vanilla bean macarons with raspberry curd

May 16, 2013

in Macarons

Fear – a four letter word that can hold you back or drive you forward. Though fear often holds me back, macarons have been on my baking “bucket list” for months. After a few days of research, I felt ready to tackle them. The first French macaron I’ve ever tasted came out of my oven (and if you’ve never tried one, that’s reason enough to make your own!). These macarons melt in your mouth, an ethereal blend of vanilla bean and silky raspberry curd.

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd | Tutti Dolci

A food scale is a must for macarons (I use this OXO scale). I recommend weighing out all the ingredients before beginning; I also found it helpful to use my iPhone as a timer while beating the meringue. Last but not least, if you’ve never made macarons, start by reading Macaron Mythbusters and The Ten Commandments.

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd | Tutti Dolci

I’ve included two photos I snapped on my iPhone – on the left, you see the stiff, dry meringue after 9 minutes of beating; on the right, my baked macarons (with feet!) cooling on the pan. For step-by-step photos, go here.

Macarons: The Process

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Raspberry Curd
Adapted from BraveTart
115g almond flour
230g powdered sugar
144g egg whites, at room temperature
72g sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
2g (1/2 tsp) salt
Raspberry curd filling (click here for recipe)

Preheat oven to 300°F and fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a third sheet of parchment paper, trace out 24 1.5-inch circles (use a round cookie cutter or stencil as a guide), spaced 1 inch apart. Set aside as a master guide.

Use a fine mesh sieve or sifter to sift almond flour and powdered sugar together twice; use a firm spatula to push any large particles through (If you are making your own almond flour, process the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground; sift mixture as mentioned above). Set aside.

Combine egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean, and salt in a large mixer bowl fitted with wire whip attachment. Whip for 3 minutes on medium speed (4 on a KitchenAid), until egg whites begin to foam. Increase speed to medium-high (7 on a KitchenAid) and whip for 3 minutes, until meringue forms soft peaks. Increase speed to 8 and whip for a final 3 minutes, until meringue is stiff and dry (see photo above). The meringue should clump in the center of the wire whip attachment; knock against mixer bowl to release.

Add dry ingredients to meringue all at once. Use a rubber spatula to fold dry mixture into meringue, smearing the mixture against the side of the bowl to knock the air out (you want to deflate the whites, so don’t worry about folding them gently). After 25 folds, your mixture may still look lumpy. Continue to fold about 10 more times, checking texture after each fold. The batter is ready when it holds its shape when spooned onto itself and slowly flattens out after 15 to 20 seconds. If the batter is stiff and doesn’t flatten out, it’s undermixed. If the batter is runny and fluid, it’s overmixed and won’t hold a shape.

Transfer half the batter to pastry bag. Slide master guide of circles between baking sheet and parchment paper. Hold piping bag vertically and pipe batter to within 1/8″ from the edge of the circle. Carefully remove master guide from underneath piped circles and transfer to second baking sheet, repeating with remaining batter. Remove guide and save for future use. Tap pans sharply on counter; rotate 90 degrees and tap two more times (to deflate air bubbles and prevent cracked shells).

Bake for 17 minutes, until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from the macaron. Place pans on wire racks and cool completely before removing shells. When ready to assemble, fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip and fill with raspberry curd. Pipe about a tablespoon of raspberry curd onto the bottom of half the shells, then sandwich with remaining shells. Because of the moisture content of the curd, these macarons are best eaten the day of assembly; fill with curd no more than an hour before serving. If you don’t want to fill all the shells at once, store in an airtight container between layers of parchment.

Yield – 60 shells, 30 macarons
Calories – 100 (per macaron)
Carbs – 17

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51 Comments

1 The Café Sucre Farine May 16, 2013

BRAVO to you Laura! I haven’t gotten over the fear (and the time element) but you are an inspiration to me. Your vanilla bean raspberry combination is to me, perfectly matched in heaven. I’m sure they will be serving something like this there! Hey, maybe it will be you and me, if I ever get up the courage :)

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2 Carol | a cup of mascarpone May 16, 2013

I’m here at my computer yelling congratulations to you, Laura!!! Like Chris, I haven’t been able to plunge in yet, still have “fear”! They are absolutely lovely…and thanks for the photos, especially for the egg whites!

