Do you remember my first attempt at macarons catalogued through my ex-blog Made by Ann ? They were far from perfect and had cracked surfaces but still tasted lovely. I learnt a few things from that experience including the importance of getting the temperature spot on. More recently, I attended a Bloggers Buzz event where Dora from BoBo Macarons gave us a demo on macaron making. Dora taught us three things essential to making perfect macarons 1) egg whites aged for a few days 2) time in the oven and temperature 3) the importance of being in a good mood. Watching Dora's technique taught me more than any recipe book and I was looking forward to giving macaron making a go again.
Here is the recipe I used. I must add that this is slightly different to the one Dora used, partly because I wasn't sure my notes were quite right.
For the macarons:
150g almond powder
210g icing sugar
90g caster sugar
3 large egg whites
Gel food colouring . I used hot pink, sky blue and lime green
For the butter cream icing:
150g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 150C. I use a fan heated oven. If you use gas, you may need to reduce the temperature a little bit. Recipes recommend around150-160 for fan oven and 140-150 for gas ovens. You need to test a batch and figure out what works best for you.
Sieve the almond powder and icing sugar together and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and slowly add the caster sugar until the mixture is thick and shiny. (It is recommended that you add food colour to the egg white meringue mixture. However, I chose to do it later after all the ingredients were mixed together) Mix the almond and meringue mixture well until it smooth, glossy and flows smoothly off the spatula.
I then separated the mixture into three parts and added a few drops of gel food colour. I was aiming for a pastel shade. The colour of the mixture and the end product were near enough similar, point worth noting as I assumed it would darken significantly.
Pipe out the macarons onto a parchment paper on a baking tray and rest them for about 15 minutes until they have firm skins. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the macarons look ready. Leave them to cool for about 30 minutes.
For the butter-cream icing, whisk the butter and icing sugar together until thick and creamy. Add flavouring of your choice whilst whisking. I used vanilla extract.
Once the macarons have cooled, sandwich them together with butter cream icing and they are ready to serve.
1. Cooking or baking on your own isn't that much fun. My husband was a willing Sous Chef who helped with sieving, piping etc. It often felt like some of the tasks were more efficient if two people did it rather than one. So find a friend or partner to make your macaronning experience more fun. ( Ed may not think it was that much fun to be fair as I was a stress-pot)
2. Don't rest the mixture too long before piping. The second batch I piped out were a disaster. Then again, the third weren't too bad which is puzzling!
Let me know how you get on with macaronning. Ann x
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