Bizarrely, whenever I think of Macarons, I think of that weird song “Macaron Chacarron” by El Chombo. If you haven’t heard the song… well, let me please enlighten you:
Anyway, back to cakes! Macarons are lovely little French delights that are just bursting with flavour. They’re chewy, but light, and you can have so many flavour combinations.
I wanted to try several different flavours. Lemon, mint, espresso, White chocolate and raspberry and also just a traditional vanilla. It’s close to the end of the month, which basically means just using the ingredients I have. So I settled on a lemon macaron with lemon buttercream and also a mint macaron with a white chocolate ganache. In other words: yum, yum and yum. This blog post is focusing on the mint Macarons.
I started by double sifting my ground almonds and icing sugar together. I lack a lot of patience but is really important to sift through twice, as ground almonds are quite thick, and you really don’t want the larger chunks of almond to make it through. You will lose some grams of ground almonds, so made sure you do extra, and remeasure it after each sift. Also NEWS FLASH: almond flour and ground almonds are the same thing. Don’t be conned into paying more for something that says “almond flour” on the packet, save yourself some pennies and spend it on a different ingredient or some extracts. TREAT YOURSELF.
Afterwards, I set the twice sifted flour combination aside, and worked on separating my yolks from my whites. Ladies and gents, I give you, an empty plastic bottle. Honestly, this is genius, and whoever thought of this, should win a prize. Basically, crack the egg into a cup, bowl, anything that floats your boat. Squeeze your bottle over the yolk, then let go, the egg yolk should be sucked up into the bottle. So simple, but so amazing. I attached a video of me in awe of this.
Then I whipped up my egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks. A good way to tell if they’re ready, is by turning the bowl completely upside down.
Once this is ready, it’s time to add the essence and the food colouring of choice. I really like using Wilton food gels, but you can use any food gel. I’d recommend staying away from running food colouring as this can change the consistency of the batter. I mixed a yellow and a blue Wilton colouring gel, to get my green. They’re really dark and you only need a little bit. So I used a small medicine syringe we have in our baking draw, to put the smallest amount in the mixture.
As per usual I just wanted to eat this. It just looks nice to eat.
This is where you need to sift your powdered sugar and ground almonds into this mixture again. Yes sifting it again. This is why I have no patience!
Gently start folding the mixture together, cutting down the middle, and bringing the sides in. The mixture will look thick and clumpy at first. Then when it combines, it’ll start to thin out. This step is SUPER important, because if you over mix, it’ll be too runny.
Your mixture should start to look something like this. Keep testing every few folds. The way to do this, is to put it on a plate, and see if it all melts into one.
Side by side, the one of the left is how it’ll look as soon as it’s put on the plate. The green blob on the right is how the mixture will look if it’s ready. Then put the mixture into a piping bag, and start to put them on a baking tray. Be sure to use baking parchment and NOT greaseproof paper. I made that mistake and found it incredibly difficult to get the Macarons off the tray once they’ve been cooked.
Afterwards, bank the tray on a counter to get the air bubbles out of the mixture. Otherwise the shells will crack and be difficult to get off the tray. This should then be left for 30 minutes to an hour. Again my patience was being tested! The longer you can leave them the better.
After, they can be put in the oven to bake. This should take 15-30 minutes. You can tell when they’re completely baked, as they will slide of the parchment easy. Put a layer of parchment over the top of the Macarons in the oven, to avoid them getting too brown.
While these are doing their thing, you can make the filling. For the mint Macarons, it is a mint, white chocolate ganache filling.
Simply heat up some heavy whipping cream, until it is simmering. Take this off the heat and add to the bowl of white chocolate chips.
At this stage, add the peppermint essence. Then once the Macarons are out the oven, and cooled down, you can start assembling these treats. Now, because I’m an idiot, I only have a photo of the lemon flavoured Macarons. But they should look something like this:
I am very messy, and find it difficult to get the right amount of mixture, so I think I’d get myself a macaron sheet, so I can get the perfect macaron circle. As you can see in the photo? There’s little feet on the Macarons, this is what you want to aim for, if the mixture is too sloppy, then unfortunately, the mixture won’t rise and you won’t have the little feet.
Here’s the recipe:
Overall, the concept and theory of a macaron seems easy, but they’re ridiculously difficult! I’m really proud of my first go, and think I’ll try the espresso flavour next. Before that, I’m challenging myself to make a Battenburg cake. So watch this space!
I hope everyone has a lovely week.