1. They look so pretty!
2. There are endless possibilities regarding flavours
3. They have a reputation for being difficult to make
4. Everyone will love you for making them!
So this afternoon i was bored so i decided to whip up a batch. I probably shouldn't say whip up a batch because it did take most of the afternoon!
I thought i'd put a bit of a step by step recipe up for these because they really aren't that difficult. You just need to be precise and have patience! This is my favourite macaron recipe. It works the best for me however you do need to own digital scales, a candy thermometer, a food processor and a stand mixer. Although you can probably get away with hand beaters, the scales and thermometer really are vital so i wouldn't try this recipe without them. Additionally a piping bag will make life much easier for you!
This recipe is adapted from The Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marechal. It's a good little book and i think was less than $20.
Macaron - makes heaps!!! (80-100 depending on size)
200g ground almonds (almond meal)
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
2 x 80g egg whites (about 5-6 eggs)
1. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse until incorporated.
2. Sift mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, place the caster sugar and water and heat on high heat.
4. Meanwhile place 80g egg whites in stand mixer and whip until soft peaks form then turn off.
5. Check temperature of sugar mixture in saucepan using a digital thermometer. When temperature reaches 105 degrees turn back on the stand mixture to whip whites to firm peaks.
6. Remove sugar syrup from heat when temperature reaches 115 degrees.
7. With the motor running on the highest speed, pour sugar syrup in a slow steady stream into egg whites.
8. Whip on high speed for 10 minutes.
9. Meanwhile add remaining 80g egg whites into almond meal mixture and stir to combine.
10. Add food colouring to almond paste mixture to achieve vivid colour (adding the meringue later will dull the colour)
|Oops.. a bit blurry but you get the idea!|
12. Place macaron mixture into a piping bag and pipe 20 cent coin sized macarons onto baking paper lined trays or onto a silpat.
|The macarons spread a bit after piping so leave enough room! If your macarons have peaks it means you have not beaten the mixture enough so you need to beat it more or they will crack once cooked.|
14. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
15. Bake macarons for 15-18 minutes.
16. Leave to cool before filling with buttercream, ganache, gel... the options are endless!
Note: Place in the fridge and eat them the NEXT day. This is to allow the flavours to develop and macaron to become chewy. They will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Otherwise they freeze really well (both filled and unfilled)
So give macarons a shot and impress your friends/family!