Macarons

Inspired by episode 2 of this year’s Great British Bake Off, I had a go at baking Macarons. Macarons not to be confused with Macaroons, are a French meringue based made mostly from egg white and sugar and let me say they’re not as easy as it looks to make these meringuey treats.

(See http://pottymouthedmummy.com/5-moments-in-gbbo-that-make-my-husband-sigh-at-me/ for the difference between macarons and macaroons)

I found this macaron recipe over at About Food which seemed to be one of the easiest I’d seen. For info, I used half the amount of ingredients below and this made 6 Macarons.

What you’ll need:

For the Macarons:

100g icing sugar      IMG_1220
100g ground almonds
2 medium egg whites
Small pinch salt
55g caster sugar

For the filling:

150g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar

What you do:

The first thing I did was make a template on greaseproof paper, I used an egg cup as a guide.

IMG_1221Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a mixing bowl, throw away any lumpy bits and mix together.

Macarons

In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg white and salt until they form soft peaks. If you want coloured macarons nows the time to add your colouring. I used food gel, not used this before but it seemed to do the same thing as the liquid type. Whisk until the whites are thick and glossy.

Macarons

Gently stir in the almond and sugar mix, the mixture will lose some air and height but this is the way is should be. Use a piping bag or equivalent! (notice my high end High Street purchase, the only thing I could get in a small town which was a total waste of time).

Macarons

Pipe or spoon (as I did in the end) onto the template small blobs, try not to overfill the circular template as the mixture spreads. Mine weren’t very even or of the same size but it didn’t matter too much.

Gently tap the baking sheet to help the mixture settle, then leave to dry for approx 20 minutes, the surface of the macaron will develop a skin and become glossy.

MacaronsBake the macarons for 7-8 minutes, then open the door to release any steam (I opened for 1 minute), then bake for a further 7-8 minutes. They’ll be cooked when they feel firm and have slightly risen.

Macarons

For the filling beat the butter until soft and fluffy then gradually beat in the icing sugar; add any flavouring that you may like. I added quite a few drops of vanilla essence. Place approx 1/2 teaspoon to the flat side of the macaron and sandwich together and twist slightly to make a bond.

They can be eaten straight away and kept for 24 hours. Personally, I found that refrigerating them overnight made the meringue soft so eat them all straight away 🙂

Macarons

 

 

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