Valentine’s Day Macarons

2017-02-07-15-51-08-2

Macarons may look difficult, but they are simple as long as you follow three easy rules. One – weigh your ingredients. Usually, I include cup measurements, but it’s important to be precise here. Two – make sure the almonds are as fine as possible. And three – ensure that you don’t lose the air in the egg whites. As long as you follow these rules, you shouldn’t have a problem.

There are many tutorials online on how to pipe heart-shaped macarons. Of course, this recipe also works well if you want to make round macarons. I also find it easier to trace 2cm (34inch) round or heart shapes onto parchment paper before piping. It’s extremely important to let the macarons rest for this recipe, otherwise the ‘feet’ won’t develop properly. They are better eaten the next day, but only if you can resist them for that long!

Makes 24 macarons (48 rounds)

Ingredients

Macarons

  •  71g almonds (blanched or ground)
  • 117g icing sugar
  • gel food colouring
  • 2 egg whites
  • 53g sugar
  • food flavouring (optional)

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 58g unsalted butter
  • 250g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2tsp vanilla paste
  • 1-2tbsp milk

Method

  1. Add almonds and icing sugar to a food processor and blitz until fine. Pass this through a sieve. Repeat this process until around 2 tablespoons of large pieces remain – these can be discarded.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with the sugar in a separate bowl until you have stiff glossy peaks. Add the food colouring and flavouring (if using), and whisk until combined.
  3. Add the egg whites to the dry mixture. Fold gently around 35 times – it won’t seem like it will come together at first but be patient; it will happen all of a sudden.
  4. Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (38inch) tip, and pipe 2cm (34inch) hearts or rounds onto a lined baking sheet. Forcefully bash the baking tray against the counter three times to disperse air pockets.
  5. Leave the macarons to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175°c (350°f).
  6. Bake the macarons for around 13 minutes. They should not be browned, but be well risen and crisp to the touch. Leave to cool completely before removing.
  7. For the vanilla buttercream, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
  8. Using an offset spatula or knife, gently pry the macarons off the baking sheet and sandwich using the vanilla buttercream (or filling of your choice).

 

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s website.

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