Posted in Taste Forum – Bake Club 2011 – February Macarons
All Photo’s and Instructions © by Sares

Macaron Cooking with Sares

Photo by Sares

Don’t worry – they aren’t as hard as you may think and everyone will think you’re a genius for making them!

WARNING: If you don’t like following recipes precisely this is not a challenge for you!

I have chosen two recipes to share. Recipe #1 is courtesy of Pierrick Boyer and is from his macaron cooking class. It is a simpler (almost foolproof) way of making macarons as you don’t need to make Italian meringue. Also you probably won’t even notice that it’s not ‘authentic.’ I think the main difference is that the shells aren’t as shiny.

Recipe #2 is a more traditional method. The recipe I will be using is from ‘The Secrets of Macarons’ by Jose Marechal. If you feel like purchasing another cookbook this is a goodie as is goes through EVERYTHING. The technique part of the book probably takes up about half of the thing! It’s only small and I think the rrp is $20.

Use egg whites that are at room temperature and preferably have been separated the day before so as to ‘age’ them.

The recipes can easily be doubled or halved. I halved #1 with no problem at all. The quantities I write are the full recipe quantity.

You can also fill them with whatever filling you like. For #1 I did a chocolate raspberry ganache and for #2 I did half with lemon buttercream and half with caramel filling.

There are no limits to the fillings. You can use ganache, buttercream, creme patissiere, mousses, jellies, jams… basically anything. Don’t flavour the shells, just colour them. The flavour of the filling will permeate into the shell. I’m interested to see what interesting fillings you come up with! There are lots of ideas on blogs.

Specialist Equipment Required:
-Sugar thermometer
-Stand mixer (if you’ve only got hand beaters only attempt recipe #1)
-Piping bag with round tip size #6-#9. I used a #9 and it was fine.
-Digital scales

Recipe #1 by Pierrick Boyer

Macaron
280g almond meal
230g icing sugar
210g egg white (about 8 eggs depending on size)
230g icing sugar (yes there are two lots of icing sugar ;) )

Raspberry Ganache
140g cream
365g raspberry puree (blend up about 400g fresh/frozen raspberries and strain to remove seeds)
350g dark chocolate (50% cocoa solids)
125g unsalted butter

First make the ganache as it needs time to firm up.
Photo by Sares

Heat the cream and the raspberry puree until it starts to simmer. I used a double boiler although it’s not necessary.
Photo by Sares

Add in the dark chocolate and stir until melted, then add the butter
Photo by Sares

The ganache will be shiny, but not silky smooth due to the raspberry puree. Don’t worry! The chocolate isn’t separating!
Photo by Sares

Cover and put it in the fridge to harden up.

Now get started with the macarons!

Combine the almond meal and 230g of icing sugar and pass it through a fine sieve. I pulsed mine in the food processor first just to make sure it was very fine. Then set it aside while you work on the next step.
Photo by Sares

In a double boiler combine the egg whites and the other 230g of icing sugar. Heat it until it reaches 65 degrees. Don’t worry if you don’t pull it off at exactly 65 degrees, just don’t let it get above 80 degrees or you’ll start cooking the egg whites and if that happens it needs to go in the bin!
Photo by Sares
Photo by Sares

Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on a moderate speed (kitchen-aid speed 4) for about 6 minutes until soft peaks form.
Photo by Sares

While the whites are beating you can add some dye into your almond/icing sugar mix. The amount of dye you add will depend if it’s a liquid/gel/paste/powder and what colour you are using. Don’t worry too much because you can keep adding more while you are stirring the mix later on.
Photo by Sares

Add about a third of the beaten eggwhite mixture to the almond meal. You can be quite rough with it at this stage. Don’t fold it through! Pierrick suggests using your hands for all the mixing, however I had a camera to hold!
Photo by Sares

Add another third…
Photo by Sares

And then the rest. Keep mixing until the mixture falls off your fingers/spoon/spatula like this:
Photo by Sares
Should not come off in big blobs, if it is, keep mixing!

Put your mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat on an oven tray. They will spread so leave a gap. You should aim for your macarons to be approximately 4cm in diameter once spread. Hold the tip of the piping bag close to the tray and don’t swirl the tip around. You will get perfect rounds! If you aren’t confident you can use a macaron template which is basically a whole lot of circles drawn on a piece of paper.
Photo by Sares

Now pre-heat your oven to 145 degrees.

