Since my first attempt at macarons, I’ve been able to think about little else. Ive seriously even been dreaming about them! There has been a few failed attempts, which I have to say, were very disappointing. Especially since my first attempt was pretty nearly there. Fluke! But today was the day and I think I finally understand them, it’s a matter of getting the feel of that all important state of macaronage…mixing the meringue into the almond, icing sugar mixture till it flows like lava. Here’s the recipe.
First of all prepare your baking trays,3 large…I made a template with baking paper and sharpie to put under the baking paper as a guide.
Add the water, food colouring and then the sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, not stirring till all the sugar is melted and when a small drop is dropped into a glass of water becomes a soft ball. Meanwhile put 110 g of egg white into a mixer until the soft peak stage. Turn the mixer on high and carefully pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl and keep whisking until cooled to 50 C. It should be stiff and shiny and beautifully pink.
In a large bowl combine the ground almond and icing sugar, add the 100g of egg white and mix to a thick paste. Mix one third of the merengue mixture into the almond mix then mix the rest of the merengue in. You need to knock some of the air out till the mixture is well combined and flows off the spatula like molten lava.
Place your piping bag with a large round nozzle into a large glass and fill halfway with your macaron mixture. Pipe close down to the tray filling the circle guide underneath. Twist to lift off. When all the trays are filled, give them a couple of whacks of the counter to smooth and dislodge any air pockets.
Leave for 30- 60 minutes until a skin forms and you can touch it with out getting your finger sticky. Preheat the oven to 140-150 C depending on wether you have a hot oven. Cook for 16-18 minutes checking to see if its browning or cracking, if so put a wooden spoon into the door of the oven to keep it slightly ajar. When cooked they should be firm to a gentle touch. Leave to cool.
DARK CHOCOLATE N STRAWBERRY GANACHE
40 ml cream
2 large tsps strawberry jam
200 g dark chocolate broken up
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
65 g butter
Put the cream and jam in a small pan and bring to the boil, dissolving the jam into the cream. Take off the heat and throw in the broken chocolate. Quickly mix in till melted into the cream. Mix in the vanilla paste and leave to cool. When cool to the touch beat in the butter.
Pipe the ganache between two macaron shells and voila…beautiful macarons….and if not this time, try and try again until you succeed…it’s worth it when you do,!