You guys know how I love a good macaron but I am extremely picky with everything about them (as can be seen in my Macarons in Adelaide post). For the past 4 years I’ve been trying to bake them so I don’t have to pay $4 for a bad one.
Now that I think about it – have I spent 4 years just to save a few bucks?
When I say 4 years, it was more like I baked it once a year because my utter failure each time demoralised me so much that it took me a year to forget how bad they were. I’ve tried the French meringue method a few times but I ended up with a flat and dead looking thing. After that I saw the Zumbo box mix and still ended up failing which sent me into another spiral of woe.
It wasn’t until I read Not Quite Nigella’s book and saw her story of conquering the macaron that I decided to try again. I used her recipe which uses the Italian meringue method to produce a much more stable meringue – it’s a lot more forgiving compared to the French meringue. Then I finally made macarons.
Rose is one of my favourite macaron flavours so I really wanted to create it. The insides of the pastel coloured shells are soft and fluffy with a slight break from the brittle outside crust. Biting into a soft white chocolate ganache, the rose flavour lingers throughout but works perfectly with the sweetness of the white chocolate ganache.
There are so many great resources online that I feel my explanations won’t be as good as what’s already out there. At the end of this recipe I’ll have a few websites for you to check out if you wanted to learn and understand more about macarons.
Macarons recipe adapted from Not Quite Nigella’s site with the recipe from Jean-Michel Raynaud
Rose white chocolate ganache adapted from Zumbarons by Adriano Zumbo
75g almond meal
75g pure icing sugar
1 egg white + 1 egg white (in separate bowls and ensure eggs are at room temperature)
75g caster sugar
1 to 2 drops of pink or red food colouring (gel or powdered)
50g whipping cream (35% fat)
84g white chocolate (chopped)
- Sift the almond meal and pure icing sugar together twice into a bowl – throw away any parts that can’t fit through the sifter. Set this aside.
- Mix egg white with food colouring and set aside.
- Combine caster sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat (ensure sugar is damp).
- Once sugar and water has reached 50°C on a candy thermometer, begin whisking the egg whites (not coloured) with an electric hand whisk until they reach soft peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 118°C remove from heat and wait for the bubbles to stop (few seconds). Pour it in a thin stream slowly into the egg whites while still whisking the egg whites. Whisk until the meringue is warm and forms stiff, glossy peaks (around 8 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, mix almond meal and pure icing sugar with the coloured eggwhite until you get a smooth paste.
- Fold a third of the meringue to the almond meal mixture and then fold the rest of the meringue in.
- Lift some of the batter and slap it on the side of the bowl – this removes the air from the batter to get it the right consistency. To test if your batter is ready, lift the spatula out of the bowl and try draw a figure “8” / number 8 (check out this video to see the batter at the right stage). Stop once you get to this stage.
- Fill the batter into a piping bag with a 1cm round tip. I use a large cup to stand my piping bag when I fill it.
- Line baking tray with a stencil below it (I found mine online years ago but the one I use has a 4cm diameter circles with the circles 2cm apart).
- Pipe batter onto the baking paper – I usually have the piping bag vertical and about 1cm from the baking paper. Aim the piping tip to be at the center of one of the stencil circles. When you pipe the batter will spread and form a circle. If you have a little tip at the top after piping it should sink back into the batter after a while if you have made your batter correctly (you can wet a finger and gently push the tip down but the macarons may not turn out right when you cook them. Alternatively you could scrap all the batter and fold until you get the right consistency).
- Lightly rap the baking tray a few times on a kitchen towel that’s on the kitchen bench.
- Use a toothpick to poke out all the air bubbles left in the batter.
- Leave the trays at room temperature for 15 mins to 2 hours until nothing sticks to your finger when you gently touch them (this forms a skin which helps develop feet on your macaron). They should also look less shiny and duller in colour.
- Preheat oven to 130°C fan forced and bake for 15-18 mins (heat source is from the bottom with a link to the reason why in the resources section). If you want to check if your shells are done, lift one off and if it’s sticking to the baking paper pop the tray back in for a few more minutes.
- Cool the macarons on the trays. Pair the shells up according to size.
To make ganache and assemble:
- Put cream and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water. Stir until smooth and white chocolate melted.
- Add rosewater and stir until combined.
- Take bowl off saucepan and leave it too cool until it thickens enough to pipe. Pop it into the fridge to thicken up if it’s taking a while.
- Fill piping bag with a 1cm round tip with the ganache.
- Pipe it on the flat side of the macaron shell (leave a bit of room and don’t let ganache touch the sides of the shell).
- Place other shell on top where the ganache will squish to the sides.
- Place macarons in the refrigerator for 24 – 48 hours. This is to allow flavours to develop and for the shells to soften and absorb the moisture and flavours from the filling.
- I don’t own a food processor so I don’t process the almond meal and pure icing sugar together like in most recipes. My shells are smooth and not lumpy but I can see the grains of almond meal and icing sugar in them. One day I’ll invest in one!
- I don’t age my eggwhites but my macarons turn out fine. To be honest I just keep forgetting to :P
- I use an electric mixer because I scaled down the recipes so much that my whisk in the stand mixer can’t reach the mixture. I’ve managed to time mine so that when the sugar syrup is ready, my eggwhites won’t deflate. You may need to test out how your mixer works.
- I used liquid food colouring in the macarons in the photos which is a big no no as it introduces more water into the mixture – think this was the reason for my small feet compared to the other times I’ve made it. It’s recommended to use gels or powdered colouring which I have done now :)
- Macarons Tips, Tricks and How To Macaronage by Bake It Off Blog
- I have my oven with the heat source at the bottom to help my macarons develop feet – great article explaining your oven and macarons by Syrup and Tang.
- Indulge with Mimi has an amazing macaron troubleshooting guide (wish I found her earlier). Who knew you could tell what’s wrong with macarons just by looking at their feet?