Let the macarons sit on the bench top for about 20 minutes or until they form a crust. Basically lightly touch the top of them and no mixture should stick to your finger.

Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. Mine took 20 minutes. Once cooked immediately remove the trays and put the macarons (still on the baking paper) onto a cool bench top. This shocks them and makes them easier to remove from the paper.
Photo by Sares

Once they are cold, sort them so you have evenly-sized pairs. Give the ganache a stir then pipe ganache onto one shell (I put too much ganache on them! Oops) Place the other shell on and slightly twist as you push down so the ganache evenly spreads between the two halves.
Photo by Sares

Ta da! (although the colour looks different to what they look like in real life. They are actually a real raspberry colour)
Photo by Sares

NOW THE HARD BIT. DO NOT EAT YOUR MACARONS YET. LEAVE THEM OVERNIGHT IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER IN THE FRIDGE. THEY WILL KEEP UP TO 3 DAYS IN THE FRIDGE. ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN KEEP THEM IN THE FREEZER (which is what they do at the restaurant.)

Recipe #2 from ‘Secrets of Macarons’

Macaron
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
75ml water
200g caster sugar
2 X 80g egg whites

lemon buttercream
I didn’t use a recipe I’m sorry. Bad Sarah! I just made normal buttercream (with about 200g butter) then added half a jar of lemon curd plus the rind of a lemon.

salted-butter caramel
250g caster sugar
75ml water
120ml cream
200g salted butter

For the caramel:

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until it becomes golden brown.
Photo by Sares

Add the cream. BEWARE! It will bubble and splatter. Stir like crazy!
Photo by Sares

Once the mixture reaches 108 degrees, add the butter and remove from heat. Whisk until smooth, then cover and refrigerate.

For the macaron:

Combine the icing sugar and ground almonds and process in a food processor then pass through a fine sieve. Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the caster sugar and water and heat on a medium heat without stirring. Meanwhile put 80g egg whites in the stand mixer and whip until soft peak stage then turn off.

When the sugar reaches 105 degrees turn on the mixer again onto a med/med-high speed.

Once the sugar reaches 115 degrees take it off the heat
Photo by Sares

In a slow, steady stream, pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites. Don’t pour it directly onto the whisk, pour it to the side (but not directly down the side of the bowl.)
Photo by Sares

Beat the meringue for approximately 10 minutes. During this time it will go gorgeously thick and glossy.
Photo by Sares

While the meringue is mixing, add the remaining 80g egg whites to the sifted ground almond/icing sugar mixture and stir until it forms a paste. Add dye at this stage. Don’t worry if the colour is really bright. Once the meringue is added it will dull down a bit!
Photo by Sares

Once the meringue mixture is ready add about a third of it into the almond paste to loosen it a little.
Photo by Sares

Keep adding the next third, then the rest and stir until the mixture flows off the spatula
Photo by Sares
(jumping between batch colours!)

If your mixture hasn’t been mixed enough, when you pipe it, it will look like this:
Photo by Sares
Don’t worry – just put it back in the bowl and stir it a bit more!

As per recipe #1 put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe 4cm diameter circles. Leave on the bench top for 30 minutes to form a crust (this recipe needs to be left out longer than recipe #1)
Photo by Sares

While the macarons are crusting preheat the oven to 150degrees

Bake for 14 minutes (mine took 17 minutes)

Once cooked remove paper immediately from trays to cool as fast as possible.

Photo by Sares
Photo by Sares

If your macarons aren’t cooked enough they will be soft and sticky on the bottom. A properly cooked macaron should look like the one on the left
Photo by Sares

Once cooled, fill with your buttercream/ganache.
Photo by Sares
Photo by Sares
Photo by Sares
As you can see my caramel didn’t come out a caramel colour!

DO NOT EAT NOW. THEY WILL BE CRUNCHY AND NOT GOOEY IN THE CENTRE. LEAVE OVERNIGHT IN THE FRIDGE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER

Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!!!!

The Next Day:

Photo by Sares

OK I just took a photo of how they look today.

See how the outside is still hard yet the inner bit of the shell is soft? That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s deliciously chewy! Yesterday, the entire shell was really crispy.

Don’t worry so much about the whole getting them off they trays. It’s not hard and I don’t know how vital it is anyway. It’s just better if you can remove them from the trays to stop them cooking. That’s why you put them on paper/silicone mat not directly onto trays before baking I guess. Don’t stress!

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