One of my favourite macarons 😋
My apologies for the late post.
Those of you who have read my recent post last week regarding my wrinkly macaron misadventure might be wondering what on Earth I was doing, grinding cashews and using peanut flour… Well, I was experimenting on transforming a favorite Filipino layered cake, Sans rival, into a macaron. Sans rival is basically made up of alternating layers of meringue, buttercream, and toasted nuts (usually cashew nuts, or peanuts); so converting it into macaron form is quite easy. The complications arise with the ingredients you use, particularly with the type of nutty meal/flour: while you can use virtually any finely ground nut or nutty seed, it should neither be too wet/moist nor too dry. Last week’s misadventure was the result of a minute quantity of moisture in the ground cashews, which could have been avoided had I checked the cashew meal’s consistency and oven-dried it a bit if it tended to clump together too much (I didn’t check and skipped oven-drying because I was to eager to get on with it).
Earlier this week, I also found out that using ground nuts that are too dry could also lead to even worse problems. Since I didn’t have dry-roasted cashews on hand, and I didn’t want to dry the cashew nuts that I have in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes at lowest temperature, I decided to give the experiment another try using just the peanut flour that I already had. The problem was, the peanut flour was fat-reduced. I thought, no biggie; excess moisture is the only macaron Waterloo, right? Wrong! Just imagine how aghast I was when the batter turned into the consistency of shortcrust pastry dough during macaronage! I tried to salvage the situation by adding a bit more eggwhite, but that only made it worse. I ended up discarding the lot, and starting out again from scratch—this time, using 2:3 ratio of fat-reduced peanut flour to almond flour.
- There is no such thing as short cuts when making macarons. It really takes time. Do the test: pinch the ground nuts between your thumb and index finger—if it clumps together into a ball and does not break down back into a powdery consistency, it is too moist and you’ll have to dry it in the oven.
- DO NOT USE FAT-REDUCED NUT FLOURS (whether peanut flour, or almond flour). If you can’t find ready-made nut flours that are not fat-reduced, buy regular nuts then shell, roast, and grind them yourself.