Accessories Spotlight: Judith Leiber Macaron
A confession: we have a serious sweet tooth here at Bergdorf Goodman. And nothing’s quite as delectable as Judith Leiber’s latest pillbox collection fashioned in the manner of our favorite afternoon sweet, the French Macaron. Inspired by Sundays spent in Central Park, Leiber’s collection presents a confectionary of colors perfectly complementing her iconic novelty silhouettes (think carousels, puppies and cakes). Speaking of Sundays in the Park, consider Mother’s Day — lunch at The Boat House followed by dessert on a sunny patch nearby. Prep your picnic basket with La Duree or Macaron Cafe and a prettily-wrapped Judith Leiber Macaron. If you truly want to show your Mother’s Day commitment, whip up your own batch of Toasted Coconut Macarons with Salted Caramel Macarons by following the below recipe. Want to take it even further? Follow our penchant for hiding gifts within gifts and place theater or vacation tickets inside.
If that weren’t delectable enough, we’ll be serving up macarons this Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27 in honor of Leiber’s sweet surrender to the French macaron during our latest Judith Leiber event (212 872 2872).
Hanson’s Toasted Coconut Macarons with Salted Caramel
Hanson works in finance. In addition to crunching numbers, he makes the absolute best macarons.
You should know the first thing about making macarons is all about being precise, with the precision helping out a lot to get reproducible results. I’ll be going in-depth with building, from scratch, your own toasted coconut macarons with salted carmel. I obtained the recipe from a blog titled “Anne’s Food”, but I’ve made some modifications to the amount of ingredients, as well as the baking temperature/time. You can follow the recipe here; I tried out her recipe but found my adjustments were more satisfactory. Also, whilst Anne has two fillings, I only provide the salted caramel because, WOW, it’s really great!!
I’d like to start off listing out the equipment & ingredients you’ll need to start making the ones I made in this article – the basic equipment you ought to have to start off making your own batch as well as future macaron recipes.
large mixing bowl – 5 quarts or more is better
a few 2-cup bowls to hold ingredients
a food processor
a few half-sheet baking sheets
parchment paper (or silpat will do as well)
a measuring cup
a silicone spatula
a pastry bag (I use an ateco syringe because that’s what I started out with)
ateco tip #10 (the ateco syringe comes with a few starter tips, which includes this one)
saran wrap (optional)
brown food coloring
For the macarons:
- Shredded coconuts – about 200 grams
- Confectioner’s sugar – 225 grams
- Egg Whites – about 145 grams (roughly a little less than 4 jumbo eggs)
- Granulated sugar – 5 tablespoons
For the salted caramel:
- Granulated sugar – 235 grams
- Salted butter – 85 grams (almost 8 tablespoons or just use1 stick)
- Cream – 125 milliliters
- A pinch of salt (technically, between 1/16th and 1/8th of a teaspoon)
Pre-heat the oven to 300° degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out the shredded coconuts on top of a sheet of parchment paper over a half-sheet baking sheet. Stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes, then take it out. You should see that the edges of the pile of shredded coconut has been browned but not the middle – so mix up the mass of coconut, and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, take out and you’ll have a nice, golden-brown sheet. Leave out for 10 minutes to cool.
Once the toasted coconuts are cooled, pour it into a food processor and pulse for about 1 to two minutes. You should see it become a coarse, powdery mass:
Once you’re reasonably sure most of the coconuts has been reduced to a fine grain, you pour the confectioner’s sugar into the food processor and pulse again until it’s all mixed.
Now, onto the egg whites!
You can either buy the egg whites in a carton or do it the old fashioned way – separating the yolk from the white. To separate, read the next section, otherwise skip it and go onto the next.
You’ll probably need about four bowls and 4 jumbo eggs – I’ll explain in detail. One of the bowls ought to have a lid you can seal and put into the refrigerator for later use, if not, then that’s why we have the saran wrap. The first bowl is where you crack the egg. DON’T pour out the contents into the bowl – pour it into one of your slightly-open hands (my sympathies if you only have one, then use the egg whites in a carton). Let the egg white flow out of your fingers while holding gently onto the egg yolk. Once you’re sure most of the whites has fallen into the first bowl, put the yolk into the second bowl with the sealable lid. Why do you save the yolk? Later on, we’ll be using the yolks to make lemon curd for lemon meringue macarons! Discard the yolks if you really don’t care.
