How to make Macarons

3 May

Colourful, French macarons.  It’s one of those treats that look oh so amazingly good but way too difficult to make.  I came to this conclusion long before I even attempted them (as I do with baking) so with a friend, I signed up to a macaroon making course.

Thankfully, we had an uber friendly teacher who had the most amazing patience and thought that everything looked wonderful and we were unbelievable fast-learning students; even though you knew that your green macaron colour you had created looked similar to a toxic waste dump then pistachio, which is what you were going for.

Nevertheless, the box of goodies that we left with at the end of the day looked something special and we did feel quite proud of ourselves.  A day later, I was also quite proud of how many I was able to consume in one day without getting sick – quite an accomplishment…

I thought I would share the chocolate macaron recipe as these were my favourite.

180 gr ground almonds
20 gr cocoa powder
200 gr icing / confectioners sugar
80 gr egg whites (you can buy whites in a carton in good supermarkets, which are much easier to measure)
For the Meringue:
200 gr caster / fine sugar
75 ml water
80 gr egg whites
For the Ganache:
180 gr dark chocolate, chopped
90 gr double cream
Mint essence, optional

Preheat oven to 150 C / 300 F and line oven trays with parchment paper.

For the macaron shells, mix together the almonds, icing sugar, cocoa until well mixed in a large bowl.  Fold in the unbeaten egg whites.  Fold quite gently as you don’t want the mixture to go runny, as thick as possible.  Put this aside.

In a small pan, cook the water and sugar for the meringue without stirring.  At the same time, in an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until full of white bubbles but no peaks.  When the syrup on the stove reaches 110 C / 230 F, turn the mixer with the egg whites on it s highest speed.  Take the syrup off the stove as soon as it reaches 114 C / 237 F and add it very slowly to the egg whites while the mixer is on.  Continue mixing for a further 5 minutes until completely cooled.  This step is obviously a lot easier with a stand alone mixer, however if you don’t have one of these this step may be easier with two people.

Very gently, fold 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste.  Once fully combined, fold in gently the remaining meringue.

Fill a piping bag with a 1A nozzle and pipe out round mounds onto parchment paper.  Try to make each macaron a similar shape.  Tap the tray on the bench lightly so the macaron shells are smooth.  Let the macarons set at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the tops are set.

Bake in the preheated oven for 14 minutes.  Immediately slide the paper off the oven tray onto a cool bench top.  This helps the macarons release off the paper.  Cool.

Meanwhile, make the ganache by heating the cream to just below boiling point in a saucepan.  Immediately pour this hot cream over the small pieces of chocolate.  While stirring the chocolate should melt.  Leave this to cool as well.

Fill a piping bag with a smaller nozzle and the cooled ganache.  Pipe a good amount on one macaron and then with a similar size make a “sandwich”.  These can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.  They also taste better the next day.  Enjoy!

2 Responses to “How to make Macarons”

  1. Food Stories June 9, 2012 at 20:59 #

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