Macaroons are the fairies of the pâtisserie world: dainty, magical, yet deceptively difficult to get your mitts on a good one! Whilst the recipe is fairly straightforward, technique is key and one wrong move can leave your macaroons crispy burnt or too stodgy and you rather macaroody! I am by no means a macaroon expert but just like with anything in life practice makes perfect. To enlighten other fellow macaroon beginners, I have discovered many tiny tips to help you avoid those moody moments that are inevitably whisked into the macaroon making process.
First things first, make sure you are rightly equipped! I have a Mastrad macaroon kit which I have to say saved my life. It comes with a silicon macaroon sheet – which I learnt is highly essential! I only had one so filled it up and then tried to make do with a normal baking sheet and grease proof paper – BIG mistake HUGE! The result was a big lump of crispy gooey mess not fit for any pretty woman! Looking on the rounder side of the macarainbow, all imperfect or broken shells can be put to good use, do not waste one single almondy crumb! Here at Hopscoff we consider ourselves as being PC and we do not condone discrimination, all shells can be put to good use in their own special way – some were piped for macaroons, others for a big lump of gooey deliciousness 🙂 I scooped all of the broken, yet special, shells into a bowl and this can be used later on for a Eton Mess style dessert. The Mastrad kit also came with a very practical piping device, a silicon piping bag that comes with various attachments and a stand to allow you to fill it up with ease and pipe the shells efficiently.
The standard recipe I followed came with the Mastrad set and isn’t actually at all complex, but as a beginner I lack the technique! I decided to go for the French Meringue recipe that gives you macaroons with a crunchy shell – I am all about that crunchy texture! To Hopscoff things up a bit, I added pink food colouring and vanilla bean paste to the mixture and as for the filling I used both dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache with some pink sprinkles to decorate.
French Meringue Macaroon Recipe
130g ground almonds
230g icing sugar
4 egg whites
60g granulated sugar
400g white chocolate
400g dark chocolate
300ml double cream
vanilla bean paste
pink food colouring
- Combine the ground almonds and icing sugar and then sift them together to get a fine powder.
- Pour the egg whites into a large bowl and add 15g of sugar and whisk with an electric whisk until the meringue forms soft peaks. Add the remaining 45g of sugar and finish whisking.
- Add the sifted powders to the meringue as well as the vanilla bean paste and the pink food colouring and fold gently using a silicon spatula. Adjust the quantities of colouring and flavouring according to your personal taste.
- Fill the piping bag with the mixture and place a small drop, about 2cm wide, on each indentation on the macaroon tray.
- Lightly tap the tray to remove any air bubbles and leave to stand for at least 30mins. This allows the shells to crisp and they will be ready when they no longer stick to your finger.
- Place the shells into a preheated oven of 130 oC for 12-15mins. Open the oven door slightly 2-3 mins before the end of cooking to allow the steam to be released.
- Whilst the shells are cooling, prepare the ganache by placing the dark chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls. Place each bowl over a pan of simmering water and add 150ml of double cream to each bowl. Stir occasionally until all the chocolate has melted. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely. I find that the white chocolate ganache tends to thicken more than the dark chocolate ganache so I always put it in the fridge to make sure it hardens to the right consistency.
- Once the shells and the ganache have cooled you can begin to assemble the macaroons!
- Enjoy with a cuppa 🙂