!
Daily Question: Do you have a culinary fear? Tell me what, and how you conquered it!