Of all the vices and time sucks the internet often presents, the one I've best managed to avoid all these years is YouTube. Don't ask me how. I've heard the rumors of adorable cat videos and funky dance routines performed by Korean rappers that become so popular, they spark national phenomenons. But, I've never felt compelled to log onto YouTube just to watch any of it. Instead, I'm driven to the website for more utilitarian reasons.
Earlier this week, I couldn't figure out how to make a decent batch of macarons, and I thought maybe -- just maybe -- YouTube could help me out with this. Perhaps there was a tutorial somewhere? A step-by-step guide that could visually take me through the process?
It turns out there was. And not only that, but after watching a video for raspberry macarons, I was soon compelled to click on another video for making almond flour, which led to one for white chocolate panna cotta and bahn mi sandwiches and bourbon chicken and homemade ice cream.
Dear God, was I ever sucked in! They got me. They finally got me . . .
In the midst of all this culinary inspiration, I did manage to pry my eyes away from the computer and make a batch of raspberry macarons. I chose the one video I found most helpful (link included below), and followed it's instructions to the letter.
When I finished, the cookies still weren't perfect in my eyes. Some were oddly shaped and some started to crack after I assembled them because the exterior shell is extremely delicate, but everyone who ate them agreed they tasted wonderful. And that made me happy.
(Adapted Slightly from Entertaining With Beth)
Egg whites 3
Granulated sugar 50 grams, or 1/4 cup
Powdered sugar 200 grams, or 2 cups
Almond flour 120 grams, or 1 cup
pinch of salt
Cream of tartar 1/4 tsp.
Red food coloring (several drops)
Take the eggs out of the fridge and submerge them in warm water for 5 minutes. This brings them to room temperature and makes them easier to work with. Next, separate the egg whites, add them to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the salt and cream of tartar, and whip them for 8-10 minutes on low-medium speed.
Turn the speed up to medium-high and gradually pour in small amounts of the granulated sugar. Continue whipping until the egg whites form soft peaks. Then add the food coloring and whip until it reaches the desired color, and a lava-like texture.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a large bowl and combine the powdered sugar and almond flour. Run the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove any large chunks, and then fold half the almond flour mixture in with the egg whites using a spatula. Once the mixture looks evenly combined, add the other half of the almond flour mixture and fold it in.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag and pipe out 1-inch rounds of batter onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Tap the cookie sheets against the counter top to release any air bubbles that may have formed, then let them sit at room temperature for a minimum of 20 minutes before placing them in the oven. (This is crucial because it helps the macarons create a light, flaky shell along the top.)
Next, bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 17-20 minutes. Wait for them to cool completely.
Salted butter 1 cube
(at room temp)
Powdered sugar 75 grams, or 3/4 cup
Frozen raspberries 150 grams, or 1 cup
While you're baking the macarons, or letting them sit at room temperature, use the down time to make the buttercream filling. Whip the butter until it has the consistency of mayonnaise, then whip in the powdered sugar.
Place the raspberries in a mesh sieve, and place the sieve over a bowl. Use a spoon to smash the raspberries and work them through the sieve until you've extracted 3 tablespoons worth of raspberry juice.
Add only the juice to the butter and sugar mixture, and whip until it's all combined.
Transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag, flip one half of the macarons over, and pipe small amounts of buttercream on the flat part of each macaron that's been turned over. Very gently top it with the other half of the macarons -- creating a sandwich -- OR utilize the mashed up raspberries that are left over in the sieve and add tiny spoonfuls to the center of the cookie for an extra raspberry burst.
And here's the video if you'd like further help. Happy baking!