Oh boy, here we go. Macarons, not the ones with coconut, are the new cupcakes/cake pops. Everyone seems to go crazy over them, or it’s just my imagination. As far as I understand it they have been around for ages but became fashionable in North American a while ago. Since everyone is so excited about them I thought I give it a try.
In Saskatoon there is one store that sells it, Wild Serendipity Foods at the Farmers Market. It might be there are one or two other stores who sell them but I haven’t seen them yet. Wild Serendipity is doing a fantastic job on her Macarons, no wonder, she learned how to do it at the Cordon Bleu in Paris.
How to go about this little enterprise of mine? Google it! I had no book so the world wide web is my best friend. I look at various option and finally decided on Choco Paris, a website dedicated to list everything chocolate in Paris. Here is the original link to the recipe.
Reading the recipe gave me a bit of concern because as far as I understand it precision is key to all of this. Though I have a scale it is not digital, and the ingredients themselves were a bit tricky.
– 90 grams egg whites (equal to whites of 3 large eggs), at room temperature
– 125 grams ground almonds or almond flour
– 125 grams icing sugar
– 25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
– 125 grams of caster sugar (superfine sugar) divided into two equal portions
Tip 1: If you use ground almonds it would be good to use the food processor to make it even finer.
Tip 2: Even though I tried to find out what caster sugar is I was not really successful. I understand it is regular granulated sugar processed in food processor. So that’s what I did.
Tip 3: The egg whites should be left aging for 24 to 48 hour. So, about a day before you want to make Macarons you should crack the egg, separate them and let them stand outside. The aging is important so that the Macarons will rise.
Pulse the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder together until a fine powder is obtained. Place in a bowl and set aside. Egg whites and half of the caster sugar should be placed in a separate bowl and beaten at low speed for about 2 min. Then increase the speed to medium. Once peaks are forming you can add the second half of the caster sugar and then beat the mixture until all sugar is dissolved.
Tip 4: The beating part is an issue because they say you shouldn’t over beat the mixture but all sugar should be dissolved. Next time I will use icing sugar and see how that works. This time the mixture seemed too dry.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in completely. Make sure you do not mix too much. As Choco Paris says: “The batter should be smooth and glossy and have a lava-like consistency.” That was not the case so I decided to add another egg white that I only slightly beaten. It worked and I was able to proceed.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag with a round opening and pipe out walnut sized blobs on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. They should spread somewhat so make sure you leave enough space. Tap the cookie sheet on a hard surface to remove bubbles and let it sit for 30 min to 1 hour. The top of the blobs should be dry to the touch.
Bake the cookie sheet at 160°C for about 12 min. It depends on your oven of course and the altitude you are at. The Macarons should rise slightly and form the foot. Remove from oven and let them cool before pealing off.
– 125 grams bittersweet chocolate
– 100 ml heavy cream
– 25 grams unsalted butter
– 3-5 tsp. Whiskey
Heat the cream in a sauce pan and place the chocolate in a bowl. Then pour the hot cream over the chocolate and add the butter. Mix all three together with a whisk and add whiskey to taste. It is likely that the ganache will be quite liquid for a while. Let it sit until you reach the right consistency, stirring in between.
Take two Macarons shells of the same size and fill with the ganache, squeezing them carefully together. Let them sit in the fridge for a day and before you serve them let them reach room temperature (about an hour or so).
Making Macarons is surely not the easiest thing you can do. However, it seems to me that it’s worth the try, especially if you have a fancy part, like Bachelorette party, wedding, Baby shower etc. I hope to find some other recipes that will work, especially colourful ones because mixing colours and flavours is a lot of fun.