For several months now, my brother's girlfriend has been trying to persuade me to make macarons. So of course, when I finally caved and made them, we ate them all and she didn't get any. WHOOPS. Anyway, if you're unfamiliar with macarons, here's what they're supposed to look like:
Mine didn't really turn out looking like that. But I think I know where I went wrong and could rectify it pretty easily in the future!
Anyway, here's the book.
And here's what you'll need:
Start with 1 cup of icing sugar:
Sift it into a bowl. It helps if you're as messy as possible and get it all over the sides. Then add 1/2 cup of almond meal:
Add 25g of cocoa powder. I used a heaped tablespoon, but I'm pretty sure an Australian tablespoon is bigger than a tablespoon anywhere else in the world. What can I say, we like to be different!
Mix it all together and put to one side. In a separate bowl, put 4 large egg whites. You don't need the yolks, so put them in the freezer or something.
Beat the egg whites until (as Nigella says) "half stiff". I have no idea what that really means, so I beat them until they looked like this:
Sprinkle in 25g of caster sugar. Again, I used a heaped tablespoon:
Continue whisking until the egg whites hold peaks (Nigella, in typical fashion, says "until very stiff, but not dry"... *eye roll*):
Gradually fold in the sifted ingredients:
This was the point where I realised that I couldn't find our piping bag. I had the nozzles and everything, but not the bag. So I kludged together a solution with a ziploc bag. Macgyver's got nothing on me!:
Dump the macaron mixture into your really authentic piping bag and take a terrible photo of it:
Line a couple of baking trays and pipe out 5cm rounds. Or, if you're me, decide that the way to do it will be to pipe in a spiral. DO NOT BE ME:
Let them sit for 15 minutes to develop of a skin. Bake them for 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Remove them to a cooling rack immediately. DO NOT BE ME AND LEAVE THEM THERE FOR FIVE MINUTES. You'll rip the bottoms off them all :(
Next, make some ganache and completely forget to take photos of the process. Take 150g of dark chocolate, 90mL of double cream and 45g of unsalted butter. Heat it all together, stirring regularly, until the chocolate is just melted. Whisk it until it's thick and let it cool. When it's cooled, use a knife to spread it on the bottom of one macaron, then sandwich another one on top. I actually wound up using a ziploc piping bag because I was worried that they'd fall apart, given how thin they ended up.
Here's the final product:
The verdict? They were freaking delicious. Sure, they didn't turn out quite how they were supposed to. But they tasted like they were supposed to. They had that slight crunch on the outside and the meringue-y centre and OMG SO GOOD. I'm definitely going to be making them again and trying to get them into that more traditional macaron shape!
Has anyone else made macarons? What recipe did you use? And most importantly, how did they turn out?!