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3 Sue/the view from great island May 16, 2013

These are still on my bucket list, I haven’t been able to conquer the fear. I guess from the other comments, I’m not alone. Looking at these I might have to take the plunge. And I love the raspberry riff you’ve been on, I’m in the middle of a love affair with apricots and it’s good to know other bloggers get fixated too every once in a while :)

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4 Sarah May 16, 2013

Wow – not only have you conquered the macaron, they look absolutely gorgeous. The combination of distinct vanilla and raspberry sounds heavenly.

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5 Valerie May 16, 2013

You managed the ever-elusive “feet” on your first attempt – that’s fabulously amazing!! These macarons are a perfect combination of sweet and tart (love that raspberry curd!).

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6 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today May 16, 2013

Maxarons are still on my bucket list, I don’t know why I’m so scared of them. It’s just it’s so delicate… Yours turned out so well, congratulations!

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7 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious May 16, 2013

You macaron queen, you! Awesome and love the flavors.

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8 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough May 16, 2013

I have so many darn macaron recipes pinned (yours included!) and I’ve never made a single one because of fear. But you’ve given me courage to finally take the plunge (also, I can’t bear going another day without trying these because they look so good!).

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9 Liz May 16, 2013

Perfectly done! I did the same thing…my first taste of a macaron was from my own oven. I need to make them again…and I love your raspberry filling!

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10 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) May 16, 2013

Congrats, Laura! Your macarons look absolutely perfect!

I’ve been so afraid of trying them myself. Got tons of books and all the tools–courage is all I’m missing. I’ve been waiting for a class to pop up at my local Sur La Table to give me that extra push but you’ve just encouraged me to give it a go.

These macarons are beautiful and I love the combination of flavors. :)

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11 marissa @ the boot May 16, 2013

i saw that you had a bunch of macaron pins recently so i was waiting for your recipe! :) they look gorgeous! congrats! i had my first in paris and they were incredible, these look just as good!

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12 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 17, 2013

I like that you can eat them the day of making, not like other macarons where day 2 or 3 is optimum. I love how pretty these are.

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13 Jennifer @ Delicieux May 17, 2013

Fantastic macarons Laura! I’ve only attempted macarons once, on a particularly hot and humid day, which I think was my downfall. You’ve inspired me to try again :)

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14 steph@stephsbitebybite May 17, 2013

These look incredible!

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15 Denise Browning@From Brazil To You May 17, 2013

Absolutely gorgeous, Laura!!!! These cookies are too tempting…My mouth is watering!

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16 Katie @ Butterlust Blog May 17, 2013

these are gorgeous! I too share a fear of macarons, but you have inspired me! now I just need to make space in my kitchen for a new scale…

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17 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 17, 2013

Absolutely gorgeous, Laura! You are so talented, my friend!

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18 Amy May 17, 2013

Wohooo!! Congratulations Laura! Your macarons look stunning!! Macarons are still on my bucket list too, I never had the courage to try them…

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19 Anna @ Hidden Ponies May 17, 2013

That raspberry curd again – LOVE! What a gorgeous colour. And I managed to make macarons without a kitchen scale but I imagine they would be much more predictable with one :) Yours are perfect!

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20 Nami | Just One Cookbook May 17, 2013

Congrats on the first macaron making! I don’t know when I have enough courage to make these but I want to do it one day. There are plenty of baked goods that I have to make first to get used to baking. But oh boy these macarons are perfect Laura! Well I have no doubt of your success story as everything you make and share every week is beyond amazing. :) This is simply beautiful.

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21 Becky @ A Calculated Whisk May 17, 2013

Your pictures are so gorgeous every time! Inspiring!

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22 Deb May 17, 2013

Just gorgeous Laura! The raspberry curd peaking out between the macarons is just enchanting! I tried to master the technique on my own and ending up taking a class. With the Italian meringue method I achieved success!

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23 Averie @ Averie Cooks May 17, 2013

I’ve never made them and honestly havent had a huge desire to -until recently! I have been bitten by the bug and want to try! Those vanilla bean specs in yours are just amazing!

