Macarons… Soooooo French ! I like to make them to give as a gift, in a nice packaging. As it takes quite a long time to make them, I cook many macarons and keep them in the freezer for when I need some. It took me a long time to find the right recipe but now that I have it, I never change anymore.
For the shells
- 140g egg whites (4 big or 5 small eggs)
- 180g granulated sugar split in two different bowls
- 160g ground almond
- 160g icing sugar
- a pinch of powder colouring (liquid colourings tend to liquify the shall mixture)
For the ganache
- 200g mascarpone
- a pinch of powder colouring or a few drops of liquid colouring
- to your taste: lemon juice (3 tbsp), orange blossom water (1/2 tbsp), coffee extract (1 tsp), fruit puree, cocoa, nutella, speculoos, pralinoise, crème chantilly if you like lighter textures, etc.
How to make the shells (the day before) :
- Put the tray on which you will cook the macaroons in the fridge. Ideally, your should use 2 or 3 oven trays, one on each other, which will protect the macarons in the oven and help to get a beautiful “collerette”.
- The whites must have been separated early from the egg yolks, ideally 3 or 4 days before using them.
- The day you make your macaroons, put the egg whites in the freezer for about 15 minutes in order to “break” them. Then let them slowly come back to normal temperature (about 30 mins).
- Macarons hate HUMIDITY. Therefore dry your ground almond by laying them on your oven tray for 10 minutes at 80°C.
- Let your ground almond cool down a bit, then sift together with the icing sugar.
- Whip the eggwhites using your kitchen mixer at slow speed. You must try to put as little air as possible in the eggs, in order to have very tight whisked egg whites. This is essential to have beautiful macaroons that will rise properly and that will form a ruff.
- When the egg whites start getting foamy, add the first part of the granulated sugar.
- A few minutes later, when the whites have reached the “bird beak” stage, add the rest of the granulated sugar. Increase the speed slightly.
- The whites are ready once all the sugar is dissolved (to know this you need to taste!).
- AT THIS STAGE, IF YOUR WHITES ARE VERY TIGHT, IT IS QUASI IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR MACAROONS WRONG.
- Add the powder colouring to the eggwhites.
- Add the almond/sugar mix to the eggwhites (and not the other way around). Mix thoroughly. This mouvement is called the “macaronage”. In order not to liquify your mixture, the macaronage must last LESS THAN 15 SECONDS.
- The mixture should be shinny and viscous but not runny.
- Using your piping nozzle lay your macarons on a non-stick baking sheet.
- Let the macaroons dryto form a thin cust during at least one hour. A dry and hot atmosphere is always better for this, therefore avoid leaving them next to your sink for example. When I lived in the UK where there is always a lot of humidity in the air (the country where the linen never dry…), I used to leave my macarons for at least 4 hours. The macarons are ready when they are a bit resistant and that your fingers do not stick when you touch them. On a rainy day or if you are missing time, you can use your hair dryer to help.
- 10 minutes before the end of the “crusting” stage, start your oven (150°C).
- Cook the macarons in the oven for 12 to 14 mins.
- Take the macarons out of the baking sheet, delicately. Let them dry one day before filling them.
- Very easy… Just mix all the ingredients.
- Fill the shells.
- You can keep the macaroons up to one week in the fridge.
- Put your macaroons in a nice packaging. This is a geat present, cheap, home made and eco-friendly!
Be careful, macaroons are very sweet! But if you use less sugar, you will not have the right consistency for your shell dough. Therefore enjoy with moderation!
With macaroons I recommend a moscato d’asti for two reasons: first the texture. The fizziness of the wine will create a fantastic contrast with the crispiness of the macaroon shells. Second, the aromas and sugar. As a matter of fact macaroons are very sweet, therefore they would completely hide the aromas of a dry sparkling wine. The fruity aromas of the wine will also complement perfectly well the aromas of macaroons made with a fruity ganache.