The dessert world is almost as fast-paced and ever-changing as the fashion industry; the hot new items literally sell like hot cakes, and what’s the ultra trendy bite of today can easily be overthrown by a new, super cute, super sweet, and super delish treat tomorrow. Do you lot remember when red velvet was ALL the craze circa 2010? Let’s not discount the cupcake mania that overtook the world roughly five years ago.
Despite the internet and a more in-touch younger population, Malaysia still tends to arrive slightly too late at the party. Can anyone say, Curse of the Blitz? Okay, perhaps it’s that in reverse. This is highly likely due to the fact that the larger population simply DGAF. Which is fine.
For today’s post, I’ll be visiting those finicky little French treats: Macarons. Not macaroOns, mind you, that’s something else entirely! The french macaron, as the world now knows, are little almond meringue cookies, with some sort of super sweet filling sandwiched in between. So, the French Macaron had their renaissance decades ago (internet years = dog years), but it’s still a very popular treat here, and you know what? I think I’m only now starting to actually appreciate them, even though I’m still a little meh at how sweet these things are.
They’re really pretty though, and last week I decided to try a new recipe, some sort of challenge that I have yet to tackle. And in the two years that I’ve been baking seriously, the macaron is the only thing that scared me that I had yet to attempt! Can you believe that two years ago, I was terrified of plain buttercream?
So after reading countless blog posts about how ridiculously difficult and complicated the technique for making the little macaron shells are, I finally decided to just go with a recipe (I went with Steph’s over at Raspberri Cupcakes
, as she seems to make macarons every week and they turn out great) and get down to it.
Surprisingly enough, the first attempt I made at these things, by following the instructions to the T, I managed to pull them off quite well! Hoozah!
- 100g aged egg whites (I simply left them uncovered on the counter for 48 hours, though I’ve read that this is unnecessary)
- 1 tsp meringue powder (optional)
- 110g ground almonds
- 200g icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50g caster sugar
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper
- Run the ground almonds, icing sugar, and salt in the food processor for roughly 30 seconds, then set aside
- Whisk the egg whites and meringue powder in your large stand mixer bowl until soft peaks have formed
- Gradually add the caster sugar to the egg whites, and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form
- Here’s the tricky bit (but easily overcome by watching a few youtube how to vids): dump the dry mixture into the meringue, then with a spatula, just fold it in. I really cannot give you definite instructions for when to stop, but I stopped when the batter was softly oozing (like the lava in that film, Dante’s Peak), and when a dollop over it blended into the rest within 30 seconds (just watch this video, maybe?)
- Once you’ve possibly achieved the correct consistency, transfer the batter into a piping bag, snip off the edge and then pipe out 1″ circles onto the baking trays, roughly 1″ apart
- When you’ve piped everything out, bang the trays on the counter 3-5 times, ensuring that all the macaron-to-bes have been banged sufficiently lol
- Leave the trays out for 30 minutes to an hour, and then bake in a preheated oven at 150C for 18 minutes
- Let the mac shells cool completely before removing them from the paper or they will peel and break off from the bottoms
- Pair the shells up with similar sized ones, then pipe in your filling and sandwich them together
Chocolate Ganache filling
- 3oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- Pop the ingredients in a bowl and into the microwave for 30 seconds, take it out and whisk by hand until all the chocolate has melted and mixed with the cream
- Allow to cool into a thick mixture before dolloping in between the macaron shells
Surprisingly easy, quite yummy, and I’m sure I’m going to be trying these out again.