Macarons

Macarons

I’ve been wanting to try to make macarons for awhile but for some reason never rose to the challenge. So this weekend, I decided to finally give them a go, and they are honestly one of the most frustrating and difficult bakes you could do.

If the oven isn’t at just the right temperature, they won’t get their signature ‘foot’. If you don’t let them sit long enough to form their skin, they will crack. If you overmix the batter, they go flat. If you leave them in the oven for just 3 seconds too long, they turn brown. They’re affected by humidity and the ambient temperature of the room. Long story short, I made about 8 batches in total of these and only about half were actually useable. So if you want to give macarons a go, be sure you do it on a day when you don’t mind experimenting to find what temperature and things work best for you. Just don’t give up!!

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 110 grams ground almonds, sifted
  • 175 grams icing sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon meringue powder
  • food coloring

Directions

1. Weigh out your ground almonds and icing sugar AFTER sifting, to make sure you don’t get any large granules into your mixture. You want to have the finest mixture you possibly can.  After weighing the two out, stick them in a food processer and give them a quick whiz to combine, creating a superfine powder. Set aside until you’re ready to mix.

2. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place your egg whites and meringue powder. Whisk the eggs on high until they grow in volume and form soft peaks. At this stage, gradually add in your sugar while the mixer is still running. Just before the meringue reaches stiff peaks, add in your food coloring so that it gets mixed in evenly. You want to add a really concentrated, bright color as the color will fade when baking. It is crucial that you don’t overmix them.

3. Remove your bowl from the mixer; add in your ground almond and icing sugar mixture by sifting over the meringue, then gently folding it in with a spatula. Again, be careful not to overmix! Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, press your mixture onto the side of the bowl to help reduce the volume a bit – but you don’t want it to go too runny, you should still be able to see a ‘ribbon’ sitting on top of your batter if you lift the spatula and drip some of the batter back into the bowl.

4. Transfer your batter to a large piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip attached. Pipe your batter into 1 1/2- to 2- inch diameter circles on baking sheets lined with baking paper. You can freehand them or trace circles onto the underside of the paper so that you can have a guide to follow. Once all of your batter is piped, gently tap the trays on the countertop to help the macarons settle and remove air bubbles.

5. Let the macarons sit out to form a skin for at leas 30 minutes (I had to leave mine longer). Basically, the skin should be shiny and if you gently touch the top of a macaron, it shouldn’t feel sticky or come away on your finger.

6. Once the macarons have formed their skin, preheat your oven to 230°F (140°C). Place your macarons in to bake and set the timer for 10 minutes. Once they have formed their ‘feet’, turn the oven down slightly and bake for a further 8-10 minutes. This is where I had the most trouble, because I have a fan-assisted oven. The key is to sit there and watch them until you figure out the best temperatures and times for your macarons. Some of you may not need to reduce the temperature, others will. Just watch them so they don’t burn, because they will turn very quickly!

7. Once they’re finished baking, remove your macarons from the oven. Slide the baking paper off of your trays and allow the macarons to cool on your countertop. Once they’re cool, fill however you’d like – I used a standard buttercream that I flavored with strawberry jam for one batch, and a blueberry lime curd for the other. Just try experimenting with the flavors! These are best served fresh, so if you aren’t serving immediately, then wait on filling them so they don’t go soggy!

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: