This is the second time I’ve tried macarons, something I am quickly finding to be my baking kryptonite. After seeing other blogs full of successful macarons, I thought I’d show you all that they don’t always have brilliant results!
The original recipe I tried was Lorraine Pascale’s but after how unsuccessful that was, I thought I’d find another…
This time I tried a recipe I found on The Joy Of Baking, and it turned out slightly better. It even had a handy video that I tried to follow:
For the biscuit
100g ground blanched almonds
170g icing sugar
15g unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed)
100g “aged” egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
35g superfine or castor white sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
120g dark chocolate, smashed with a rolling pin into small pieces
120ml heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp butter
Line a couple of baking trays with parchment.
Sift the cocoa, almonds and icing sugar into a bowl and leave to one side. This helps to keep any lumps to a minimum.
In a freestanding mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue mixing until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
Then, in three additions, sift the ground almond and cocoa mixture over the meringue. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Once the almond mixture is completely folded (called macaronage) into the meringue (the batter will fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon) it is time to pipe the Macarons.
Somewhere around this point is where it all went horribly wrong for me.
Fill a pastry bag, fitted with about a 1/2 inch (1 cm) plain tip, with about half the batter. Pipe about 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) rounds onto the parchment paper, using the template as a guide. Then carefully remove the template and gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles (can also break air bubbles with the end of a toothpick). Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen) or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky when lightly touched.
As you can see my piping is awful, and I needed my better half to assist me getting the mixture into the piping bag as I ended up covered in chocolate!
Put your ‘perfectly round’ discs of mixture into the fan-assisted oven and bake at about 150c for 14 minutes.
Now to make the ganache. Place the smashed chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir gently until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Let sit at room temperature until thick and of piping consistency. (This can take a few hours.) You can make the ganache the day before. Just cover and store at room temperature.
Spoon a thick layer of ganache between two biscuits and eat!
My macarons were all different shapes and sizes, with cracked tops and looked bloody awful. But at least they had the little ‘feet’ around the edges.
Must try harder.