If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I baked macarons on Saturday. This was my second time making them, and I am really excited with how the final batch turned out. This time, I decided to go with one of my favorite flavor combos, mint-chocolate!
Now, I say the “final batch,” because I had a mega fail with the my first attempt at making mint-chocolate macarons. I followed a blogger’s recipe (which shall remain unnamed…), and both the mint shells and the chocolate-mint ganache turned out terrible! I could tell right away that the consistency of the batter was too runny because of WAY too much peppermint extract. I baked them anyway, and this is what I ended up with:
I was ready to throw in the towel, but Chris encouraged me to try again, so I referred to the same Martha Stewart French Almond Macaron recipe I used last time. I switched it up by substituting peppermint extract (purchased at our farmer’s market) for the vanilla and by adding a couple drops of green gel food coloring (If you want to make colored macaron shells, you’ll want to use gel coloring, not liquid. This is the set of gel food coloring I bought.)
Now, the first time I used this Martha Stewart recipe, they turned out decent, but very far from perfect. So, after reading many a macaron baking tutorial, I switched up a couple things:
- I ran the almond flour through our food processor before whisking it into the sifted powdered sugar.
- I used fresh eggs bought at the farmer’s market that morning.
- I bought an oven thermometer (this one) and discovered that our oven is 50 degrees hotter than it says, so set the temperature back to 250 degrees.
- I only used our nice, thick cookie sheet (this is what I have) and didn’t use our thinner one this time. I use a baking mat, but you could use parchment paper instead.
- I let the shells rest for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet before baking them, and I tapped them against the counter after they were already piped, rather than tapping the batter in the bowl.
With these little changes, my macarons turned out nearly perfect! They have that eggshell-like crust, they have feet, and they’re creamy and chewy in the middle. The only problem is the “peaks” that the shells have, which I read is caused by under-mixing the batter. I also read that you can avoid these by using a wet finger to smooth down any points after you pipe the batter.
Oh, and I used Martha Stewart’s chocolate-mint ganache for the filling. The only thing to note here that isn’t included in the recipe is that you’ll need to let your ganache set before spreading it onto the shells. Mine was the perfect consistency for spreading after about an hour and a half. Also, I made a half recipe of the ganache, and I still had quite a bit left over (which is a-okay, because you can refrigerate it, and it’s delicious enough to just lick off a spoon ).
Shew! I know that’s a lot to read, but I hope these tips might help a beginner macaron baker, just like me! I am by no means an expert, but I’ve been learning the tricks of the trade, and these mint-chocolate macarons were a small success for me.
Chris already has an order in for different flavors he wants me to try making, but until then, I’ll be enjoying these delicious beauties!