My autumn inspired (or fall inspired for my American friends) French macarons are sure to warm your taste buds as we head into sweater season.
This recipe covers how to make my spiced chocolate, holiday spiced cranberry and salted caramel macarons all at once.
One of the best things about macarons is that once you have mastered making the cookie there are limitless flavour combinations to try.
This blog post I will walk you through how I make 3 flavours and colours of macarons at once. Today my macarons are filled with:
- Cranberry & Holiday Spiced White Chocolate Ganache
- Holiday Spiced Milk Chocolate Ganache
- Salted Caramel
More Autumn Flavour Ideas
Autumn and fall are full of so many wonderful flavours. If one of these flavours isn’t to your liking, why not swap the ganache filling out for one of these instead:
- Pumpkin Spiced Ganache: replace the spices in the spiced white chocolate ganache with 1/8 teaspoon of pumpkin spice.
- Maple Syrup Buttercream: use the maple syrup ermine frosting in my maple bacon cupcake recipe.
- Apple & Cinnamon Buttercream: replace the maple syrup in my maple ermine frosting with 150ml concentrated apple juice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Cinnamon Roll Ganache: leave out the nutmeg in the spiced white chocolate ganache and instead use 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar.
- Fig and Holiday Spiced White Chocolate Ganache: replace the cranberry sauce in the cranberry macarons with fig jam.
Are you making these macarons for Christmas? Check out my recipe for Christmas themed Chocolate Nutella French Macarons
Nifty Tips to Nail Fall Macarons
Yes, macarons are known to be a little tricky to make, but my tips will have you mastering this little cookie in no time at all. Let me share with you my top tips to nail this recipe.
I also have a whole blog post outlining how to make macarons, you can find all my tips and tricks there
Equipment You'll Need
Let’s start off with the list of equipment you’ll need to make these Fall Themed French macarons (or any French macarons for that matter).
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Scales: The most accurate method of measuring your ingredients is to measure them by weight using kitchen scales.
- Electric mixer: Doesn’t need to be a stand mixer, a hand held mixer will do the job just fine.
- Food processer
- The right sized sieve
- Piping Bag & tips: To help create even sized and shaped macaron cookies.
Master the Process
When it comes to baking food with several elements, like French Macarons, I find it really helpful to break up the process over a couple of days.
I’m a busy person, and I don’t have time to spend 2 hours cooking something that isn’t dinner, so spreading the activity over a few days really helps to reduce any time pressure and makes the whole process so much more enjoyable.
That said if you have a spare afternoon to spend experimenting in the kitchen, feel free to smash out this recipe in one go. Just don’t forget to separate your eggs and weigh the egg whites the day before, so that they have time to age in the fridge.
This is my process for making French Macarons over a few days:
Day 1: Allow 30 minutes
Day one is all about preparing all the ingredients for the following day. The day before baking the macarons I will:
- Seperate the eggs, weigh the egg whites and place them in an air tight container in the fridge to age overnight.
- Calculate the amount of caster sugar, almond flour and powdered sugar I need (this is based on the amount of egg whites I have).
- Measure out the caster sugar and place in an airtight container ready for tomorrow.
- Measure out the almond flour & powdered sugar, and prepare it for tomorrow by blitzing in the blender and sifting out any large lumps of almond flour. This mixture is then placed in an airtight container to store overnight.
Day 2: Allow 1 hour to bake and 1 hour to decorate
This is the day I bake and decorate my macaron cookies. It’s by far the biggest and most involved day of the 3. That said, having prepared and organised so many things the day before means I’m not searching through the pantry trying to find things on the fly. This frees me up to focus on the task at hand (aka actually making the macarons) which means I have the time to enjoy myself so much more.
First thing I always do on Day 2 is take the egg whites out of the fridge. This way they can come up to room temperature while I prepare everything else.
Next Is organise all my tools and equipment on the bench ready to use into 5 groups. These being:
1. Tools and Ingredients needed to make a meringue: These being an electric mixer, egg whites, caster sugar, vanilla, salt, cream of tartar and measuring equipment (teaspoons).
2. Items needed to start the macaronage: The prepared container of almond flour and powdered sugar and a spatula.
3. Equipment needed to colour the batter 2: As I am making 3 different colours of macarons today I needed 2 additional bowls, the food colouring and 3 prepared piping bags.
4. Prepared baking tray and toothpicks
5. Tools and Ingredients needed to decorate the macarons: For example melting chocolate, sprinkles, paint brush, food dye etc. and an airtight container for the fridge.
Day 3: Allow 1 hour
By now most of the work has already been done, all that is left is to make the fillings and assemble the macarons.
When making several flavours of macarons at one time, I prefer to fill the macarons with ganache that has been made in the microwave
Reason is this method requires very little effort. Making microwaved ganache is as simple as heating the cream and chocolate in the microwave and stirring with a spoon. It’s fast, uncomplicated and doesn’t make a lot of mess.
The macarons today will also be filled with salted caramel sauce and cranberry sauce. I used store bought cranberry sauce and homemade salted caramel sauce (using the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog).
Last, but not least...
French Macarons can take a few tries to get the hang of.
But they are so worth it. These decedent little French macarons make a delightful DIY Gift during the festive season. They’ll look at home in a box wrapped in bow presented lovingly to your family and friends or placed on the table to be enjoyed alongside a tea or coffee after your holiday feast.
