Saturday, 1 March 2008
Ooh la la - Macarons!
I am so behind the times! I should be making no-knead bread at the moment - it seems to be the latest craze among food bloggers. Instead, I'm making my first macarons, which were pretty hot last year.
After seeing these irresistible chocolate macarons from Ms. Adventures in Italy, I came clean, admitted I was a macaron virgin and set out to do something about it.
The first recipe I tried came out quite well, but the macaron batter was just a little too runny and they didn't puff up as much as I would have liked. So, I looked though as many recipes as I could lay my hands on, even bought a French macaron cookbook whilst in France last week, to help me in my quest. Luckily, my search was fruitful, mainly because other food bloggers have tried and tested many recipes, which led me to this one by Robyn at Serious Eats. It worked well because the measurement of egg whites came in weight, rather than volume, making it far more accurate. There were also many other hints and tips for making macarons in Robyn's post.
I followed the recipe closely, adding some powdered coffee to the almonds and used a Silpat sheet to pipe the mixture onto. The results were pretty good, a crisp macaron with a soft centre, filled with some Nutella cream - my latest favourite filling.
Coffee Macarons with Nutella Cream
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
225 grams icing sugar
125 grams ground almonds
1 level tablespoon powdered coffee
110 grams egg whites (about 4), brought to room temperature
30 grams granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
200 ml double/heavy cream
2-3 large tablespoons Nutella
Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and powdered coffee in a bowl and put to one side.
In a large clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they become foamy and stiff. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking well after each addition, until the mixture is stiff and shiny.
Gently fold in the almond mixture, using a large spoon or spatula, until incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and firm, but with a bit of 'flow' to it. Don't over-mix it or it will be too runny.
Fill a piping bag with a 1cm round tip and pipe the mixture onto Silpat or baking parchment. Tap the sheets gently to remove air bubbles and let dry at room temperature for about an hour or so before baking.
Bake in a preheated oven, 160º/325F for about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of them. Use a wooden spoon to keep the door ajar slightly, and rotate the baking sheets after 5 minutes for more even baking.
Remove from the oven and leave to go cold. Peel off the Silpat or baking parchment.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and gently fold or whip in the Nutella. Pipe or spoon onto half the macarons and top with the other half before serving.
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