BakingAlison Lambert

MACARONS

BakingAlison Lambert
I am not one to follow trends as i find it tiresome but i do have to admit "macarons" are the exception.  I haven't made them for years to be honest and i thought i had better touch up on my skills as i will be demonstrating them at the next Food Club (which is on the 9 October).  Like most new things on the block there is always that uncertainty and even fear that sets in, thanks mostly to the TV chefs as they make out they are so complicated.  I totally disagree as i managed to make mine amidst preparing dinner, photos for the blog, sick children and general household chores...it is a wonder anything works!Anyway i did a little research, thinking i may find a few tips here and there.

My top tips for making macarons

  • use old egg whites (let egg whites sit at room temperature for 2 days)
  • always use Italian meringue technique - which is by beating the egg whites and pouring in a sugar syrup whilst whisking continuously till 50C
  • when mixing the mixtures, really be aggressive - using a rubber spatula, slap your mixture many times against the sides of the bowl.
  • when the mixture is piped onto the trays, bang the tray once or twice to remove excess air.
  • Bake with an extra baking tray underneath for extra protection.                               

MACARONS

Thanks Simon for the beautiful picture

makes about 25 whole For macaron shell • 110g egg whites • 250g caster sugar • 75g water • 600g Tant Pour Tant (300g almond meal, 300g sifted icing sugar) • 100g egg whites • food colouring

1. Make a sugar syrup to add to 110g of the egg whites. Add water to a saucepan and then add 250grams of caster sugar on top and food colouring (if using) and then boil without stirring until you reach the soft ball stage at 112C/234F degrees. Start whipping the egg whites until you get soft peaks and then carefully pour in the syrup and whip until the temperature reaches 50C.

3. Mix the other lot of egg whites (100g) with the TPT and mix the meringue mixture with the TPT mixture slapping it against the sides of the bowl to deflate it. It is ready when any peaks or lines do not hold. Using a plain 1cm tip, pipe 1 inch circles onto a lined baking sheet (ensure that the baking parchment sticks to the baking sheet by spraying it with non stick spray). Allow to rest and form a skin.

6. Preheat oven to 150C. Check that a skin has formed on the macaron shell so that when you touch it, it doesn’t stick to your fingers. Slide an additional baking sheet under the one with the macarons on it and bake in the oven for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then pair similarly sized macaron halves.

7. Place the buttercream or ganache in a piping bag and pipe onto one half of the macaron and sandwich the other half together. Place in fridge to allow the flavour from the buttercream to absorb into the shell (about 48 hours approximately).

BUTTER CREAM

Ingredients • 3 cups icing sugar • 1/3 cup butter, softened • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Method 1. In a large bowl with high sides, mix the icing sugar and butter with a wooden spoon, or an electric mixer on low speed. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. 2. Gradually beat in just enough of the remaining milk to make the icing smooth and spreadable. If the icing is too thick, beat in more milk, a drop at a time. If the icing becomes too thin, add more icing sugar and beat.

*recipe adapted from Zumba