I’ve been baking a LOT and eating a lot in the last few weeks, but forgetting to take any pictures while doing so… its a great excuse to remake a lot of what I’ve baked recently so I can blog it. This weekend I got stuck in and made macarons in two flavours – chocolate toffee, and passionfruit – and remembered to take photos. My lovely little people (and their dad) were kind enough to let me spend the whole day baking peacefully
150 g icing sugar
140 g almond meal
10g cocoa powder
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder
Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, set aside in a large wide bowl.
Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.
Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.
Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down to achieve “macaronnage”, but don’t over do this.
Scoop half into a piping bag. I trace circles onto paper and place beneath my baking paper to get even rounds, but freehand it if you wish. Squeeze the mixture in the centre of the rounds and as it is close to filling the circle, stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.
Once done hold the baking tray firmly and give it a few sharp bangs on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles in the macarons. Then leave on the counter to rest for 30 minutes while a skin forms. This will ensure your macarons have nice ‘feet’.
I bake mine at 145°C, for 13 minutes. Check after 7 minutes and judge from there – when ready the macaron should peel easily from the paper without leaving any macaron behind.
Once out of the oven, I slide the baking paper onto a cold surface. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.
150g Caramello Chocolate
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.
Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
For the passionfruit macarons, I omitted the cocoa powder from the shells and instead added a vivid purple gel colour to the sugar mixture before adding to the egg whites. Then I filled with a buttercream that had been flavoured with passionfruit puree.