Tucked away in Bruntsfield is the gorgeous La Barantine patisserie and cafe. The atmosphere is welcoming, warm and friendly – a true corner of France in Edinburgh and a great place to have a relaxing coffee. In addition to some marvelous cakes, tarts and sandwiches, you’re bound to find a fine selection of macarons. Flavours might include pistachio, salted caramel, raspberry or chocolate. Owner Vincent Aplincourt invited me into his petite kitchen to discover how he makes these favourite delicacies.
I’d not made macarons before. Having seen the process, I think it is fair to say macarons are finicky. They are definitely worth trying, but of course the easier option is definitely to go to La Barantine to buy them instead!
Vincent’s Top Macaron Tips
Be prepared to experiment. It took quite a few attempts to find the right temperature to cook at for example.
The mixture should be quite soft, just firm enough to be able to pipe it. (Botanical Baker suggests drawing circles the size you want on the reverse side of baking paper so you can see where to pipe.
It’s really important to tap the piped macarons. This helps develop the “foot” of the macarons (the rough edges in the picture below.
Leave them to dry for at least half an hour before baking to develop a skin
Bake on metal baking sheets doubled up (one on top of the other). This will help the macarons rise nicely.
Allow them to completely cool before filling.
Depending on the flavour of your macaron, you can create a ganache or even fill with jam. Make sure your ganache is absolutely cold before putting into a piping bag and piping as shown above.
- 120g white eggs
- 110g caster sugar
- 125g ground almonds
- 20g cocoa powder
- 230g icing sugar
- 120g good dark chocolate (70%)
- 120g double cream
- 30g butter
- For the macarons:
- Beat the egg whites until firm. Add the caster sugar and beat again.
- Gently spoon in the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
- Put into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe circles approximately 3 cm wide.
- Tap the tray of piped macarons a couple of times
- Set aside to harden for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Put into the oven at 150C and turn down to 120C after 3 minutes. Bake for a further 25 minutes until firm.
- Allow to cool before filling.
- For the rich chocolate ganache:
- Bring the cream to boiling point and take off the heat.
- Add butter in small pieces and the chocolate broken into pieces
- Stir until melted. Cool completely before using.
202 Bruntsfield Place
Edinburgh EH10 4DF
Telephone 0131 229 0267
Opening times Mon–Sat 7.30am–6pm; Sun 7.30am–5pm
Food served Mon–Sun 7.30am–6pm