Make Perfect Macaroon

HOW TO MAKE PERFECT MACAROONS

With Christmas just around the corner why not try my 10 steps to Creating macaroon perfection, these are great to serve after the Christmas day main event for your customers.

Ingredients

Makes 16 small or 6 large

  • 75g ground almonds
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Plus, extra for dusting
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp red food colouring (you can use any colour you like)

Method

STEP ONE: Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds until the mixture is fine and powdery. Sift the mixture into a bowl through a large sieve. Discard any fine bits of almond left in the sieve.

STEP TWO: Whisk the egg whites until holding soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk well after each addition to make a firm and glossy meringue. The meringue should look like shaving cream and hold stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted out.

STEP THREE: Add one third of the almond mixture to the meringue. Using a spatula, fold the dry mixture into the meringue. Use a circular folding action by running the spatula around the bowl and under the meringue when folding and cutting through the mixture.

STEP FOUR: Once all the dry mixture has been folded into the meringue, add the second and third batches of the almond mixture into the meringue, repeating the folding and cutting action. As more dry ingredients are folded into the meringue it will become firmer.

STEP FIVE: Add the final third of the almond mixture and repeat the folding and cutting action. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated the mixture will be quite firm so continue mixing until the consistency of the mixture loosens. The final batter should be smooth and glossy and a thick ribbon of batter should fall slowly from the spatula, leaving a trail for about 30 seconds before disappearing.

STEP SIX: Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Pour the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 1-cm nozzle. Pipe 3cm rounds onto a prepared baking sheet

(If you have problems with piping consistent 3cm rounds turn the sheet over and draw with a pencil around a suitable round cutter the required size and then turn back and use the circular shape as a template). Make sure the rounds are well spaced. For large macaroons pipe 7cm rounds and for small mini ones pipe 2cm rounds.

STEP SEVEN: Tap the underside of the baking sheets firmly with the palm of your hand or tap onto a work surface to remove any bubbles and settle any small peaks and bumps. This action also helps the frilly foot to form during the baking process, any peaks still remaining can be flattened by dabbing with a wet finger.

STEP EIGHT: Leave the macaroons to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the surface of each macaroon to dry and form a slight crust before baking.

You should be able to gently touch the surface without any mixture sticking to your finger.

STEP NINE: Preheat oven to 160°c/GM3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, check after 5-6 minutes; if they are over browning reduce the temperature slightly. Cooking time will take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven, so check again after 10 minutes. The macaroons are ready when they have a crisp shell and the frilly foot at the base does not wobble when the shells are gently lifted from the paper. If the bases are still soft and sticky, return the trays to the oven for a further few minutes leaving the door ajar.

STEP TEN: Leave the macaroons to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Carefully peel them away from the paper. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

All kinds of flavouring can be used in macaroons from ground nuts to seeds to citrus rind, spices, coffee, tea, red wine reduction. Add the dry flavourings to the dry almond and icing sugar mixture, and moist flavourings to the meringue mixture.

Kindly contributed by Steve Midgley Consulting Development Chef, 30 years experience in fine dinning, creating fantastic experiences at Michelin star restaurants.

Plain Chocolate Macaroons

  • 115g plain chocolate
  • Broken into small pieces
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 75ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam

To make the filling, place the cream in a small saucepan and the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few mins, then stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until smooth, then leave to set until thickened. Place the chocolate mix into a clean piping bag with a smaller nozzle and pipe around the edge of half the macaroons. Fill the centre with jam and sandwich with another macaroon shell

Rum Truffle Macaroons

Add ½ tsp vanilla extract to the macaroon mix and the filling below:

  • 115g plain chocolate
  • Broken into small pieces
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 75ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp rum

To make the filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat once melted and stir in the rum and double cream. Cool for 10 minutes, and then chill in a refrigerator for 30 to 40 minutes until thick enough to spread. Use to sandwich the macaroons together. Dust one half in icing sugar and the other half with cocoa powder

Christmas Macaroons

1 tsp gold dragées (Small gold balls used for cake decorating) make filling below:

To make the filling, beat the butter and orange juice and rind in a bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat the mixed spice and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in the finely chopped glace cherries, use the mixture to sandwich the two halves together making sure that the side with the golden dragées are on top.   

Discover Fairway Assured Ground Almonds

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