Vive La France et Macaron!
Our friends decided that we should do a "French Day" macaron challenge and dress the kids up accordingly! We tried our hand at making Lemon-Raspberry macaron, ratatouille, haricot vert, and dinner and dessert crepes!
Fi said "Bonjour mes amis! Aujourd'hui, nous faisons des macarons!" and was so hoping Jackson would answer her with a "Oui oui!" like he did when the cameras weren't rolling. It's the cutest thing! We started off our long day of French fun by attempting to make macarons for the very first time. We used a scale for our measurements like Fi referenced in the video above which was almost a full cup.
To make Macarons you'll need:
1 cup (100 g) almond flour
1cup (100 g) powdered sugar
2 large egg whites room temperature
1/4 tsp. (1.42 g) cream of tartar
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (4.2 g) lemon juice
1-2 drops yellow gel food coloring
RASPBERRY LEMON FILLING
5 tbsp. (75g) butter room temperature
1 1/4 cups (156g) confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp. (28g) fresh raspberries
1/2 tsp. (2.1 g) lemon juice
1/2 tsp. (2.1 g) lemon zest
1-3 drops red gel food coloring
Sift almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium mixing bowl. We sifted both ingredients twice to get a finer consistency. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. While beating, add about 1 tablespoon sugar at a time. Increase speed to medium-high and mix until stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without it sliding. Add the lemon juice and gel food coloring and beat on medium until combined.
3. Add the almond flour and powdered sugar by sifting it into the meringue (this is the second time sifting). Use a rubber scraper and gently fold the ingredients together by scraping the sides clockwise, starting at the bottom and then cutting down through the middle once you get to the top. The batter will thin up as you mix. Test the batter by dropping some back into the bowl. It will fall off the spatula like thick lava and the edges of the dropped batter will dissolve within ten seconds.
4.Place batter in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton A1 piping tip.
5. Pipe out 1.5 inch rounds 2 inches apart on 3 baking sheets covered with parchment paper or use a Silpat on top of a template. We used this one.
We may have forgotten and done a few on the baking sheet we used as a template first. Hee hee.
6. Slam the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get the air bubbles out so that they don't crack the macarons while baking.
7. Let the batter dry 30 minutes or longer until you can lightly touch it without it sticking to your finger.
8. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 18-20 minutes. Place pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes and then slide the parchment/Silpat onto the cooling rack and let the macarons cool completely.
RASPBERRY LEMON FILLING
Beat butter for 2 minutes until pale. Add the powdered sugar and beat another 2 minutes.
Place raspberries, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl and mash together (or if you have a small food processor or blender, puree it). Pour through a mesh strainer into another bowl until you're just left with seeds and discard them. You'l be left with about 1 tablespoon puree. Add to the buttercream and mix until smooth and creamy. Add a couple drops of food coloring if desired.
Place in a piping bag and squeeze about 2-3 teaspoons onto the bottom of a cooled macaron. Place another macaron on the frosting to make a sandwich and gently press until the filling spreads to the edge of the cookie.
Refrigerate the cookies in an airtight container for at least 3 hours before serving and up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 4 months.
While we were waiting on our macarons to bake, we turned the kids into tiny little mimes and let them run around and pretend to be a mime for the day! Fi got trapped in a box a few times and just couldn't seem to to drag that heavy bag behind her. Heh heh. Plus, they did some painting because what's a day in France without a little art?
After our mime fun, we headed back into the kitchen to prepare our French dinner where I basically had zero time to take pictures but it was delicious and the recipes are below!
To make the crepes (and dessert crepes) you'll need:
2 eggs 1 cup flour ½ cup milk ½ cup club soda
Banana- dessert only Nutella-dessert only
(We doubled our crepe batter recipe to make crepes for both dinner and dessert for 6 people.)
1. In medium mining bowl, beat together eggs, and milk. Gradually stir in the flour and club soda, alternating between the two. Beat until smooth.
2. Place in blender, blend on low for about one minute. Scrape sides with spatula and blend for another 15 seconds until smooth.
3. Refrigerate for one hour before cooking. If mixture begins to separate, stir gently.
4. Lightly spray the crepe pan with a little oil.
5. Pour in 2-3 T. of batter and quickly move pan around so that the batter spreads evenly, covering the whole surface with a thin layer.
6. Let cook for about 1 minutes. Then, flip with a spatula and cook the other side for about 30 seconds.
7. To make a dessert crepe spread Nutella over crepe. Place a layer of bananas on one side of crepe. Fold into fourths. For dinner crepe, fill with desired savory filling and fold.
We used this recipe to make our gruyere and mushroom crepe filling!
They were amazingly delicious and then we used Nutella and banana to make our delicious dessert crepes!
To make our haricot vert we used this recipe.
For our ratatouille we used this recipe.
We had such a fun, but busy day bringing France into our house. I wonder what destination we'll try to replicate through food next? Hmmm...