This is my FIRST LornaLove blog entry! *applauding with excitement*
AND……this is my first ever time at baking macarons *eeek*
(Please note : my photos are reeeeally rubbish. Getting some photography skills and a good camera is on my ‘to do/get’ list ;o)
The word on the ‘baking street’ is that macarons are difficult to bake, but after seeing the price of them in the shops *gulp*, I thought I would attempt them. And guess what…..I nailed it….they came out freakin awesome!!
The next day I made another batch and….. doh, they were a FLOP (I think I know where I went wrong however). I dislike following recipes to the letter, but I suggest you follow my instructions carefully so you can nail macarons first time too!
I tried both a dark chocolate and a white chocolate ganache for the centre and also experimented with a few different decorating ideas. They tasted divine…..crisp shell : slightly chewy inner : sweet filling…..mmmmm
Almond meal (or called almond flour) used in the recipe is available at health stores, some supermarkets and at some supermarket bulk bins. You need the meal which uses almonds with it’s brown ‘skin’ removed. It should look white and not have brown bits in it.
Here is the recipe, as adapted from sprinkle bakes. Have a go : ENJOY : please tell me how you go : show me a pic of your outcomes! x
¾ cup almond meal/flour
1 cup icing sugar
2 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 pinch of cream of tartar
½ cup castor sugar
Food colouring (I used Wilton ‘Kelly Green’ gel & Wilton ‘Sky blue’ gel. I suggest you use gel colouring and not liquid)
- Make sure you have 2 eggs out of the fridge and at room temperature.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Sift almond meal and icing sugar together three times. Throw away any larger pieces of almonds that won’t go through the sieve. Replace any almond meal thrown away by sifting some more.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with beaters until foamy. Add the pinch of cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Reduce the speed of the beaters to low and gradually add the castor sugar. Increase the speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites.
- Fold the mixture using a rubber spatula. The batter will be quite stiff.
- Add in the food colouring. Use a skewer stick or something similar to dip in gel and add just a dab of the green and a dab of the blue. This will give you a nice mint colour. Add more if you would like a deeper mint colour.
- Fold mixture and keep folding gently until it becomes smooth and shiny. The mixture should not be stiff anymore. I think my bad batch of macarons was a result of not folding for long enough (at LEAST 5 minutes).
- Spoon mixture into a piping bag. I used no piping tip on my bag and also taped the end up with cellotape to prevent mixture coming out whilst I’m filling it.
- Pipe rounds onto the tray lined with baking paper. Try to get them all the same size. This takes practise so don’t worry if it takes you a while to get them about the same size!
- Dust with sprinkles, cocoa etc at this stage, if desired.
- Let stand for 30 minutes on the bench. Turn the oven on now to 150 c (fanforce oven) 0r 170 c (conventional oven).
- Place macarons in the oven, turn the temperature down to 130 c (fanforce) or 150 c (conventional). Bake for 10 mintues. Keep a very close eye on them! You don’t want them to start browning at all. Whip them out fast if they do.
- Pipe a small amount of ganache into the centre of one macaron and push another macaron on top…BINGO!
dark or white chocolate peppermint ganache
- Warm ½ cup cream in a small pot on the stove until just before it begins to bubble. Pour warmed cream over a bowl with 225 grams of dark or white chocolate broken up in it. Add 1 tsp of natural peppermint extract. Stir until combined and chill in the fridge until it is a nice thick consistency for piping.
And here is the ‘DOH!’ batch……..