Macarons

Macaron Shells:
– 300gms icing sugar
– 300gms almond meal
– 110gm eggwhites
– 300gms caster sugar
– 75gms water
– 110gms egg whites (extra)
– Gel or powdered colouring (not water based)
– ½tsp cream of tartar or eggwhite powder
– Candy thermometer

Fillings:
– Fillings can be anything and should be piped onto shells once they have cooled completely: e.g. raspberry cheesecake – make raspberry coulis and mix with Philadelphia cream cheese – sprinkle crushed shortbread biscuits on top, lime curd and coconut ganache, salted caramel, nutella, regular ganache, etc.

Method:
– combine the almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl, put into blender, food processor etc and lightly blend till it becomes really fine and then sift. (Note: recipe only says sift – I’ve learnt to blend first through trial and error – I use my ninja and have to do it in batches – don’t overdo it because ground nuts will turn to nut butter if you blend them too much);
– fold in 110gms eggwhites to the almond meal/icing sugar mix;
– in Mixmaster or similar put 110gms of eggwhites and cream of tartar or eggwhite powder, mix on high just until powder is combined with eggwhites. Turn off and set aside;
– combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to 118˚c using the candy thermometer to monitor the temperature – important that it does hit 118 and doesn’t go over. (Once the syrup reaches 100 ˚c add your desired colouring);
– turn Mixmaster on high (containing the lightly mixed eggwhites and cream of tartar) and slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup – mix for approx. 8 minutes on the highest/whipping setting – the mixture will become thick and glossy (Italian meringue);
– Fold the Italian meringue into the almond meal mixture – make sure the mixture is homogenous (evenly mixed) so that you don’t end up with kisses instead of macaron’s or cracked/exploded feet. This is called macronage. Heaps of images on Google as to what it should look like. I can tell the mixture is ready for piping when it is folded back on itself and doesn’t leave a peak – DON’T OVERMIX – will become very runny.
– Line baking trays;
– Put small amount of mixture into piping bag and pipe out into 6cm circles – rest for approx. 30 mins or until appears to form a skin;
– Bake at approx. 120 ˚c -130 ˚c for 16-18mins – this varies and there’s a lot of info/speculation at what temp you should cook them at – this is just what works for me.

NOTES/EXTRA THOUGHTS:
– The icing sugar and almond meal mix is known as “tant pour tant” and means equal parts icing sugar and almond meal; this is the base for a few French pastries.
– It is possible to halve the recipe.
– At around the 8-10 minute mark in the oven the macaron’s will form what is known as “feet” this is how you know you’ve done it right
– They are temperamental and sometimes fail for what appears to be no reason at all.
– Cream of tartar or eggwhite powder stabilises the eggwhites and allows the meringue to hold better.
– Use a template under the baking paper when piping the mixture on to trays – if you’re doing this for the first time it makes it A LOT easier!
– Make the recipe in a very cool environment – will not work if air temp is too hot or the humidity is very high
– Always make sure my eggwhites are at room temp. it seems to fail when you use cold egg whites.
– Can be frozen – They taste better once they have been frozen – even refrigerating overnight also allows them time to rest and they taste better.


INSTAGRAM
#TERRITORYTASTE