I’m quite proud to say that I didn’t learn about macarons from Masterchef.
I heard of them on……. food blogs! (where else?) abot the beginning of this year- Since then, I have longed to try one as everyone says they’re really good. I’ve been nagging my parents to buy me one (just ONE) for ages but it’s at $2 for one, that’s probably never going to happen.
So I spent my time reading more food blogs about macarons, thinking that I would have to wait until I started university and got a job before I could try one……..
I’d never even considered trying to make them because of the number of failures I’d read about. That was until I came across this recipe from Tartelette which was very successful with many foodblogger. After reading a post from Audax Artifex, I was convinced that it was possible to make successful macarons on the first attempt.
I followed the recipe very very closely (I studied it for a whole week). I left the egg whites out to ‘age’ for about two days. I bought almonds a week earlier and ground them in the morning. I bought icing mixture two days earlier. And so I was all set.
It still did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. First, I over-grinded the almonds so the almond meal ended up moist and paste-like. The egg whites whipped up perfectly fine, although I couldn’t really tell the difference between normal egg whites and the aged ones. Folding/mixing the almond/sugar mixture into the egg white was quite difficult and I wondered if I’d done something wrong (I later remembered I had read an article which said that this would happen…).
The piping was a nightmare! I took the advice of a blogger who suggested drawing circles on the baking paper before piping to ensure that the circles were all the same sizes. Stupid me forgot to turn the baking paper over so I started piping onto the pencil! So i discarded the piped batter and started again, this time without the pre drawn circles (the circles I’d drawn before go wiped off with the batter…) so all my macarons were different shapes.
I let the macarons rest for an hour and then popped them in the oven, almost certain that they would fail. They took more than 20 minutes to cook and even then, half of them were stuck on the baking paper(I got them off using a spatula).
When they cooled, I sandwiched them with ganache and refrigerated them overnight. When we ate them the next day, they were heavenly!! They were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, so i think it’s right….
The original recipe can be found here
But here’s the (slightly modified) recipe anyway:
3 egg whites (preferabbly ‘aged’ egg whites)
50 g granulated sugar
200 g icing mixture (minus 2 Tb)
2 Tb cocoa powder
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry and your macarons won’t work.
2. Combine the almonds, cocoa powder and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Pass through a sieve.
3. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like magma or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper baking sheets.
5. Preheat the oven to 300F. Let the macarons sit out for an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Pipe or spoon some ganache on one shell and sandwich with another one.
1 cup milk chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat, drop in the milk chocolate and let stand a couple of minutes. Gently stir the chocolate into the cream until smooth. Set aside until it cools down and thickens a bit (a trip to the fridge is ok)
So now I’m happy because I have tried and made my first ever macarons which look like macarons but I’m not sure whether or not they taste like them….