Pulse almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor to remove any lumps. Set aside.
Put egg whites and cream of tartar in stand mixer and whip on #4 until frothy.
Rain the sugar in a slow steady stream while continuing to whip, change speed to 6 after all sugar is added.
Sift flour and almond mixture 3 times to ensure that all lumps are removed.
When merengue is at the stiff peak stage, turn off mixer and remove bowl. Clean off whisk to get all of the merengue into the bowl.
Add one half of the dry ingredients to the merengue and fold until combined.
Add remaining dry ingredients to the mixture and fold gently until the mixture reaches a lava-like consistency. What you’re looking for is a mixture where the batter will fall back in on itself when drizzled from a spatula.
Pipe the macarons onto a cookie sheet covered with a silicon mat or parchment. I use a #12 tip for this.
Tap the cookie sheets on the counter several times until the tops of the macarons are smooth and there are no air bubbles.
Rest the macarons until the tops get a thin skin on them and they are no longer shiny (this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your humidity)
Place the Macarons (only 1 sheet at at time!) in a pre-heated 300 degree oven on the middle rack.
Back for about 14 minutes, turning the macs halfway through. Note, this time can vary depending on your oven temp, humidity and all kinds of factors – you may need to experiment!
Cool on the cookie sheets – if the Macarons are baked properly, they should pop right off the sheets when they are cool.
Fill each pair of shells with your choice of filling.
Blood Orange Ganache
Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl.
Heat the cream to just before boiling (it should be steaming) and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for about 2 minutes.
Whisk the chocolate and cream until melted and smooth.
Add the butter and whisk to combine.
Add blood orange paste and whisk to combine.
Let the ganache set until it has reached a piping consistency. Similar to buttercream.
This is simply one method of making Macarons. There are 3 more methods that we’ll be trying in coming weeks – Swiss, Italian, and Broma.
Getting your batter to the correct consistency takes practice! I’ve been making these on and off for about 3 years, and I finally believe I’ve gotten it right –
Macarons are finicky. If they’re not right the very first time you make them, don’t despair! Chances are they’ll still taste good, so eat them! Once you’re totally buzzed on the sugar, try again 🙂
If you want colored macarons, add the coloring (gel or powder only) to the egg whites when they’re at soft peak stage.