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Aug31

Macaron making in a nutshell

Macarons making you mad? Don’t sweat it! Follow the recipe below, alongside watching my short video, and hopefully you’ll be serving up a piece of Paris in no time!

The following recipe is for mocha-flavoured macarons. If coffee isn’t your thang then simply substitute the coffee extract with a colour of your choice (just a small amount of food colouring should do it), and follow everything else as detailed below. NB. Gels or powders are best to use to colour your shells as they won’t thin the mixture too much.

For the filling, take inspiration from the web or use your favourite ganache, curd or jam.

This recipe will make around 75 macarons (~150 shells) – the recipe can be halved but it is a little more difficult, though not impossible, to make the Italian meringue in the free-standing mixer with such a small quantity of egg white. It may help to use a hand-held electric whisk in this instance, though extra care will be required to minimise the risk of splashing when pouring the hot sugar syrup.

Recipe – Mocha Macarons (makes ~75 macarons)

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
110g egg whites
15g coffee extract
+
300g caster sugar
75g water
110g egg whites

Cocoa powder (to dust)

Coffee and Chocolate Ganache

400g good-quality white chocolate (pistoles or finely chopped)
400g whipping cream
20g ground coffee

  1. Prepare macaron templates by printing or drawing 3.5cm-diameter circles onto paper (these can be used time and time again).
  2. Line several baking trays with the macaron templates and place non-stick baking parchment on top.
  3. In a food processor, grind together the ground almonds and icing sugar to obtain a fine powder. Sieve contents into a large mixing bowl. Any parts of the powder that will not go through the sieve can be ground down further (or discarded if not too much).
  4. In a small bowl, measure out the first portion of egg white and mix in the food colouring. Pour into the centre of the nut/icing sugar mixture but do not stir at this stage.
  5. Have ready the second portion of egg white in a large grease-free bowl, preferably the bowl of a free-standing food mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. It is possible to perform the following steps with a hand-held whisk but you may want to ask for some assistance.
  6. Boil the caster sugar and water together over medium heat, brushing the sides of the pan with additional water as it starts to boil to prevent crystallisation. When the temperature reaches 115°C, start to whisk the egg white on high speed (you will be whisking to a soft peak).
  7. As soon as the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 118°C, carefully pour onto the egg white, avoiding the whisk.
  8. Continue whisking at high speed for 1 minute, then lower the speed to medium and whisk for approx. 2 minutes to cool the meringue to around 50°C. You have now made an Italian meringue!
  9. Add the meringue to the nut/icing sugar/egg white mixture. Fold together until fully combined and the mixture falls from the spatula like runny cake dough (see accompanying video).
  10. Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 10mm plain nozzle with the mixture and pipe onto the templates.
  11. Rap the tray on a work surface lined with a tea towel to burst any air bubbles and then dust the wet shells with cocoa powder (optional).
  12. Leave the shells to dry for at least 30 minutes until a skin forms on the surface and the mixture is no longer sticky to the touch. This stage may take up to 2 hours, depending on the conditions.
  13. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
  14. Once dry, bake the macarons for approx. 14 minutes until the shells are firm and can be wiggled back and forth with little-to-no movement. If in doubt, it is better to overbake than underbake the shells, as once filled and left to mature overnight in the fridge the shells will soften and reach the perfect texture. Leave to cool before attempting to remove the shells from the parchment paper.
  15. To make the ganache, boil the whipping cream, add the ground coffee then cover and leave to infuse for 2-3 minutes.
  16. Strain the hot cream through a fine-mesh sieve directly onto the chocolate. Stir to obtain a smooth ganache, cover and leave to cool until it reaches a texture akin to soft butter, suitable for piping.
  17. Pipe a generous mound of ganache onto half of the shells and top with the remaining shells, gently pressing together. Store in the fridge for 24 hours and bring back to room temperature before serving.

 

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