Okay, I’m a bit late on the macaron trend. They were the hot ticket item a few years ago. I’m sure many people have moved on to some other food obsession. Not me, I have been dying to challenge myself by making VEGAN macarons.
This experiment in alternative baking is inspired by aquafaba, that magical bean water drained from a can of chickpeas. That stuff makes an unbelievable egg-replacer. Seriously, it is mind-blowing. You can learn more about it in the Vegan Meringue- Hits and Misses Facebook group.
You’ve got to give yourself time to make these macarons. Don’t try to rush it and fit it all into one day. You need to prep the aquafaba and let it cool. You need to let the macarons rest before putting them in the oven and you need to chill them overnight. This is a two day commitment to fancy baking.
I will admit, my first attempt was a disaster. I documented my mistakes on my instagram. The problem was not the recipe, it was the temperature of my oven. My oven runs very hot, so I had to make adjustments. I recommend approaching macaron baking with a healthy sense of humour and curiosity.
I want to stress the importance of learning your oven’s personality. Mine is a jerk. It was calibrated by Satan. If you have a nice, evenly heating oven, you will have an easier time. If you oven is a big meanie face like mine, you will likely mess up a few batches until you figure out the perfect temperature and cooking time. If I go above 225F, my macarons start to ooze because my oven has hot spots.
I also recommend that you use the proper tools:
This recipe uses an Italian meringue and that involves melting sugar to a precise temperature and mixing it into the whipped aquafaba. This requires the proper tools, trust me.
The mark of a successful macaron is a visible “foot” on the shell. See the textured part around the chocolate layer on each side? Success!
I filled mine with vegan chocolate ganache that I flavoured with earl grey tea. I also added a dollop of blackberry jam to the center because I like to gild the lily.
Before I share the recipe, I want to tell you a secret. I’m working on a little digital cookbook. It’s going to be full of awesome dessert recipes like this one. I’ll be giving away 3 free digital copies. If you want a chance to win, join my mailing list and tell me your favourite dessert of all time in the comments!
Update: I’ve added a tutorial on reducing aquafaba to the site. Check it out!
Okay, now for the recipe…
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi
- 150 ml of prepared aquafaba*
- 200 grams almond flour
- 200 grams confectioners’ sugar
- Food coloring (optional)
- 200 grams (1 cup) of white sugar
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
- Drain the water from a large can of chickpeas into a small sauce pan. Simmer the liquid until it reduces slightly and reaches a consistency similar to egg whites. Measure out 150 ml and set it aside to cool to room temperature. If you have more than 150ml, you can put the rest in the fridge and save it for another recipe.
- Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar into a large bowl. You may have to work in batches, using a rubber spatula to push the mixture through. Once you’ve sifted it all, give it a whisk and make sure it is evenly blended.
- Pour 75ml of the aquafaba into the bowl of your stand mixture and set aside.
- Stir your food coloring into the leftover aquafaba and pour it over the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula until the mixture is completely even. Set this mixture aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Bring the temperature of this mixture up to 245F. This can take several minutes but keep a close eye on it because you don’t want it to overheat.
- While the sugar is heating up, whip the aquafaba on medium-high speed until they form medium-firm peaks then turn the speed down to low.
- Once the sugar has reached 245F, remove it from the heat and pour it into the mixer carefully. It might splatter a bit, but don’t worry about it. Do not scrape down the bowl. Once you’ve poured it all in, turn the speed up to high and beat it for approximately 8-10 minutes. The mixture will be glossy and fluffy.
- Grab the bowl of almond mixture and then dump in the meringue. Give this a thorough stir, scooping and turning the mixture over until it is evenly mixed. When it is ready, the texture should be lava-like and fall off your spatula in thick ribbons.
- Put half of the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip.
- Squeeze the batter onto the silpat or parchment in 1.5 inch rounds. This may take some practice. The mixture will settle a bit, so don’t worry if they are a bit uneven on top.
- Once you’ve filled the tray, you need to remove any air bubbles. The best way to do this is to pick up the tray and drop it back on the counter. This is loud and obnoxious, but it works. Do it twice for good measure.
- Refill the pastry bag and repeat the process until all the batter is portioned out.
- Set the trays aside to set for an hour or so. A gentle fan blowing over the trays can help the process along. They are ready to bake when you can touch them gently without them sticking to your finger.
- Preheat the oven to 210F with the rack set to the middle. This number is a guideline, it may take some tweaking to get the temperature just right.
- Bake the first tray for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and let them sit with the door closed for 15 minutes and then crack the door open and let them sit in the oven for another 15 minutes. At this point they should be dry on the outside and the edges. The bottom might be a little soft, so don’t try to remove them right away. Instead, slide the silpat or parchment off the tray and allow them to cool.
- Repeat the process with the second tray, making any temperature or time adjustments necessary.
- Once they have cooled completely, match them up into pairs based on size.
- Using a piping bag, fill one shell of the macaron with ganache or vegan buttercream and then top it with the other shell. Press them together gently.
- Once you have filled all the macarons, wrap them in an airtight container and set them to child overnight in the fridge.
- They should last about 4 days in the fridge.
- 225 grams dark chocolate pieces (chips, chopped pieces or pistoles)
- 120 ml water or strongly brewed tea or coffee
- Melt the chocolate pieces and water together in a double boiler over medium heat.
- Whisk frequently as it simmers for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool in the fridge until it is a spreadable texture.