Macaron. Not pronounced Macaroon. The history, the tradition.
European Traditions: Assessing Impacts on American Pastry.
We are first listening to Pascal Janvier.
"They are not very difficult to make, you just have to be very respectful. it's not about cups and spoons as if you are making pastry. There is nothing more, for me, exact than grams. The macaron should be flat, round, somewhat shiny.
I always use egg whites from the day before. never from cracking an egg that day. they have to sit, at least one day. And I always mix th sugar with the whites first, so there is no cramping in the bowl. The meringue has to be quite stiff."
And now he starts the mixer at medium high speed.
"If I have to add any colors, I would do it now. Once I add the additions, the sugar and the almonds, they become lighter. But I never make them very dark in color.
The meringue is stiff enough, the whisk stays in the batch. You could make man batches in a day, and they are different every time. One batch is not the same as the next. It's just physics, eh?
Mix everything, you don't have to be gentle. You have to break it down a little, until you get a nice ribbon. [with a spatula, by hand.] When we first opened the store in Los Gatos, people didn't know what they are. But maybe now people have traveled more and they know what it is.
Try to pipe them very much the same size. Bake at 165 C or 330F (does anyone know?) 11 minutes, if you ave a hamper, open it up."
Q- "Why a silpat over a perforated pan? and do you dry them a little before in the oven?"
"I get more heat from the bottom, more even. And some dry and some do not, it's up to you."
Q- "Why do you need old egg whites? and I heard the mixer should be medium speed, not high. Another French pastry chef said to do this."
"Well I don't want to start a French pastry chef war."
"I used to work in the place where every day we moved the egg whites over one spot on the shelf. And we were not allowed to use the egg whites until they were at the right spot on the shelf. We were forbidden.
When I was a young apprentice I used to have to hold my nose when using egg whites, this is how old they were. But now if you do that, no? You will be jailed."
Q- "Do they freeze well?"
"Yes, definitely. Very well."
Q-"Do you ever use any other nut flours?"
"No. This is a very traditional recipe. I know that in this country you do what you want. And now in France you see everything, but this is the traditional way."