For the Macaron:
2/3 cups of ground Almonds
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 egg whites
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract/ 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds)
For the Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup of Double cream
Chocolate of choice as needed ( I used 1 bar of Dairy milk and a few chunks of cooking chocolate to thicken)
Preparation Method :
Sieve the ground almonds and powdered sugar into a large bowl to make sure there are no lumps or large almond pieces ( do this twice) and set aside.
Separate 3 eggs ( you only need the whites) room temp.
Using a mixer or hand whisk, mix til frothy . At this point you can add in the vanilla seeds or extract.
Now continue to whisk adding the granulated sugar a table spoon at a time . Whisk until you get stiff glossy peaks and stop.
Now add half of the almond and powdered sugar to the meringue and gently fold in with a spatula until well incorporated and add in the rest and fold the mixture about 20- 30 times going around the bowl and underneath and cutting through the mixture. this will help get the air out of the egg whites.
To check if your mixture is ready, drop a spoon full onto a cold plate , if when dropped there is a peak, it is Not ready.
This means you haven't mixed enough.
Mix a little more 4-5 strokes then try again, if the mixture drops and stays flat, it's ready.
Do not over mix as this will thin it out and make it impossible to pipe.
Now preheat your oven to 150
Put the macaron batter into a piping bag.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
I have printed out a macaron template as a guideline for piping. The batter spreads once piped so if you are not using a template, make sure you leave enough space between them.
Pipe the batter by gently squeezing holding the piping bag up right and sopping just as you get the desired size.
Remove the templates gently.
Now for the most important part!
Once piped bang the trays 3 times to get the air out of the macarons.
You must let these macarons rest for at least 30 minutes to and hour until the macarons form a dullish skin on top where you can touch the surface lightly and it doesn't feel tacky or stick to your finger.
If you do not do this you will end up with flat macarons and you won't get that frill (foot) after they are baked.
It could take from 15 mins to an hour or even more to get to this stage as it depends on the humidity of your kitchen.
Once ready put the oven racks in the middle of the oven and put your macarons in and bake for 17 minutes.
If you are using a fan assisted oven, turn it down to 125 before baking.
Keep an eye on the macarons as you don't want to brown them.
Once the time is up let the Macarons cool and gently remove them from the parchment paper by easing them off from the back. Do not pull off or they will break.
Macarons are traditionally filled with butter cream but you can fill them with jam, curd, cream or anything of your choice.
I chose to fill mine with a chocolate Ganache.
Add the chocolate and cream into a bowl and put the bowl over a pan of simmering water and gently mix until all the chocolate has melted.
If the ganache is too runny you can thicken in up by adding more chocolate.
Let it cool and pour it into a piping bag or zip lock bag and make a tiny snip for the tip.
Now pipe the ganache in the middle of one of the macaron shells and gently press another shell on top to make a sandwich.
Apparently Macarons taste best after a day, so if you can wait, store them in an air tight container in the fridge and eat them the next day :)
These macarons will last a week in the fridge.
You can add food colouring to the batter for coloured macarons but as I made vanilla macarons I didn't use any food colouring.
Mondays recipe for Vegetarian Week 2013. Monday 20th May-Sunday 26th May.