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September 14, 2010

I have had a serious handicap in the baking world…..up until very recently, and at the grand old age of 50#**%$(mumblestherest) I have been a macaron virgin *blushes furiously*!! I have been determined to rid myself of the stigma of being so challenged a) because I do like a challenge and b) because I am totally into Macs….the eating of them that is hehe. I read voraciously on other peoples blogs about the macs they have made, I slobber furiously at the mention of all the different flavors….I dream nightly about finding a magical stash of matcha powder somewhere and baking up a macstorm!! I sweat and agonize over whether I would achieve the “happy little feet” that are an essential part of successful mac baking. And wherever I can lay my sweaty little palms on one I grab it and close my eyes and savor the flavors, licking the last little bit of crumb or filling off my fingers. And it has taken months of serious studying for me to feel prepared enough to attack the macs in my own kitchen. But finally I felt I was ready……..did some final reading up from some of my favorite bloggers who are serious maccers –  Jamie from Lifesafeast ,  Aran from Cannelle et Vanille , Deeba from Passionate about Baking ,Meeta from Whats for Lunch, Honey?  & Helen from Tartelette ! And then there was one Joe Pastry who really inspired me and gave me the courage to carry on! Jamie suggested that I try chocolate macarons for my first time as the cocoa powder gives some stability to the mixture so being a good girl ( 🙂 ) I decided to listen to a pro and did as I was told. I asked on twitter for flavor combos and got quite a few that sounded good for next time. For my first time though I decided to go with a citrussy vanilla bean white chocolate filling to go with the chocolate shells.

Finally the morning dawned bright and clear…it was not too hot or too cold….the humidity was not too high… wasn’t raining…..and more to the point… egg whites had ripened on the counter overnight (sounds like a catchy song title to me hehe)! 2 days earlier I had baked my flourless chocolate almond torte for brownieboys birthday dinner and had used up the yolks…so I covered the whites, popped them into the fridge for a day and then left them out overnight as instructed.  I had run out of time and excuses…….

I have to say that I was really excited during the time that I was waiting for the oven to heat up and for the skin to form on the piped macs…..but nothing could contain my elation and excitement when I peeked through the oven door and saw…………..FEET forming!!

I am posting a couple of photos here from different angles and I would like to ask my mac guru’s to please give me some good constructive criticism here. Although they had little feet I was not happy with the general appearance of the shells…..they were not nice and smooth like others I have seen. A bit wrinkly and bumpy mine were. Maybe it has something to do with my age 🙂  But I would seriously value any input from any experienced mac bakers out there please as to why they look like they do!

So without further ado…… miracle first time ever macs!

Chocolate Macarons with citrus vanilla bean white chocolate filling
Chocolate Macarons with Orange & Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Ganache



(adapted from Jamie Schler’s recipe as my egg whites weighed a bit more)


3 XL Egg Whites (weighing just over 115g)

215g Superfine Icing/Confectioners Sugar

130g Blanched Almonds

30g Granulated Sugar

15g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used NoMu in mine)


Leave the egg-whites in a covered container to ripen overnight on the kitchen counter (not in the fridge)

Line a large flat baking sheet with baking parchment on which you have drawn small rounds about an inch or so apart in rows. Make sure this side is on the underside next to the baking sheet

Prepare a pastry bag with just the coupler and no nozzle. Stand it up in a glass ready to be filled

Grind the almonds together with the icing or confectioners sugar until fine

Add the cocoa powder to this mixture then sift it all into a large bowl and set aside

Using your electric mixer with the whisk blade or using a handheld mixer beat the eggs until foamy then add half of the granulated sugar and beat until shiny. Add the remainder of the sugar and beat well again until glossy and firm peak stage is reached. If you can turn the bowl upside down without the egg whites sliding out then you are good to go.

Place about ¼ of the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix in using a silicon spatula

Add the rest of the egg white mixture and fold the mixtures together using a lift and fold method while turning the bowl around. Make sure you mix all the dry mixture into the wet. It should take about 30 turns and lifts. When it is ready the mixture should be thick and fall off the spatula like molten lava.

Test some by placing a spoonful onto a flat surface. If it spreads immediately into the round flattish form then it is ready. If it stays a bit peaked then fold the mixture just a few more times. You definitely don’t want over mixed batter otherwise the macarons will not bake properly.

Fill the piping bag and pipe the mixture onto the circles that you previously drew on the baking parchment.

Preheat oven to 1500C Place the shelf on the lower middle rack of the oven

Allow the baking sheet with the piped batter to stand at room temperature for about 30 – 40 minutes until a thin skin has formed on the meringue batter. This is what causes the little feet to form on each meringue shell when they are baking.

Place into the preheated oven and bake for about 12 – 15 minutes. Test one after 12 minutes and if the top still wobbles loosely on the bottom then pop it back in for another minute or so and test again.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on the parchment paper for at least half an hour before gently peeling them off the paper and placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely before filling the shells.