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24 Lizzy (Good Things) May 17, 2013

You’ve nailed this recipe, Laura! Would you please come to my home and teach me? xo

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25 Patty May 17, 2013

Beautiful macarons Laura! Love all the flavors and the raspberry curd is so pretty;-)

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26 Heather @ French Press May 17, 2013

I have wanted to make these for SO long, but just haven’t gotten up the nerve to try. your macarons are simply gorgeous

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27 Claire @ Claire K Creations May 17, 2013

They are just perfect! I can almost taste the tart raspberries jumping off the screen at me!

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28 Kate@Diethood May 17, 2013

Too pretty for words…I think you just need to send some to my house… stat. ;-D

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29 Liren May 17, 2013

You would never know that there was any fear, by the looks of these macarons. They look perfect to me! I have long had that fear, but am hoping desire will take over so I can finally say I made macarons. The raspberry curd is just lovely!

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30 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 17, 2013

Fear definitely holds me back a bit from my bucket list but I’m glad you conquered yours. These look like absolute perfection!

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31 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 17, 2013

Gorgeous job Laura! I know what you mean about the trepidation felt with macarons. They’re so potentially difficult but it looks like you triumphed! :D

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32 Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ May 18, 2013

These macaroons are perfect. You’re such a talented baker! Gotta pin it!

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33 Cassie | Bake Your Day May 18, 2013

These are completely perfect macarons, Laura! I wish I had one or two for breakfast!

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34 Mercedes May 18, 2013

Gorgeous! And I love the idea of raspberry curd as a filling! The color contrast is so beautiful!

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35 Erin @ Texanerin Baking May 18, 2013

I’ve never had a macron. They just never sounded very yummy. They just look like they have to bland and bla. But these look amazing. And more raspberry curd – yay!

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36 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} May 18, 2013

Congrats on tackling your fears! If you did not share you were fearful, I would have assumed you have been making these for years – they look like they were flown in from Paris! LOVELY!!!!

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37 Karen (Back Road Journal) May 18, 2013

Absolutely lovely…I can just imagine how wonderful they taste.

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38 suzanne Perazzini May 18, 2013

What a fabulous job you have done with these. I am too chicken to give them a try. Gorgeous photos too.

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39 Maria@pinkpatisserie May 18, 2013

These are beautiful Laura! And the raspberry looks to be a perfect compliment. They are finicky little things aren’t they? But oh so worth it!

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40 Priscilla | ShesCookin May 19, 2013

I applaud you, Laura! Your macarons are perfection and I love the raspberry and vanilla flavor combination – it is truly unique. I hope a confectioner near me sees this and uses it for inspiration :)

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41 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings May 19, 2013

I remember my first time making macarons…scary! Then you come to realize that oh, it’s not that intimidating! I also used the Brave Tart’s recipe the first time I baked macarons!!! What a coincidence! That raspberry curd looks so vibrant, too. Great job, Laura!

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42 Lora @cakeduchess May 20, 2013

These are so delicate and lovely, Laura. The photo belongs in a magazine…so perfect:)

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43 claire (@realnutritioncg) May 20, 2013

These are gorgeous!

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44 Hannah May 20, 2013

Just beautiful! You’ve convinced me, Laura – it’s time to make macarons. I especially love the raspberry filling. Perfect for a spring celebration!

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45 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts May 21, 2013

Great job!! I have only had macarons once, and they were ones I made. They can be intimidating, which is probably why I have never made them again :)

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46 Terra May 21, 2013

YAY, Congrats on conquering your fear, and rocking out some macs!!! Love the flavor combo:-) These are my all time favorite cookie:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

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47 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com May 22, 2013

Bravo, Laura!! At first attempt, you seem to make it look so easy!! And I’m left drooling over these macarons! YUM :D

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48 Rosa May 22, 2013

What beautiful macarons! That filling is just perfect.

Cheers,

Rosa

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49 Suzanne May 26, 2013

These are so gorgeous, you give me hope for my first time too! I haven’t braved them yet either but I really want to and you have given me the nudge. Raspberry curd sound wonderful with these too!

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50 Celina Trujillo January 12, 2014

I just used your recipe and they came out perfect! I linked my blog post to you. :)

http://sprinkles-and-sparkles.blogspot.com/2014/01/funfetti-macarons-my-26th-birthday.html

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51 Tutti Dolci January 12, 2014

Hi Celina, so happy to hear that – your macarons look beautiful. Thank you for letting me know! :)

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