Les Macarons

5 Aug

For the past few years, cupcakes were  a hot favourite with dessert-lovers. However, recently, they seem to have moved on to macarons. Macaron is a sweet meringue-based cookies made from egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder and food colouring. Usually ganache, buttercream or jam filling are sandwiched between two cookies.

Last week, my colleagues and I attended a macaron-baking workshop at cakelovecouture. Surprisingly, macarons are not very difficult to make. We all managed to bake decent-looking macarons that are also delightful to the palate. Of course, much of the credits should go to the helpful instructors who helped us judge whether the mixture was ready and prepare the oven.

Here’s the recipe from cakelovecouture for making the macaron shells. I’m making slight changes to the recipe so as not to infringe any copyrights. By the way, the recipe uses French meringue, not Italian.

Easy-to-make Macarons Shells

(24 shells; 12 filled macarons)

Ingredients

  • 38 g egg whites (aged for 1 day)
  • 28 g caster sugar
  • 40 g almond flour
  • 58 g confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of creamof tartar
  • food colouring (gel or powder)

Directions

  1. Sift the almond flour and confectiner’s sugar together.
  2. Whisk the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue whisking at medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Reduce the speed and add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar at a time until all the sugar has been added. Remember to allow time for the sugar to be mixed into the egg whites before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.Then increase the speed until stiff peaks are formed. Do not over-whisk. The meringue is ready.
  3. Pour half the almond flour and sugar mixture into the meringue and fold it in with a rubber spatula. At this point, one or two drops of food colouring can be added into the batter. Then pour the remaining flour mixture into the batter and continue to fold until the batter has loosened and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.
  4. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a No.8 tip or 802 tip and fill it with the batter. Be sure to leave a 1-inch space between the macarons so that they will not touch each other while they bake. Tap the baking tray on the table top to remove any peaks. A toothpick can also be used to remove bubbles.
  5. Preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. Let the piped macarons rest for 15 minutes or until the top layer is dry to the touch. Then bake for 14 minutes.

It is best to leave the macarons shells in the fridge for a day before eating. You can fill the macarons with chocolate ganache or buttercream. Or if you are looking for an easy way out, just fill them with jam. I think they’ll taste just as good. 🙂

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