Monday, 1 December 2008

look at dese babies!

I made some French macarons yesterday! Greeny-blue ones with blueberry jam filling, and pink ones filled with white chocolate ganache flavoured with rose cordial. I was so pleased with them! They're definitely my best ones yet. Using Bake-O-Glide made such a difference. The pink ones were still kind of crackly though - I piped them using a proper piping bag+nozzle so I don't know if this made a difference because I piped the greeny-blue ones using a freezer bag and they turned out much much better, lovely and smooth...

My recipe (which just produced about 18 medium-sized macarons - I might double it next time as they disappeared too quickly, although I gave most of them away to friends and neighbours as little impromptu treats):

for the macarons:
75 g ground almonds
120 g icing sugar
60 g egg whites (or two egg whites)
35 g caster sugar
colouring pastes

for the filling:
(pink ones)
1 x 100-g bar of white chocolate
a splash of cream
2 teaspoons rose cordial

(greeny-blue ones)
blueberry jam as required


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.

Sieve the almonds and icing sugar separately, then place in a large bowl and mix carefully.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form peaks, then add the caster sugar gradually while whisking.

Gently fold the meringue mix into the dry ingredients using a spatula, til smooth. Split into 2 bowls, and add the colourings using a cocktail stick. Mix carefully.

Line two baking trays (I used bake-o-glide).

Stand a freezer bag in a medium-sized glass, and spoon the mixture into the bag, then snip a tiny hole in one corner and pipe onto the baking trays. Make sure the tip of the bag is touching the tray, hold the bag fairly upright and just squeeze until perfect little round blobs are formed.

Leave plenty of room between them.

Then pick up the tray to shoulder height, and drop onto a clear work surface to get rid of air bubbles.

Leave to stand for 30 minutes until the surface of the macarons remains intact when touched lightly with the fingertips.

Pop in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes then carefully place on a wire rack.

Place the white chocolate in a little saucepan, and add a splash of pouring cream. Heat over a low flame and stir until melted, then add 2 teaspoons of rose cordial. Mix well, then pour into a small bowl and chill in the fridge until the mixture has thickened (probably best made a couple of hours in advance).

Sandwich the macarons together with either a teaspoonsful of white chocolate/rose ganache mixture or blueberry jam (beware of clumsy thumbs when putting them together - a few of mine got dented that way hehe).

Admire for a bit in shock and awe, and enjoy!

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