I have a love hate relationship with these little French cookies. Sure I love them because all my friends and family cannot get enough of them. I mean it is their favourite cookie like ever. Maybe because here in Australia to get a decent price, good quality macaron is hard to come by. Either they are $5 dollars a pop, or they are poor quality ones. Even super markets are stocking packaged macarons and do not get me started about Macca’s selling the delicate cookies. They are not the worth the packaging they come in.
I love them because they are so very pretty when they are stacked up in a big tower. Have you ever made a macaron tower? I have and it was the greatest kitchen experience in my life to date. I highly recommend try to make one when you get the chance because you feel great afterwards. Sorta like an exercise high but without the sweat.
However I still have issues with macarons; let me compare them to children. I am deadly afraid of children. They are unpredictable, volatile and they are prone to crack at any moment. So many things can go wrong with these cookies; oven too hot, oven too cold, hot spots, the egg white mix, TPT ratio… it is enough to make your head spin. I have spent many hours cursing and red face when they crack, sink or fail to develop feet.
If that is not enough, even after they are baked without cracks and with feet there is the issue of hollows. For those who are not familiar with this term, it is the when you macaron insides have big gap where the batter has sunk to the bottom. This results in a non-chewy macaron thus a bad macaron. I remember reading on Brave tart macaron’s tutorials not many people show the insides due to this problem. Ever since reading that I have wanted to do a successful no hollow macaron and in this post I have done it! LOOK, LOOK MUM!! NO HOLLOWS!
- HIT HIT HIT THE PAN HARD, and bake for a bit longer (like 2 minutes).
- Make sure you use good heavy baking trays which have even heat distribution.
- Have a good egg white mix before you fold it in, this means no sugar crystals in the meringue and has a glossy finish.
Go to Bravetart’s website (I linked it above) for all the information you need.
All I can say to people looking to create macarons is to keep on practicing. Any time you have egg whites save them and use them for macarons. Any time you come across cheap Almond meal, buy a lot and freeze it for mascarons. This way you have all the materials on hand, all the time. I cannot count the number of failed macarons I have made. Moral of all of this do not give up!
I have been harbouring these babies for a while. I recently posted a picture of what I do to procrastinate (again) essay writing, make foods which are considered “unnecessary”. Caramelised white chocolate is sure require a lot of attention but inspired by Poires au Chocolat post on it I had to try it. This white chocolate is not sickly sweet but allows the bitterness of slightly burnt cocoa butter to offset the sugar in your chocolate. Also the addition of salt to chocolate is always needed; I am surprised I do not have sodium problem from my love of salted chocolate. If you can resist the urge to eat it from the pan, try to place in it in a macaron for a unique flavour.
Caramelised White Chocolate Macaron
Macaron recipe from Tartelette
110gram almond meal
90g egg whites
25g raw caster sugar
200g icing sugar
If you want to colour you may I used a combo of yellow, brown and skin colour.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue (think shaving cream
Place the powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 280F/150C. When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture.
Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
Caramelised white chocolate ganache
300g white Chocolate
5g pink salt
Pre heat oven to 130C.
In a rectangle shallow dish, break up chocolate into small pieces.
Place in oven, stir after 5 minutes until the white is a deep brown. This will seem really useless and it seem the chocolate is getting worse rather than better; but have faith it WILL loosen and start to colour. Mine took 1 hour.
Allow to cool and stir in salt.
To make ganache
Bring your cream just below boiling point in a small sauce pan.
Pour on top of Chocolate in steel medium bowl. Gentle fold the chocolate until it all combined.
Stir in the butter until it is melted and fully combined. Allow to cool and store in fridge for 1 hour. Take out 30mintues before filling macarons
Pipe your ganache and sandwich them with two macaron shells. Fridge for one day before serving in an airtight box.