Happy Baking x
Autumn Theme Macarons
- electric mixer
- Food Processor
- A fine mesh sieve
- 3 x Piping bags and 3 x piping tips
- Baking tray and baking paper (or silicone mat)
- Dash of vinegar or lemon juice
- 100 grams Egg white (approximately 3 large eggs)
- 140 grams Powdered Sugar
- 150 grams Almond Flour
- 90 grams Caster Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Spiced Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 40 grams Milk Chocolate
- 15 grams Cream
- 1/16 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/16 teaspoon Cinnamon
Spiced White Chocolate Ganache
- 40 grams White Chocolate
- 15 grams Cream
- 1/16 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/16 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Salted Caramel
Day 1: Preparation
- First step is to age your egg whites. Separate the egg whites from egg yolk. Place egg whites in a clean airtight container (that has been wiped down with a little vinegar or lemon juice) and store in the fridge overnight.
- Place the icing sugar and almond flour in a food processer and blitz for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a fine mesh sieve and gently sift the mixture into a bowl. Discard any pieces of almond flour that do not pass through the sieve. If you are discarding a lot of almond flour weigh the amount that is being discarded and replace with the same amount of finely sifted almond flour. Transfer this sifted almond flour/sugar mixture to an airtight container to store overnight
Day 2: Make Macaron Cookies
- Remove egg whites from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Prepare all your equipment. Place your template on the baking tray and then cover with a layer of baking paper, then place to the side. Next insert the piping tips into the piping bags and cut off the narrow ends and place these to the side too. Finally wipe down your electric mixer and bowl with lemon juice,
- Place the egg whites into the bowl and begin to whip them with your electric mixer on low speed.
- Once the eggs start to look frothy, add the cream of tartar.
- Continue mixing until the eggs look foamy, then gradually add the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition until all the sugar has been incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to medium-high and continue to whip the meringue until it reaches soft peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract and continue whipping the meringue until it reaches stiff peaks and all the sugar has dissolved.
- Once you have reached stiff peak stage it is time to combine the almond flour/icing sugar with your meringue. You want to do this while keeping as much air in the meringue as possible. Best method to achieve this is to add half the almond flour to your meringue and gently fold in - aka use your spatula to scrape around the outside of the bowl until this first batch of almond flour has been mixed in). Then, fold in remaining almond flour using the same technique. Be careful to not overmix the batter.
- Divide the batter equally into 3 bowls (if you want to be precise you can use your kitchen scales to measure the weight of each portion).
- Add the food colouring to each bowl, then mix it in. Gently press the batter against the side of the bowl as you mix in the food dye. Keep mixing the batter in this way until it reaches the consistency of hot lava, and falls off your spatula in a long ribbon shape.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared piping bags. You'll need one piping bag for each colour.
- Pipe your batter onto the prepared baking trays. To achieve even circles hold the piping bag straight over the tray with the tip hovering about a centimeter above the baking paper. Squeeze the bag so that the batter comes out the end, then stop squeezing and gently lift the piping bag away from the tray. If you find the baking paper is moving, you can place a dab of batter underneath the baking paper in each corner to stick it to the tray.
- Once you have piped all the macarons out, pick up your baking tray and bang it on the counter a couple of times. This will help the macarons to flatten out and encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
- Check the surface of the macarons for any air bubbles. If you find any, pierce them with a toothpick, then use the toothpick to flatten out the surface of the macaron once again.
- Rest the macaron cookies by leaving the trays on the bench until the tops of the macarons feel dry to touch. The amount of time this takes will depend on the weather in your area. Where I am in Melbourne, it takes about 20mins most days. You'll know the macarons are ready to bake if they feel smooth and dry to touch.
- Preheat oven to 110 degrees. Transfer the tray of macarons to the oven. Bake at 110 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes (or a little longer if you are using a silicone mat instead of baking paper). You can check if they are cooked by gently lifting them off the paper, if they come lift up easily in one piece, then they are cooked.
- Leave the macarons on the tray until it has cooled completely, then transfer the macarons to a wire rack.
- Sort through macaron cookies to match them up into similar size/shaped pairs.
- Choose the "prettier" macaron in each pair and add any decorations you would like. You can try drizzling some melted chocolate over them and adding sprinkles or dried edible flowers.
- Once the decorations have set, place the macarons in a single layer in an airtight container. If you need to layer macarons on top of each other place a sheet of baking paper between each macaron so they don't stick together. Place this container in the fridge.
Day 3: Make Fillings and Assemble
- Place all ingredients required to make the holiday spiced milk chocolate ganache in a plastic microwave safe bowl. Heat it in the microwave in 20 second stints (stirring well between each stint) until the chocolate melts and combines with the cream.
- Repeat this process to make the holiday spiced white chocolate ganache by placing all ingredients for the white chocolate ganache in a plastic bowl and heating in the microwave.
- Place the white chocolate ganache, milk chocolate ganache and salted caramel into their own individual piping bags and snip the end off each using a pair of scissors.
- For the Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Macarons, pipe the fillings onto the underside of one macaron, then place it's pair on top to make a macaron cookie sandwich. To make the Cranberry White Chocolate macarons, pipe a circle of white chocolate ganache around the outer edge of the base of one macaron, spoon some of the cranberry sauce into the center and then place another macaron on top.
- For best results, place the assembled macarons into an airtight container and allow them to ripen in the fridge overnight. Macarons can be stored in the fridge for about a week, or stored in the freezer for up to 2 months,