Macarons! These small round French biscuits are crispy and chewy at the same time. A delicate treat that never fails to lift my spirit!
My love for them started 5 years ago when I had my first Macaron. It was filled with a rich dark chocolate ganache that complemented the crisp and tender shells. But they are expensive little treats that can cost around £1.70 for a single one!
With no income at the time and a very sweet tooth, I wanted to recreate these Macarons at my very own kitchen. To be honest, I tried a good few attempts to perfect the recipe and technique that I am going to share with you. It either cracked on the top, or it didn’t have the distinctive foot Macarons are known for. But finally I have the recipe that reminds me the very first time I tried these dainty treats.
Give this recipe a go and I am confident that you too can make these macarons at your home!
For the shells:
- 110g Almond meal/flour
- 170g Icing sugar
- 15g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 100g Egg whites (at room temperature) *
- 1/4 tsp Cream of tar tar
- 26g Caster sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
- 250g Dark chocolate, Chopped (70%)
- 200ml Double Cream
- 10g Caster sugar
- 50g Butter, diced
- 1tsp of instant coffee granules
- 30g Roasted mixed nuts (Chopped)
- Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
- Place the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process into a fine powder. Sift this mixture (now called tant pour tant) along with the cocoa powder over a clean bowl. **
- Whisk the egg whites and the cream of tar tar with an electric mixer until it is foamy. ***
- Gradually add the caster sugar slowly whilst still whisking. Beat this until you have firm peaks. This may take 5-7 minutes on a medium speed. ****
- Dump in the tant pour tant mixture and using a rubber spatula gently fold the mixture. This stage is very important which is also known as macaronage. You need to deflate some of the air whipped in the egg whites but also need to avoid over mixing which will result in a flat uneven macarons.
- Mix the mixture until everything is combined; it should be smooth, uniform and gently flowing like lava when the batter is placed back in to the bowl.
- Place a 1cm diameter pastry tip into a piping bag. Place this piping bag into a large glass cup ready for filling. Pour some of the batter into the pastry bag.
- Line some baking sheets with baking paper and pipe the batter in to small round mounds, leaving at least 2cm apart. When finished piping, drop the baking sheets from a height to release some trapped air. *****
- Now you need to leave them to dry and develop a skin. This is another essential stage that shouldn’t be missed. The time can vary from 30 mins up to 1hr, depending on the humidity and temperature of the room. ******
- They are ready to be baked when the batter doesn’t stick to your fingers when touched.
- Place the dried macarons into a preheated oven of 150c and bake for 12-15 minutes (turning the baking sheets around half way).
- They should be ready when it can be lifted of the baking sheets easily.
- Remove the baking paper of the baking sheet and place it directly on to a wire rack and let them to cool completely.
- Heat the cream, sugar and coffee in a saucepan until just about to boil.
- Pour this over the chocolate and gently stir until all the chocolate has melted.
- Incorporate the butter and mix until smooth. This now needs to be cooled and chilled in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- When the ganache is ready, place it into a pastry bag with a 2cm pastry tip and pipe the filling into each halves.
- Top with another shell and decorate with the melted chocolate and the roasted chopped nuts and sea salt.
These are best served when they have had a night in the fridge in an airtight container, so that the flavours and textures can develop and mingle together. You can enjoy them up to 2-3 days, and it should be served at room temperature.
*You might have come across recipes stating to age your egg whites, but I can tell you now that is not necessary. I have tried ageing them in the fridge or on the counter top for 1-3 days. But seriously there is not much different in the end result. The key is to have fresh egg whites at room temperature with no trace of egg yolk.
**This stage helps create a smooth and shiny shell. You can just discard the almonds that are left in the sieve if it is a little amount.
***Make sure the bowl and whisk is oil free
****Firm peaks is the stage when the egg whites are beaten until a distinctive ribbon trail behind this whisk and when the whisk is lift out of the bowl, the peak remains stiff and points upwards.
*****I created a template to guide me with this stage. Just use a black marker and trace 3.5cm circles on a baking paper uniformly. You can re-use this every time you make macarons.
******Drying the Macarons is very essential as it creates a thin dry film on the surface which helps maintain a smooth, un-cracked macaron after baking. This is because the film traps in the air that is trying to escape whilst baking. Because it cannot escape through the top it is escaped on the base of the macarons, creating the trade marked “feet” around its base.
Check out a stop motion video I made with these Macarons on my instagram (Kayann121)!
And of course, please enjoy these in moderation 😉
You might also like:
- Bestever Brownies
- Creamy Custard Buns (Using the Tang Zhong starter method)
- The fluffy Scone
- Matcha red bean buns – Green tea adzuki buns (Tang Zhong starter method)