You can continue to do this egg separation, cracking the egg, letting the white part flow through and removing the yolk, but I would recommend you take every egg white you obtain and putting it into another bowl – the reason being, if you crack one egg and the yolk breaks, you’ll be mixing the yolk with all the whites you spent time separating out from all the other yolks! Here’s the lineup: bowl 1- where you crack the egg whites over; bowl 2 – where you collect the yolk; bowl 3 – where you combine the pure egg whites; bowl 4 – this is where we put the empty bowl 4 onto a gram scale to tare – while the bowl is on the scale, make sure it adds up to zero grams. Slowly pour the contents of bowl 3 (pure egg whites) into bowl 4 that is resting on the gram scale. When you get around 145 grams, you can move around a few grams with a spoon until hit that target.
~ end of egg white separation ~
Now that you have 145 grams of egg whites, pour this into a large mixing bowl and whisk until you get a nice, foamy bubble bath:
Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar at a time and whisk vigorously, and add the next tablespoon of sugar, until you get nice foamy peaks:
Add the coconut/confectioner’s sugar mixture along with about 4 drops of brown food coloring, making sure to mix only enough that all ingredients are blended:
Now, you can use a spoon or a spatula to pour the mixture into the pastry bag and fit it with an ateco #10 tip (it looks like metal cone with a big hole in the tip). Squeeze out the mixture from the pastry bag onto a baking sheet with parchment paper, about two or three gentle squeezes to make a silver-dollar sized impression:
Leave out for about a half hour so the “shell” can air-dry. Pre-heat the oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15 minutes, take out and cool:
Now for the salted caramel filling:
Although the recipe states 85 grams (a little more than 3 tablespoons of salted butter), I use the whole stick – it gives a much more “buttery” taste. I also add about 140ml of cream instead of the 125, as some always gets stuck in the graduated measuring cup. Leave the cream and butter out for an hour until they get to room temperature. If you forget, then microwave them whilst turning over the stick of butter and mixing the cream for about two or three 15 second bursts.
Pour the granulated sugar into a pan and heat on medium-high:
Eventually you’ll start seeing the melted sugar “bubble up” and you should take the silicone spatula to mix it around with the un-melted sugar on top. Once all the sugar has been melted, add the butter:
***WARNING: it will bubble and spit, so don’t stand too close!*** and add the cream. Yes it will look sorta ugly but keep mixing. You’ll soon get a nice, caramel color once it all blends together. Let the caramel cool down, and pour into a bowl and refrigerate for a half-hour to thicken.
Once the macarons are cooled as well as the caramel, you can start putting them together – make sure you don’t put too much caramel as it tends to leak out and gets too messy:
View the Macaron Pillbox Collection
Thursday, April 26 — Friday, April 27
212 872 2872
Get more recipes on 5th/58th:
About Judith Leiber:
Begun in 1963, Judith Leiber is an American luxury brand that is synonymous with elegance, style, and sophistication. Each product is executed with meticulous attention to detail and flawless handcraftsmanship. Miniaudierés from the collection are part of the permanent design collections at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Adding to Hollywood’s nearly 50-year love affair with the brand, nearly every First Lady dating back to 1953 has carried custom-made Judith Leiber bags to the U.S. Presidential Inauguration ceremonies. Judith Leiber is truly an iconic American brand.
Hanson has worked at Bergdorf Goodman for 12 years, but we only just discovered his French Macarons when he delivered a box to the 5th/58th office two weeks ago. When not baking, his favorite meal to cook is Spicy Thai Papaya Salad (we’re anxious waiting for that recipe). Apart from being a Senior Analyst here at BG and testing new French Macaron flavors, Hanson enjoys kickboxing and jogging, as well as exploring his creativity through stenciling and practicing the guitar .