French Macarons (Part II)
French macarons are the holy grail of vegan dessert in my opinion. Following a combination of Hannah Kaminsky’s mint macaron recipe in Vegan Desserts and research into foams and non vegan macarons, I’ve got a macaron now that is fairly reliable, though not close to perfect.
My problem, still, is hollow centers. I have theories, but I don’t get around to making macarons everyday to experiment. I think my biggest problem is that the batter is too thick (too much almond meal slash powdered sugar), so the shells get too big and puffy. Playing around with temperature and the egg whites might also help.
Regardless, I’ll share with you my macaron recipe as I work on it now. I hope this can be useful for many people as a jumping off point and I really hope we can collaborate to improve the recipe. As before, my recipe relies on Versawhip as the main foaming agent. Also, I’ve since gotten a stand mixer, and I love it. The whisk attachment is good for making the foam.
This recipe is a lemon variation, which is all too appropriate for summer.
- 15 g cane sugar
- 57 g almond meal
- 115 g powdered sugar
- 57g water
- 1/2 tsp Versawhip
- 15 g Ener-G Egg Replacer powder (~2Tbl)
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum powder
- 1/4 tsp fine lemon zest
- 2 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
- Put the 15 g cane sugar in a food processor and pulse to create superfine sugar, set aside.
- Whisk the water and egg replacer until foamy, let stand for 2 minutes.
- Put the almond meal and powdered sugar in the food processor and pulse to combine and destroy any clumps. Don’t over mix or over heat the mixture (we don’t want almond butter).
- Place the egg replacer/water foamy mixture in the bowl of your stand mixture along with the Versawhip and xanthan gum. With the whisk attachment on low, slowly add the superfine sugar. Increase the speed to medium, add the lemon zest and food coloring, and then increase to high until you get stiff peaks (the volume wasn’t enough to get my whisk attachment into, so I had to lift the bowl up a bit).
- Once you have stiff peaks, turn off the machine and fold in your almond mixture, carefully. Many macaron recipes say that the batter should flow in ribbons like hot lava (whatever that means).
- With a piping bag or zip lock bag with the corner cut, pipe 1.5″ circles of batter onto a silpat or parchment paper which is on a baking sheet. Smooth out any bumps and tap the sheet pan to knock out any air bubbles.
- Now, importantly, let the batter sit, at room temperature, in a well ventilated room for 1-3 hours. This is essential in keeping the shape and making feet. You want the shells to be dry to the touch.
- Bake the shells at 300°F for 10-14 minutes. You can double stack your sheet pans to help with insulation so the bottoms don’t burn.
- For these lemon macarons, I sandwiched them with left over lemon icing for cupcakes from my sister.
Additional shots of my stand mixer. I love that it’s red. We actually got it for about half off at TJ Max.