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Monday, 24 October 2016

Macaron making


Every time I visit Paris for work I make sure I treat myself to a macaron…I’m particularly partial to Ladurée. If you’ve never heard of Ladurée, check out their site here - it is one of the best known and premium sellers of macarons…according to wikipedia, they sell 15,000 a day! 

For info, the correct term is ‘macaron’, though they are also frequently called ‘macaroons’ these are actually the small egg-white and coconut cakes.

I’ve been in Paris a few times in the last week and therefore tucking into macarons regularly.


So it was time to actually try making them! I’d heard a lot about how difficult they are to make, so we did our prep and research before hand!

We followed a mixture of recipes and cookbooks, mostly one French patisserie book and then these two recipes: British Food and PopSugar.

Because they were relatively straightforward and didn’t require too much equipment or technique (e.g. sugar thermometers!)…and had lots of yummy looking pictures.

We chose to make plain macarons with a vanilla filling for our first attempt.

First up - making the ‘dough’…sieve and mix the icing sugar and ground almonds. Whisk the egg whites and salt, then gradually the caster sugar to make thick soft peaks…and yes we did hold the mixture over my head to check!


Then we gently stirred in the almond-icing sugar mix.

Next we piped the mixture onto the silicon mats we had.


Tapping the mat to remove any air bubbles, they were then left to dry for 20 mins, during which time they turned shiny.

We popped them into a pre-heated oven (140’c no fan) for 7 minutes…

…then opened the door for a minute to let out any steam, before letting them cook for another 7 minutes.


We were childishly excited to see the macarons rising into the familiar shape!

After 14 minutes they were firm and risen so we took them out and left them to cool. After a while we even popped the sheets into the fridge to cool them fully down before trying to remove the macarons from the mat.


In the meantime we made the filling…

Essentially a sweet egg-custard mixed with vanilla butter…healthy!


We removed the macarons from their mats and compared with a leftover Laduree macaron!



Last step was to pipe the mixture into the macarons and sandwich them together.




Then you’re meant to leave them in the fridge for 24 hours to set, but of course we couldn’t resist sampling the results of our efforts immediately…delicious!



And the ones that survived 24 hours, tasted even better too!


We’re already planning our next flavours…raspberry, chocolate and pistachio are topping the list…

Ingredients (macarons)

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • small pinch salt
  • 55g caster sugar

Ingredients (filling)
  • 7 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 55g granulated sugar
  • 3.5 tbsp milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
Recipes

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