August 30, 2013

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Macarons (Pistachio or Hazelnut) ›



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Macarons (Pistachio or Hazelnut)

If you have ever eyed up the incredible displays of multi-coloured macarons in Ladurée, now’s the time to have a go at making these beautiful sweet treats yourself. 
Macaron-making isn't easy, so below you’ll find what we hope is a simple, foolproof recipe. Once you've mastered the basic art, feel free to experiment by introducing a percentage of ground pistachios or hazelnuts to the mixture or changing up the ingredients in the butter cream. And keep an eye out for our macaron recipe using the cooked Italian meringue method, coming soon.

 

             

Makes about 30
 Ingredients:
For the ganache: 125g white chocolate, chopped,
75ml double cream 45g WhyNut pistachio paste
For the macarons: 175g icing sugar 90g ground almonds
7g natural green foodcolouring powder (optional)
90g egg white (about 3 eggs)
60g caster sugar

Method:

  • Start by making the ganache filling. Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the cream to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for one minute then stir until smooth and combined.
  • Stir in the pistachio paste and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Line two large trays with baking parchment.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the icing sugar, ground almonds and food colouring (if using) into a clean, dry bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites and caster sugar to form a meringue that is thick and glossy, but not dry.
  • Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture until smooth and combined.
  • Use the mixture to fill a large piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto your two trays in shallow discs, about the size of a two pound coin.
  • Hold the tray (and baking parchment!) firmly and tap once on the worksurface. This will help to get rid of any trapped air bubbles and even out the macarons.Leave uncovered for 15 minutes
  • Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until the macarons can be easily peeled away from the parchment paper using a palette knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • To finish your macarons, transfer the ganache to a small piping bag. Pipe a small amount of ganache onto the underside of one macaron shell then sandwich together with the other half, squeezing gently.
  • Repeat until all the shells are filled, then leave to set at room temperature for a couple of hours, or pop in the fridge to firm up quicker.

  

Tips:

  • Egg whites that are a few days old can help create a more stable macaron mixture. If you’ve made an ice cream custard, why not try leaving the leftover egg whites for a couple of days before making macarons?
  • Don’t be tempted to tip the ground almonds straight into the mixture without sifting. It will take a few minutes to do but is absolutely necessary for a smooth mixture and even bake.
  • To help keep your macarons a uniform size, trace circles onto the underside of your baking parchment using a two pound coin to act as a guide.
  • If any of the macarons have a little bump on the top where your nozzle has made contact, use a slightly damp finger to tap it down.
  • Macarons taste even better the day after baking when the creamy filling and soft meringue have had a chance to melt into each other: the perfect contrast to the crisp outer shell.
  • For a hazelnut and dark chocolate version, replace the green food colouring with natural brown food dye and substitute white with dark chocolate and pistachio paste with hazelnut in the ganache.

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