Macrons (or Macaroons if you prefer) are one of those trendy deserts that I’ve heard of a lot over the last couple of years but have never actually got around to trying – and by trying I don’t just mean baking I mean eating. I could be wrong but I think they started picking up in popularity when the Great British Bake Off chose them as a technical challenge a few years ago. Anyway I’d been meaning to try making them for a while, especially as they use Italian meringue which is something else I’d never tried. Finally, after being asked if I’d made them in January I decided to have a go and dug my ground almonds out of the cupboard where they’d been waiting for the last month or so. The first time I made them I filled them with a pink coloured white chocolate ganache, the second time I chose to use vanilla frosting, both were lovely.
For the macarons:
90g Egg whites (total) split into 50g for Italian meringue and 40g for the almond paste.
110g Castor sugar
30ml water (approx)
125g Ground almonds
125g Icing sugar
For the ganache:
50ml double cream
100g white chocolate
First separate the egg whites into two – 50g and 40g
- Place 50g of egg white in a clean mixing bowl – preferably metal and whisk in a stand mixer using a balloon whisk until stiff peaks form and the egg white has roughly doubled in volume. Keep the mixer on high when ready to pour in the sugar syrup to mix the italian meringue.
- While the egg white whisks dissolve the 110g of castor sugar in a little water (approx 30ml works for me) in a pan.
- Heat the sugar syrup on the hob until it reaches 113.5c then remove from the heat and with the stand mixer whisking on high pour the sugar syrup into the whisked egg white. Keep whisking until the outside of the bowl is cool.
- In a separate bowl mix together the icing sugar and ground almonds before stirring in the remaining unwhisked egg white to form a paste.
- Fold the meringue into the almond paste adding food colour as desired.
- Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and draw a series of hearts on the back using a cardboard template or cookie cutter.
- Turn the greaseproof paper over to prevent any ink or pencil mark transferring to the macrons.
- Place the macron mix into a piping bag and snip off the end, pipe the hearts onto the tray.
- Bang the tray down on the work surface several times to remove any large air bubbles then set aside for half an hour to allow a skin to form on top.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170c and after a skin has formed on the macrons bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove the macrons from the oven and place the sheet of baking paper on your work surface to allow them to cool before peeling them off.
- For the ganache add food colouring to the double cream and warm slightly to just above room temperature.
- Melt the white chocolate and add to the double cream stirring until a smooth ganache forms.
- Pipe the ganache between the cooled macrons.