Help me prevent a macaron mess!
October 26, 2012 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I went all the way to France and came back with a box of Alsa Macaron Mix. Problem: I don't speak French. How do I do this?

I've heard they're hard to make, and a packet seemed like it might be easier than attempting to do this from scratch. As there was a 2 for 1 offer on, I bought one box to bake with a bilingual friend who is infinitely better at baking than I, and the other I would like to attempt with my petite cherie this weekend.

I've made packet cakes often as a child, but macaron mix doesn't exist in the UK and I can't work it out from my very bitty grasp of French - I have a terrible habit of forgetting that baking instructions are not rough guidelines, so it would be good if there is anyone who's made them and can tell me what to do.

Here is an image of the back of the packet. Here's one of the chocolate version. I've looked online, but I can't see anyone going through them step by step in English - English 'macaroons' are something different entirely which doesn't help - or written French.
posted by mippy to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
Best answer: Mmm. Looks good.

There's a link to a video in this blog.

And here are the instructions in English in this blog.

I love blogs!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:54 AM on October 26, 2012

Labour intensive, but how about just typing the directions into Google Translate?
Or, on preview, do what Ruthless Bunny says.
posted by Dorinda at 9:56 AM on October 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you - I've just been poking around blogs and found only people telling me that they were a weird supermarket find. I knew there was a French video on the Alsa site but as I did Spanish at school I struggle to marry up the spoken words with the written.
posted by mippy at 9:58 AM on October 26, 2012

Also the first two notes at the bottom say "avoid using aluminum foil because the macarons will stick" and "make sure the cookies are good and dry - they shouldn't be sticky if you touch them with your finger at the end of the first stage of cooking." The third one I don't think I understand - something about using the pastry bag to fill them from the side?
posted by mskyle at 10:08 AM on October 26, 2012

Ohh! I have made those! They are reasonably easy the exception being that there is a weird part where you have to change the cook temperature in the middle. Parchment paper is important for the macaroons so they dont stick. Also, they say that you don't need to use a pastry bag but it makes them come out a lot better. Enjoy!
posted by raccoon409 at 11:00 AM on October 26, 2012

Best answer: The blog instructions posted for the chocolate version don't match the back of your box for the raspberry (framboise) ones...

For the raspberry ones:
1. Put 10cl water in a saucepan and add the contents of the 'fourrage framboise' packet. Heat and whisk until it comes to a boil. Let it simmer (small bubbles) for 30 seconds, then pour into a bowl, let cool and put it in the fridge

2. Use an electric mixer and whip 2 egg whites (max 65 grams) until stiff (max. 2 minutes at the highest speed). Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the contents of the 'macarons framboise' packet until everything's combined and you can't see any white

3. Cover your cookie sheet with parchment, then use a teaspoon to make 24 circles of about 3cm diameter of the mixture, spaced evenly on the sheet. If you've got extra of the mixture, distribute it among the 24 circles.

4. Put the cookie sheet in an UNHEATED oven, turn on to 50ºC for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 150ºC for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let the macarons cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before gently removing them from the parchment.

5. Take the raspberry mixture out of the fridge. Distribute the mixture over 12 macaron halves, then place the second macaron half on top. For softer centres, place in the fridge covered in cling foil for an hour.

Tips: avoid aluminum foil, make sure the macaron halves are well-dried (a finger placed on a half shouldn't be sticky).
posted by eendje at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Macarons are touchy to get perfect, especially the first time. Don't be disappointed if the one mix you brought back with you doesn't turn out well. And if it does, congratulations! Among food bloggers Tartelette is sort of the macaron mother. She has a very thorough article entitled Demistifying Macarons, with pictures, that may help you when you decide to go further than the mix. Annie's Eats also has a good step-by-step. Good luck!

>The third one I don't think I understand - something about using the pastry bag to fill them from the side?

mskyle, I think that just means to pipe with the bag mostly horizontal as opposed to holding it vertically above the parchment paper, so there's no peak on the cookie.
posted by therewolf at 8:43 PM on October 26, 2012

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