Francois Payard is undoubtedly one of the best pastry chefs in the world.
The French chef is particularly renowned for his light-as-air, cream-filled macarons, a traditional French sweet that’s taken New York City by storm in the last couple of years.
He’s also the force behind Macaron Day NYC, which is holding its fifth annual celebration today, March 20. Bakeries around the city will offer free macaron samples, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit City Harvest.
The Chef invited us to the Francois Payard Bakery in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, where he took us through a step-by-step guide on how he makes his world famous macarons.
1.) Here are all the ingredients you need: heavy cream, sugar, corn starch, white chocolate, pumpkin, Chinese five-spice, cinnamon, butter, water, almond flour, confectioner's sugar, egg white. To start on the ganache, add the Chinese five-spice and cinnamon to the heavy cream.
3.) Mix the corn starch and the sugar together, 4.) Once the cream mixture is boiling, pour a little bit of the mixture into the corn starch/sugar, 5.) Mix well making sure there are no lumps, 6.) Pour the corn starch/sugar/cream back into the heavy cream mixture and mix well while cooking further.
7.) Once the cream mixture feels thicker, add the pumpkin puree into the pot, mix well, and bring to a boil.
8.) Pour the pumpkin mixture over the white chocolate and stir well letting the white chocolate melt. Then set it aside and let it cool to 40-degrees.
9.) For the cookie portion of the macaron, put the almond flower, confectioner's sugar, and egg white (with orange food dye) into a mixer.
10.) For the meringue, add water and sugar into a pan, 11.) Stir well, 12.) Cook the sugar-water mixture to 120-degrees.
13.) Don't have a thermometer? Then try this out: Put your hand in a bowl of ice water, then dip a finger into the sugar-water mixture for a quick second, and quickly return the finger to the ice water. If the sugar-water crystallizes on your finger, then it's ready to go.
14.) Add egg white into a mixer and let it mix for a few minutes, 15.) Add the hot sugar-water into the mixer, 16.) Let the sugar-water/egg white mix and cool down.
17.) Add butter to the cooled down ganache, 18.) Mix well, 19.) And pour the ganache out and let it cool for approximately 2 hours.
20.) At this point, the meringue mixture should be cooled down and stiffer. Add the meringue into the mixer with the orange cookie shell ingredients and mix well until the colour is consistent.
21.) Put the meringue/cookie mixture into a piping bag and pipe it onto parchment paper, 22.) Pick up the baking sheet and bang it against a surface to even out the cookie globs, 23.) Let it dry for 30-60 minutes.
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