Originating in Venice during the Renaissance, these fine paste treats, known all over the world as macarons, will take you on a taste trip to Paris. Head straight on to the recipe ♥
I am never one to shirk away from a challenge! A macaron challenge was issue on my blog in 2010 and I made them, but not perfectly. So, when I saw the same challenge being issued for the October Daring Bakers’ I thought I would make them again, and get the perfect feet and height, required of a macaron. At the same time that this challenge was issued, a new product become available to me, erythritol granules. With the promise of working exactly like sugar I decided I would use this as my sugar alternative for the macarons.
Diary of a macaron:
Take 1 – try the recipe from Larousse Gastronomique page 629 using 3 egg whites, 205g erythritol granules and 120g ground almonds. Result – flat discs! Not sure if it was the recipe or the erythritol granules. Put these to one side in a lock and go container.
Take 2– retry the recipe using 1 egg white, 70g icing sugar and 40g ground almonds. Result – flat discs. Now I think it is the recipe. Put these into a cookie jar for our house guests.
Take 3 – try the recipe from a blogger I follow using 2 egg whites, 15g erythritol granules for the egg whites, 125g erythritol granules and 75g blanched almonds. Result – more flat discs. Add these to the lock and go container. Still don’t know if it is the erythritol granules or the recipe.
Take 4 – try the same recipe again using 1 egg white, 8g caster sugar, 63g icing sugar and 38g blanched almonds. Result – more flat discs. Use these for a dinner party with the house guests to make a version of Eton mess.
Take a break while the house guests are visiting.
Take note, the ones using the erythritol granules developed mould! So they were all chucked away. *
Take 5 – write down the recipe from Joanne’s blog which calls for 36g egg whites, 18g caster sugar, a pinch of salt, 58g icing sugar and 29g blanched almonds. As soon as I make the meringue I can tell it will be better. Result – stunning macarons.
Take 6 – wanting to make 100% sure that the erythritol granules do not work like sugar, I decide to make one last batch. I weigh out the blanched almonds and realize I have not made Joanne’s recipe. I had a new bag weighing 100g to start take 5 and there are only 62g left in the bag #oops. Make this batch using 36g egg whites, 18g erythritol granules for the egg whites, a pinch of salt, 58g erythritol granules and 38g blanched almonds. Result – really awful flat discs where the erythritol granules have caused weeping. I have now wasted all but 79g of the erythritol granules at a cost of R140! Not to mention all the other wastage. Toss these away before they can develop mould.
Take 7 – make the final batch which work perfectly – share the recipe here.
Not only were the recipes so different, the piping nozzle and method of piping across the recipes differed. So did the waiting time and when and how to tap the macarons. What I can tell you is that these will work!
for the macarons
- 38 g blanched almonds
- 63 g icing sugar
- 36 g egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 18 g caster sugar
- 2 drops food colouring of your choice
for the whipped ganache (Adapted From Larousse Gastronomique page 488)
- 100 mls cream
- 225 g dark chocolate cut into small chunks
for the macarons
- Place the almonds and icing sugar into a food processor
- Blitz until super fine
- Place the egg white into a mixing bowl
- Add the salt and whisk on a low speed until soft peaks form
- Add the caster sugar one teaspoon at a time, mixing continuously, until the sugar has dissolved
- Once all the caster sugar has been added, whisk until glossy white and stiff peaks have formed
- Sprinkle the almond mixture on top of the egg whites
- Gently fold the ingredients until combined
- Add the food colouring and continue folding gently until the colour has mixed in
- Place a 1cm round nozzle into a piping bag
- Place the mixture into the piping bag
- Pipe even, small round discs onto a lined baking tray using a simple squeeze method
- Do not swirl the mixture into circles, and try and keep the top as flat as possible
- Tap the baking tray twice, turn the top and bottom to be left and right, and tap twice again
- Leave to stand for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 135° Celsius
- Bake for 18 minutes
- Remove from the oven
- Gently lift the baking and add a few drops of water onto the baking tray (this will make them easier to lift off)
- Leave the macarons to cool completely on the tray before filling
for the whipped ganache
- Place the cream into a small sauce pan
- Bring to the boil
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate
- Stir until the chocolate has melted
- Set aside to cool
- Once cool, whisk until thick
To assemble the macarons
- Gently apply a decent layer of the ganache to the bottom of a macaron
- Sandwich another macaron to this
- Place onto a lined baking tray
- Once you have assembled all of the macarons cover with cling film
- Place into the fridge at least overnight, or for 2 days if you can wait! This allows the flavours to develop
- Serve at room temperature
Blog-checking lines: For the month of October we got to take on one of many bakers’ deepest, darkest kitchen nightmares : macarons. My post is late, but I want to thank Korena from Korena in the Kitchen and Rachael from pizzarossa for this task of mastering these French beauties.
* I let the supplier know about the mould, but she is convinced the product is safe for use. She has informed me that the product is not like sugar as claimed, and is not a preservative. I would not recommend that you use this, in case mould develops where you cannot see it!
What I blogged November 23:
- three years ago – Secret Santa 2012
- four years ago – Ingredient Challenge: Ready Steady Cook
- five years ago – Bacon And Mushroom Pasta