Monday, 10 October 2011
I have tried making macarons once before......it didn't go very well. This put me off making them for some time. But, recently, I felt the urge to try again. I used the same basic recipe from Tartlette (the macaron expert, in my opinion) and this time it was much more succesful! I can't wait to make these again and to try lots of different flavour combinations!
Makes about 30 macaron sandwiches
For the macarons:
110g blanched, slivered almonds
200g minus 2 Tbsp confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
100g aged egg whites* (from about 3 eggs)
50g granulated sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
*Age the egg whites on the kitchen counter if your kitchen stays at or below 80*F. To do this, seperate the egg whites and put them in a dish. Cover with clingfilm and then pierce the clingfilm liberally.
To make the macarons:
Pulse the almonds until finely ground. Add the confectioners sugar and cocoa. Pulse until fine and then sift. Pulse any remaining lumps until fine.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on a medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and then whip on high speed until smooth and shiny with medium stiff peaks.
Add the amlmond mixture in 3 seperate additions, using a spatula to fold quickly after each addition. This part of the process is called macaronage and is crucial to get right. After folding in all of the almond mixture, there should be no streaks left and the batter should have a ribbon-like consistency. Do not be overly delicate with the meringue-you want to get rid of some of the air.
Place a silicon mat or parchment paper onto a baking tray. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large, round tip. Pipe 1-1 1/2 inch wide circles of the batter about an inch apart onto the mat. Bang the tray firmly onto the counter a few times. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for about an hour, until the tops are matte.
Preheat the oven to 280-300*F. Bake the macarons for 12-15mins. Let cool before removing from the baking trays. Please note: when I was baking mine, the ones on the bottom shelf cracked from the heat of the electric oven. I found that if I placed an empty baking tray on the bottom shelf, it helped to shield the macarons above it and they didn't crack.
Let the macarons cool throughly before piping on the ganache.
To make the ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter over a medium heat until it simmers. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2min before stirring well until the chocolate has melted. Add the vanilla extract and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool throughly before piping onto the macarons.
Pipe the ganache onto one macaron and then sandwich with another macaron on top. Try to match macarons that are similar in size. On some of the macarons, I also piped a small amount of creamy peanut butter into the middle of the ganache, making them chocolate peanut butter macarons. Very yummy.
Store macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Macarons are at their best 3 days after they are made.
Macarons recipe from Annie's Eats and Tartlette
Ganache adapted from Annie's Eats