Introducing French Macarons To Your Bakery Menu
Vive le Macaron
Cupcakes are so last year. True, the fluffy petit gateau is delicious and nostalgic, taking us back to the days of childhood parties and sneaking a finger full of frosting when mom wasn’t looking. But it’s time to make way for the new kid on the block: the French macaron. Where the cupcake is soft, homey and filling, the macaron is sophisticated and light with a texture that is crisp, chewy and creamy all at once. A well-made macaron practically melts in your mouth.
Adding macarons to your bakery line up—or starting up a macaron-only enterprise—requires a bit of a learning curve for the uninitiated. Macarons are finicky and demand precision and attention to detail on the part of the pastry chef. But strict adherence to temperature, timing, humidity and ingredient preparation reward the baker with an artful array of rainbow-hued delicacies.
Choosing a Mixer
For perfect macarons, you’ll need to start with the right mixer and attachments. A many-tined whip attachment can whisk egg whites and sugar to billowing, stiff glossy peaks and can gently incorporate the flavorings and gel colorings to the meringue. A planetary mixer allows the baker to change out bowls and attachments with ease to switch between mixing macaron batter and fillings and to make smaller or larger batches as needed.
The light and delicate nature of beaten eggs does not require a heavy-duty dough-type mixer. Depending on the volume of eggs whites you are whipping, a small counter top model may suffice. For a smaller mixer, you’ll need to tilt back the upper housing to access the bowl.
You may find that the bowl lift feature on a larger counter top or even a floor model is more convenient for adding the sugar syrup, colorings and flavorings to the egg whites. If you’re working with a quart of more egg whites at a time, a floor mixer is better suited to preparing a large volume of meringue.
Hand piping rows of perfectly shaped and proportioned discs of macaron batter is a labor of love. For a less labor-intensive means of producing trays of treats, invest in a depositor. This handy piece of equipment yields consistent results to quickly deposit a large amount of batter.
Depositors range from small, counter top models to large, free-standing types. Look for a model that can extrude the delicate batter without deflating the air you’ve painstakingly whipped into the egg whites.