Macarons- so pretty, so delicate but can be tricky to get right. Here are some pretty pink macarons, hiding a chilli hit in the dark chocolate ganache filling. Before the recipe though some tips and learning we got on how to make macarons.
Before I go any further let me explain this is attempt number 3.
- Attempt number 1 went well with the meringue but for some reason (probably overbeating) the mixture turned into mush as soon as I added the food colouring. It was at this point I realised I needed the meringue making skills of my husband to advise me.
- Attempt number 2 was ok, but it was a practice run. The batter was ok though a little thin so that the macarons did not rise too well and the diameter of the macarons was a bit too big.
- This attempt – the macarons still have not risen as high as I would like and I think I would pipe even smaller circles next time.
Thanks to the internet there is an immense amount of information out there for novice macaron makers.
Firstly when it comes to the meringue, you can use the French meringue method or the Italian meringue method.
The latter is apparently easier to get a more workable meringue, but with a French husband you can imagine which one I was instructed to make….
Both types offer excellent results demonstrated by the following excellent sites I used:
- Some wonderful advice I found was on the NotSoHumblePie blog. The author is a biological anthropologist by training and her approach to macaron making is very informative. Here is the link to the basic recipe I used.
- Mardi at EatliveTravelWrite blog has a host of meringue tips, and I found the tips on meringue consistency and the mixing of the dry ingredients into the meringue (macaronage) extremely helpful.
- Edd Kimber at the Boy Who Bakes uses the Italian Meringue method and has some fantastic flavour combinations. These Rose Macarons really inspired me to make pink ones.
- And this from another GBBO finalist, Urvashi at the Botanical Baker is also lovely.
Ok so I am going to take you through my journey !
120g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
100g egg whites
30-35g caster sugar
food coloring gel (I used a small amount of red)
Pinch of salt
Chilli Chocolate Ganache:
100 ml double cream
65g Dark Chocolate
quarter teaspoon chilli powder
Use a small pastry cutter to draw circles around an inch apart on a sheet of greaseproof paper or BakeOGlide sheet (latter is better apparently). Turn around sheet and place on a flat baking sheet.
Weigh all your ingredients out and put them in bowls. Accuracy is key.
Prepare a piping bag with a plain round tip.
Place the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz furiously for at least a minute.
Sieve this into a bowl so that you get rid of any clumps.
Weigh out the egg whites into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. This helps to stabilise the meringue.
Weigh out the caster sugar (you can also use icing sugar for the merigue rather than caster)
Begin beating the eggs on low speed for 3 minutes. If you have a stand mixer that is great (I dont and it still worked).
Gently start pouring in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium, beat the meringue for another 3 minutes. Increase to Maximum speed and beat for another few minutes (up to 3) to get stiff glossy peaks.
Add half of the sifted almond/sugar mixture and fold it in until no streaks remain. Add the remaining mixture along with the food colouring. Take care not to overbeat but you do need to get a consistent mix.
Pour the batter into the piping bags and pipe the circles of batter onto the prepared baking parchment or silicone.
Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times. This will bring up any air bubbles which you can pop with the tip of a sharp knife or toothpick.
Bake in the oven at 140 Deg C for 14 minutes turning the tray around half way through. Let the shells cool for 10 minutes before sliding them off with a palette knife.
Make the filling whilst the shells cool.
Chop the chocolate really finely and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream to just boiling in a saucepan and our over the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted , add the butter and keep mixing till that also melts. Add the chilli powder. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.
Prepare a piping bag with a rose tip and pipe a teaspoon of ganache onto half of the macaron shells. Sandwich with the other half (hold by the edges…) and gently press together.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They are best eaten after a day or so of aging.
Enjoy! do you love macarons – tried making them? if so any tips or tricks?