 100g Good Quality White Chocolate (I used Lindt)

20ml Fresh Whipping Cream

Finely grated zest from ½ an orange

Seeds from ½ split Vanilla Pod

Chop the chocolate roughly, add the cream and microwave at 20% power for 1 minute then allow to stand for a few minutes until the chocolate has melted.

Stir in the zest and vanilla seeds then pop it into the fridge for about 5 minutes to cool

 Using a small wire whisk whip the ganache until it is thick and smooth.

Pipe a small amount (just a scant teaspoon) of ganache onto a meringue shell and then sandwich it together with another shell that is the same size and shape.

Repeat until all are paired and completed.  (I found that pairing the dry shells together with the best matching shells, before filling them, worked well)

So there you have it…………I am a mac virgin no more and feel totally liberated 🙂 What’s more, they were pretty successful and tasted absolutely fabulous. I am looking forward to more mad mac moments in my future. Can I join the mac club now?? Just btw, I have seen a LOT of places where people have spelled these little darlings macaroons…in my mind macaroons are coconutty cookies…not these delicate little French meringue shells begging for exotic flavored and colored fillings.

So to all those mac virgins out there……its not that difficult to do and you will never know the feeling of elation until you have made them yourselves. Go do it! And share with everyone when you do.


browniegirl xx

63 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2010 3:12 PM

    *claps hands* They look amazing!!!! Well done!

  2. whippingitup permalink
    September 14, 2010 3:15 PM

    Oh Brownie Girl, I SALUTE you 🙂 !!!

  3. September 14, 2010 3:50 PM

    They are GORGEOUS!!! First macs? Wow am I ever impressed! And any advice? Wow. Was your almonds and sugar ground really finely and well? The rest (smooth top, etc) is just practice – folding and piping. But who’s complaining? I think they are perfect and utterly mouthwatering! I am one proud mama!

    • March 29, 2011 11:15 PM

      Thank you so much for your comment and input mama Jamie, I really appreciate it. Yes, it was pretty finely ground but I guess I could have ground it a bit more…I am getting ready to do another batch I think. I am going to use the matcha powder 😉 Hugs to you and thank you again for inspiring and encouraging me to do this. xx

  4. September 14, 2010 3:55 PM

    Wow, Colly, this is so amazing, now you rank up there with the other spice sista’s!

  5. September 14, 2010 4:09 PM

    Lovely, nice one.

  6. Linnie permalink
    September 14, 2010 4:21 PM

    *big sigh* *drool* *slobber* *licks screen*

  7. September 14, 2010 4:29 PM

    Oh my goodness – what a lot of work, O Captain, my Captain!!

    *bows in utter worship of the Master!!*

    • September 14, 2010 4:46 PM

      She just gets better & better, hey Jo!

    • March 29, 2011 11:11 PM

      HAHA! Thank you sweet Jo, so good to come back here now and see all these lovely comments. So appreciate them all….hugs xx

  8. September 14, 2010 5:24 PM

    YAY! Congrats on losing your virginity. 😉 I have yet to lose mine.

    Yes, I suppose they could be smoother on top (no idea why they have bumps either), but hey, the important thing is they have FEET. Wooooooot!

    • March 29, 2011 11:09 PM

      Hehe, thanx Marisa! Have you lost yours yet??? I was so thrilled with the feet but just a tad disappointed by the crinkly tops…Dont know why they did that.. Woooooot! Let me know when you try xx

  9. September 14, 2010 5:33 PM

    You egg me on dahlin’, you really do! What fab feet you have! Love ’em … and am eternally envious! BIG HUGS CW!!

    • March 29, 2011 11:08 PM

      Thank you so much Deeba, you ladies have really inspired me so much. Appreciate the visit and comment. Big hugs back at you xx

  10. September 14, 2010 5:48 PM

    Wow, these look amazing! I love macaroons/macarons but have always been too scared to make them. You’ve just given me the confidence to try! 🙂

    • March 29, 2011 11:07 PM

      Thank you so much Sarah, I hope by now that you are also a mac virgin no more….xx

  11. September 14, 2010 6:50 PM

    First time you say? Are you sure…I think you must have been a mac maker in a different life; these are WAY too beautiful for a first timer!

    Look beautiful and IFBC be damned…sound delicious!

    • March 29, 2011 11:06 PM

      Yep, indeed my first time, and never again since….although I am starting to feel the mac spirit moving so I guess soon I will attempt them a second time. Thanx Barb, much appreciate your lovely comment! 🙂 xx

  12. September 14, 2010 7:34 PM

    Oh wow! They look amazing!
    Happy belated birthday to brownieboy 🙂

    • March 29, 2011 11:05 PM

      Thank you so much Halfy, good to see you girl. Hugs there xx

  13. Supa permalink
    September 14, 2010 10:40 PM

    Impressive, I am also a Macaroon virgin and likely to stay that way 🙂

  14. September 14, 2010 11:32 PM

    Ooooooh, they look wonderful!

