Macarons

Macarons: a redemption

Okay, I must admit, after that disaster from two weeks ago, I just felt that I somehow couldn’t live with myself…  So I spent the last 4 weekends aiming at redemption 😁  The following are the results of my efforts—not bad, I guess 😋

Coffee and strawberry macarons[left] Coffee and strawberry macarons.

Lemon, pistachio and rose macarons

 

 

 

 

[right] Lemon, pistachio and rose macarons.

 

Macarons (basic)

Makes about 60 shells (30 assembled macarons)

90 g egg whites (from approx. 3 large eggs), preferably aged at least overnight and brought to room temperature

110 g almond flour (almonds ground to a powder)

200 g confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp caster sugar

several drops flavor essences (optional)

several drops food coloring gel (optional)

  • In a blender or food processor, grind the almond flour together with the confectioner’s sugar; set aside. (You don’t actually have to do this, but I do it to break down whatever big lumps are still present in the almond flour)
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer, starting at medium speed. When the mixture starts becoming frothy and opaque, turn the setting to high speed. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating continuously, until the mixture forms a meringue (becomes glossy and forms soft peaks). Add the flavor essences and gel food coloring (if using), then continue beating until the color becomes homogenous.
  • Sift the almond flour mixture over the meringue. Using a spatula, carefully fold them together until the resulting batter is uniform in color and has the consistency of flowing lava (this should take about 30-40 folds). Tap the sides of the bowl several times during folding to get rid of excess air in the batter (this could cause the macarons to crack during baking).
  • Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1-cm (diameter) nozzle. Pipe out 3-cm (diameter) circles, each about 2.5 cm apart, onto non-stick baking paper* placed on a baking tray. Rap the baking tray on the counter/table to get rid of excess air that could either crack the macarons or make them hollow.
  • Leave the piped out batter in a cool, dry place to set. They are ready for baking when the surface is completely dry and not sticky when touched.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150°C-180°C for 12-14 minutes, taking care not to let the exposed surface turn brown. When finished, slide the baking paper (with the macarons) out from the baking tray and onto the countertop/kitchen table to stop further cooking. Leave them to cool for a few minutes before attempting to remove from the sheets. The ideal macaron should just slide off the baking paper (or pop easily out of the silpat); the bottoms should be dry, but still a bit soft at the center.
  • Fill with your favorite ganache, jam and/or buttercream.

* Silpats can also be used. I used one that is specifically for macarons 😉


Coffee buttercream

Makes enough filling for 25-30 macarons

3 eggs

200 g caster sugar

1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or 2 tbsp prepared espresso)

230 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the caster sugar at high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and doubles in volume.
  • Pour the egg mixture into saucepan over medium heat. Add the espresso and stir continuously until the mixture forms a compact batter.
  • Pour the batter into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool in the refrigerator.
  • In another large bowl, beat the chilled butter at high speed. When the butter starts to expand in volume and become fluffy, add the chilled espresso batter. Continue whipping until the mixture becomes homogenous.
 
 

Rose macarons

Rose buttercream

3 eggs

200 g caster sugar

250 ml rose water

230 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

  • Same procedure as in the coffee buttercream, just replace the espresso with the rosewater.
 
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