Ok, so, previous post was almost a macaron disaster. They worked in the end… so here is the recipe that I used – slightly modified and simplified compared to the one from the book.
3 large egg whites, room temperature
85 grams almond flour
150 grams powdered sugar
65 grams granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean)
1. Grind almond powder and powdered sugar in food processor. Sift mixture twice through a medium-mesh sieve. Set aside.
2. In stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add the sugar to the egg whites .
3. Add vanilla and stir lightly.
4. Continue beating egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form.
5. Add half of almond/sugar mixture to egg whites and fold into meringue, scooping from bottom of bowl. Add the rest of the flour mix and continue to fold together.
6. When the batter becomes firm and drips slowly when scooped up, the mixture is done.
7. Transfer batter to a pastry bag with a .4″ tip and pipe onto parchment covered baking sheet. Rap the baking sheet against the counter a couple times. This helps the ‘foot’ to form.
8. Let the unbaked macarons sit at room temperature until they are not sticky to the touch. This can take up to 30 minutes on a dry day. If it is raining, dehumidifying the room can help.
9. Racks in centre of oven, 375°F. Stack the sheet with the batter on top of an empty sheet when baking. This helps to prevent the bottoms from heating up too quickly.
10. Bake for 15-18 minutes – top should be crisp. Rotate the sheet, front to back, halfway through the baking time to ensure they bake evenly.
When I attempted these previously with the mint flavour for the meringue I was supposed to use:
1 tbsp dried mint
green food coloring
60 grams almond flour
60 grams powdered sugar
However, I didn’t. I added peppermint flavouring after I already had the eggs stiff and glossy and they turned to goop. So, don’t do that. haha. I had a suspicion that it wouldn’t work, and I ignored my gut. Never try baking these without at least 12 eggs on hand 😛
I was also unsure about the reduced quantities of almond flour and powdered sugar…
Chocolate: (book says)
25 grams dutch processed cocoa powder
50 grams almond flour
50 grams powdered sugar
Well, months ago, when I made macarons for the first time, I used the above chocolate modification to the original recipe and it didn’t turn out. The macarons didn’t puff and there was no foot.
This is where I can’t decide what to do with the modifications the book provides. 25 grams of cocoa is a lot of cocoa, especially compared to 50g of almond and sugar each. Considering the base recipe calls for 3 times the amount of powdered sugar, I was skeptical about the quantities from the beginning. (why such a great difference in quantities?)
This time when I made the chocolate, I measured out about 15 grams of cocoa (basically, at 15 grams it just looked like enough and it was a nice round number, so I stopped) and kept the almond powder and the powdered sugar the same. They worked well and taste great (although I think i was lacking some macaronnage). I also didn’t use the vanilla.
18 minutes was WAAAAY too long, so I burned a tray before I settled on about 14 minutes.
100 grams unsalted butter
40 ml water
40 grams granulated sugar
1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature or maybe even a little warm but never melted. Stir butter with a spatula until creamy and smooth, like mayonnaise. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar and the water into a small saucepan and bring to soft ball temperature – 240°F (116°C)
3. While heating the syrup, break the egg into a stainless steel bowl and beat lightly with a hand mixer. When the syrup is ready, pour it in a thin thread into the egg while beating it at high speed. (I try to get it right in the beaters…) Reduce speed to medium and beat until the mixture is white and heavy.
4. Add the butter in three batches. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed each time you add the butter. Beat until well mixed.
5. Pipe or spread buttercream onto macarons.
The book actually tells you to make the sugar/water syrup in the microwave, but I don’t own one. The book also doesn’t mention the temperature or the ‘stage’ that you are trying to reach, it simply describes the consistency…
“Scoop some syrup with a spoon and drop it into a small amount of water. Then try to scoop the syrup out of the water and make a ball with it using your fingers. If you can do this, the syrup has the right density”.
Well, I tried it this way, but over the stove, my first time doing this. What a pain in the bum. Then I clued in to what she was asking for. Just get a candy thermometer, which should have a label stating the temperature for ‘soft ball’ stage, and do it over the stove. I take it off just before it hits this temp because it crystallizes very quickly after that and the timing is hard to perfect.
I used the mint flavouring in these since there was no modification in the book… I added just about 1 tsp. I beat it a little after added the flavour and then I just stirred with a spatula and eventually piped it onto the puffs. (obviously I skipped the vanilla)
I just tasted one (three) and oh god they’re good.
I made these to take to family for Christmas on the weekend and promptly forgot them on the counter. I *might* have used some bad language when I discovered this half way through a 6 hour drive. However, 3 days later they still taste great. I will now take them to my parents tomorrow.