Last night I finally was in Macaron mood again! Two weeks after the Paris Macaron Hunt I found it appropriate to make my own. I popped the Marie Antoinette soundtrack into my stereo (actually, I just streamed it on Spotify), and hummed along to The Cure and Air whilst whipping up the meringue…
Right, let’s stop here for a moment and contemplate the intricacies involved in making Macarons. You see, the problem with Macarons is that they’re not easy to make. You can be as good a baker as you want, how your Macaron will turn out is always a bit of an unknown. In fact, I’d say it’s a moody little thing!
The perfect Macaron is round, has a smooth surface with a little foamy ring around. It is very delicate, with a fine shell on the outside, and a melt-in-your-mouth centre.
I’ve tried out loads of Macaron recipes, and eventually stuck with this one from Ottolenghi. However, every time I make it, it turns out differently! This time, I was really shocked to find the shells had all cracked in the oven. I suspect the temperature must have been too high (you can never tell with British ovens, so not precise those things!). They still taste amazing, but looks-wise, pretty disappointing! (I found a couple nice ones for the pictures though – phew!).
So, how do you get the perfect Macaron?! I have no idea. But I will keep on searching for that perfect recipe, that will triumph over all the cracked and misshaped ones that came before.
If you have any tips, please let me know! I’m more than happy to try them out!
Chestnut Cream Macarons
Makes about 20
For the Macarons:
110g icing sugar
60g ground almonds
2 egg whites (about 60g)
40g caster sugar
For the filling:
90g chestnut cream
120g butter (at room temperature)
Heat the oven to 170°
Put the almonds and icing sugar into a big bowl and mix it so that it’s losing any clots.
Put the egg whites and the caster sugar into another bowl and mix until they form a thick meringue.
Gradually fold the meringue into the almond mix. Use a wooden spoon for this and do it very slowly, so that you don’t overmix the mix, it needs to stay pretty fluffy.
Fill the mix into a piping bag. If you don’t have one, use a plastic food bag, fill the mix in, and cut of a small hole at one of the corners, so you can pipe it out of there.
Pipe little round disks onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Let the little Macarons rest for 20 minutes before putting them into the oven. This is supposed to help them form their little shell.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
Once done, take them out and let the Macarons cool down on the baking paper.
Meanwhile make the chestnut cream filling by mixing the chestnut cream with the butter. If it’s too liquid, put the mix into the freezer for 10 mins, or into the fridge for a while until it has firmed up. Spread some chestnut filling on one Macaron and top with another. Voila.