  15. September 15, 2010 5:46 AM

    they look divine and I am sure tasted divine as well

  16. September 15, 2010 7:45 AM

    You are so brave. I am still a virgin, although like you, I drool over the wonderful mac creations. I have to put this on my 40 by 40 list!

    • March 29, 2011 11:02 PM

      It took me too long to get here Rose….thank you so much for the comment. Im so glad I was not the only one out there who had never made these before. I would advise you to go for it. Hugs xx

  17. Griet permalink
    September 15, 2010 8:31 AM

    Soulsista, you have better kept me ONE!!!!

    See you soon
    Love you emmers vol

    • March 29, 2011 11:01 PM

      One day I will make some for you my soulsista!! Would be more fun to make them together though 🙂 Love you too sweetie xx

  18. September 15, 2010 8:55 AM

    you are a rock star! i would never have thought this was your first time – they look impressive. how does it feel loosing your mac virginity now?

    • March 29, 2011 11:00 PM

      HAH! Thank you Meeta, it was indeed my very first time and it felt wonderful to lose the mac virginity. I am about ready to attempt them again actually 🙂 xx

  19. September 15, 2010 11:27 AM

    Colly these are too amazing for words !! am hanging my head in shame looking at the ones I made!!!

    • March 29, 2011 10:59 PM

      Thanx Gaby, Im sure that yours could not have been that bad. Come on, lets make them again and see how it turns out. I also need to get better tops seeing as my footsies came out perfectly xx

  20. September 15, 2010 12:46 PM

    Awesome Macs Col! I also went with chocolate for my first time. Loving the feet! So impressed! What flavour’s next?

    • March 29, 2011 10:58 PM

      Thanx so much Robyn, sorry its taken me so long to get back and reply to my comments. I somehow forgot this one in all the rush to get organized for fbi2011. I am thinking about doing some more…thinking maybe matcha..will work out a filling flavour 🙂 xx

  21. September 15, 2010 4:53 PM

    Oh well done, they look fabulous!

  22. September 15, 2010 11:30 PM

    Those are such cute, fat little thangs ;] I’ve never made or ate macarons before, and am deathly afraid of trying. But soon…they will be conquered.

    • March 29, 2011 10:56 PM

      Thank you so much for the visit and the comment. I do hope that by now you will have eaten some and made your own. They are gooooood 😉 xx

  23. September 16, 2010 12:40 AM

    Looks like a lot of work. Well done 🙂

    • March 29, 2011 10:54 PM

      Wasnt so bad actually once I got into it. Key is to be prepared like a good brownie girl should be hehe! Thanx so much xx

  24. September 16, 2010 4:34 PM

    These look delicious!Finally a macarons recipe i want to make:) Not to mention that I have never eaten one!!


    • March 29, 2011 10:54 PM

      Thank you so much Vanessa, Oh do go out and find yourself one to eat please. You really do need to, and I hope that you try these out. They are delicious xx

  25. September 16, 2010 8:46 PM

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this post for ages. Your macarons look great, really impressive for your first try too.

    • March 29, 2011 10:52 PM

      Thanx Nix, felt bad taking so long especially after I shouted about them on twitter hehe…but I got there….took me longer to come back and comment 🙂 xx

  26. September 17, 2010 4:59 AM

    Wow, so very impressive for a first time…can I have some too:) Happy to be here my friend …sending you hugs xxx

    • March 29, 2011 10:51 PM

      Thanx sweetie, nice to come back here and see so many lovely comments. Hugs to you too xx

  27. September 26, 2010 12:56 PM

    hi,thans for the info, great read, looking forward to the next update. if u do twitter follow me @favoriterecipe and i will follow you back

  28. March 29, 2011 4:35 PM

    your macarons look excellent to me , and for a first attempt you did more than well congrats , i understand your agony about les macarons it happened to me aswell i actualy tried so many recipes and used 75 egg whites , no i’m not kidding before i found the one that works for me so it comes with practice ,so keep up the good work …..

    • March 29, 2011 10:50 PM

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. WOW! 75 egg whites?? im seriously impressed at your perseverance! Well done. I am soon to try this again with different flavors and hoping they turn out even better. Appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment xx

  29. olly12 permalink
    January 26, 2012 7:57 PM

    have just became a member,your macrons look yummy,will be doing these very soon.
    Than you.

    • January 27, 2012 12:06 PM

      Thank you very much, and welcome aboard. I hope you let me know how the macarons go! xx

      • olly12 permalink
        January 27, 2012 1:16 PM

        Hello Collen,thank you for welcoming me to the board,Iwas looking through your blogs I was in awer of your lovely recipes,and i will certainly let you know how i get on with the macrons thank you for sharing take care Anne x

        • February 5, 2012 12:52 PM

          You’re most welcome and thank you so much for that lovely comment Anne. Take care and hope you always enjoy what I post xx

  30. April 5, 2013 5:08 AM

    They look wonderful, congratulations. I believe macaroons are not easy to bake but yours look great


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