Sunday, November 27, 2011

I made Macarons!!

I am so proud of my mother and myself as we successfully made macarons yesterday. These puppies were not easy and took 3 attempts to get them right. The first mixture was far too thick and just turned out like wierd meringues. The second mixture was very nearly right but didn't have the wee foot on the bottom and true macarons really need that. Finally yesterday we got it right.

The macaron, not to be confused with coconut macaroons, are an almond biscuit sandwiched together with ganache or icing. The should have a crisp outside, but a nice soft inside. For the final recipe that actually produced proper macarons we used a recipe from Australian Masterchef and it used the Italian meringue method. This is where the meringue is made with a hot sugar syrup instead of just beating caster sugar in with the egg white. We tweaked the recipe a little and used some ground hazelnuts as well as the ground almond to give it a nice flavour.

Now some of the instructions may seem very pedantic, but these are a pendantic kinda thing. They require very accurate measurement, patience and practice.

55g egg whites plus another 55 grams egg white (110g total)
40ml water
150g caster sugar
75g ground almonds
75g ground hazelnuts (Or can use more ground almond)
150g icing sugar, sifted (Try to use good quality)
Few drops food colouring (Optional)

1. Let the egg whites sit on your bench for around 48 hours (Very Important!!)
2. Combine the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan.
3. Heat the sugar and water over a medium heat until it reached 121 degrees C (You'll need a candy thermometer).
4. Meanwhile, beat 55g of egg yolks until foamy.
5. Very very slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg white mixture and beat until thick and glossy. (Italian meringue won't go quite a stiff, it looked closer to soft peaks but stayed in the bowl when the bowl was held upside down.)
6. In a separate bowl combine the ground almonds, ground hazelnuts, icing sugar and egg yolks.

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