I find it very difficult to walk past a macaron stall without buying one, or three! The crisp outer shell and that gorgeous crunch into a smooth, slightly chewy, light, soft filling... oh those little gems! I’ve recently discovered salted caramel flavour - Oh la la! (They are next to be made!) I’ve always thought that something so wonderfully scrumptious could only be cooked by some fine Parisian-trained patissier. But guess what folks? Not so. These macaron are simple to bake. The hardest part for me was trying not to eat all the mixture before baking, and the constant whisking of the meringue(No fancy-pance Mixmaster for me sadly, just the old hand whisk!). With this simple recipe I have made a delicate pink macaron with a raspberry jam filling. Makes 16 delightfully amazing macarons
Prep time: approx. 20 min. Resting time: approx. 15min. cooking time: about 15 min per batch
Kitchen stuff needed: 2 x baking trays (1 will do if that’s all you have), baking paper, large frypan, teaspoon, whisk, (or mixmaster/electric whisker if you have one)
Ingredients from the garden:
15 fresh ripe Raspberries (or a small punnet if not growing them)
1 cup icing sugar
3/4 Cup almond meal
2 Large egg whites, room temperature
1 sm pinch of bicarbonate soda
1/4 Cup caster sugar
1/2 Vanilla bean, scraped or 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla extract
a few drops of red food colouring
½ cup raspberry jam
Let’s do it:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Prepare parchment lined baking sheets.
2. Combine the almond flour and icing sugar. Mix so that there are no lumps.
3. Whisk egg whites with mixer on medium speed until foamy (or hand whisk if you are up for it). Add bicarb and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
4. Add caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. This may take a while! Stiff peaks = when you lift up the whisk and turn it upside down, the little peak that forms should stay in place and not tip over at the point).
5. At this point, if you want a different colour macaron then add little by little the food colouring to the egg white and also add the vanilla bean scrapings or clear vanilla extract. Whisk just until the colour is pretty much uniform. It does not need to be completely combined, little areas of white is fine.
6. Sift the almond meal and sugar mixer into the egg whites. Fold just until everything is combined. Do not over fold - the whole point of beating up your egg whites to a stiff peak is to incorporate air, so you don’t want to deflate it by over folding.
7. The mixture should be thick and sticky. Transfer the batter to a pastry piping bag with a 1/2 inch plain round tip. Listen closely here! Pipe the batter onto the parchment lined pan by holding the tip straight up and down and making sure it remains straight as you pipe the batter. Keep the tip in one position (no need to move it around, the batter will spread to a circle on its own). Pipe them at least 2cm apart and as uniform in size as possible. If you’re really nervous, you can also draw circles on the baking paper, flip it upside down so you can still see the circles and pipe until the batter fills the circle.
8. Turn the oven down to 160 degrees.
9. Tap the pan on the countertop a few times and hit the bottom of the pan with your hands. Let the pans sit for 15 minutes. Tap it a lot - you will see some bubbles come to the top and pop and that’s exactly the purpose of the tapping! This is such an important step - I have gotten macarons that fall apart, have holes in the bottom, don’t puff up and pretty much everything else that could go wrong because I did not tap the pan enough or let them sit long enough. DO NOT TAP THE PAN AFTER THEY HAVE RESTED. Carefully place them in the oven - any hard hit to them will result in cracks when baked.
10. Bake one pan at a time and rotate the pan 5 minutes in. Bake another 5 minutes and take them out. (Total bake time - 15 minutes) Let them rest on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. It should not be hard to take them off but if they are somehow sticking to the pan spray some water under the baking paper and the steam should release the cookies.
11. Filling: take a saucepan and put on high, when warm add raspberry jam and fresh raspberries. Gently crush some of the fresh ones up, but keep a little chunky if possible. But aside to cool.
12. Match up macarons of similar size and gently add a small teaspoon of filling to each, and add its little mate to make your perfect sweet macaron.
Enjoy slowly with a glass of French champagne
Soundtrack for Macaron : La Femme Chocolat by Olivia Ruiz