Saturday, 24 January 2015

A crack at the Macaron

Macarons – The French Way (or that’s what the recipe claims!)

So where did these delectable treats come from if not fallen from the heavens? Some sources cite two Carmelite nuns running from the French Revolution or maybe even Pierre Desfontaines of patisserie Ladurée in the early 20th century – who really knows!
To me, attempting (or even considering) to make macarons have always entailed visions of irregular piped shapes, smoking ovens, hideous tar-looking deposits smeared across the tray and dense, gooey insides . And then they’ll be me too disappointed and disgusted to even look my Frankenstein creations!



Turns out what I really needed was a mentor – a gal pal who bakes them regularly enough to know a full proof recipe and who also watches The Great British Bake Off!

So I hope you too will find this recipe French enough and Bullet Proof enough! Take a deep breath and channel the little French nun in yourself (haha)!

PLEASE MIND THE MESSY KITCHEN – THIS IS EVIDENCE THAT THIS RECIPE WORKS... RIGHT?! :P



Chocolate Macaron Recipe:

125 g almond meal
125 g icing sugar
30 g cocoa powder (“i’m in love with the coco”)
100 g caster sugar
100 g egg whites
Pinch of egg white powder (to stabilise the meringue)

Method:



1. In the food processor, grind the almond meal, cocoa and icing sugar until very ground!


2. In an electric mixer, whip them egg whites and egg white powder until soft peaks.
Start off slowly then crank up the speed!
3. Slowly add the caster sugar to the electric mixer (while it’s still whipping) in a steady stream.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks that don’t ‘plop’ off the spoon when you take a scoop!

5. Fold the ground mixture into the egg white mix in three additions until fully combined.
 The folding action you want is around and through! You’ll get a nice uneven light brown colour. 

6. Pipe onto lined baking trays from the centre, aiming for 50 cent piece (go Aus!)
7. Rest the macarons in a safe place for about 30 mins so shells can dry! Test by lightly pressing the top. If it doesn’t stick to your finger you good to go!
8. Bake in a pre heated fan-forced oven at 150°C for 15 mins!
9. They’re ready when you see little ‘feet’ at the bases and give them a light pat with a finger to check they are crisp 
J10. With a spatula, transfer the little disks onto a cooling rack, then begin ordering them from largest to smallest size.


Chocolate Ganache time!

150 g dark chocolate, even chopped (chocolate melts work best i think)
150 g cream

Method:

1. Bring cream and chocolate to boil in a clear mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

2. When all chocolate has melted and cream is mixed in to become a uniform colour, refrigerate until it thickens!

3. With two teaspoons, you want to deposit a ‘thumb pad’ sized dollop of ganache into the centre of the disk (using the second spoon to ease it off).
4. Press the other disk on top to evenly spread out the ganache so it oozes over the edges a little. Viola!

To seal the sense of accomplishment (this step is optional) its photoshoot time and then of course, tasting time!


Since I've survived to write this post, I would say these macarons have been successful (phew!)
Until our next baking meeting!

MVPD