Macarons have a fascinating history and they are also delicious, thus I’m very excited to share this recipe with you. They are not very difficult to make, if you follow the steps and weight in all the ingredients. If you love Macarons, do try to make them yourself, you might be surprised how amazing they will turn out.
Macarons might sound like a French posh dessert with new flavours, and that are trendy at the moment, but their history tells a different story. Catherine de’ Medici had them in Italy in the 1530s and loved pistachio Macarons. When she got married to the Duc d’Orleans, she brought her Italian chef with her, that being a condition for her agreeing to marry him. Soon the Macarons would be appreciated in France. This is why I’ve included the Macarons in my Royal Recipes series.
Besides the ones I’m talking about today, I’ve made Macarons for New Year’s Eve celebrations, three different types and all of them were delicious: strawberries and champagne, hazelnut and milk chocolate, violet and dark chocolate.
Ingredients for Macarons:
– 150g ground almonds
– 150g icing sugar
– 110g egg whites (from 4 eggs)
– 150g caster sugar
– pistachio flavouring
– green food colouring
– 40g water
– 150g dark chocolate
– 75ml milk
In a mini food processor, put the ground almonds and the icing sugar and whizz until very fine. Pass through a sieve so the meringue will not have any lumps. Add half of the egg whites, the food colouring and the flavouring and mix until it becomes a stiff paste. Leave on a side.
Put the remaining egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, dissolve the caster sugar in the water. Bring up to a simmer. When the temperature of the syrup reaches 110C, start to whisk the egg whites until they form strong peaks. Keep an eye on the thermometer because when the syrup reaches 118C, you need to take it off the heat and pour it over the egg whites. Continue to whisk the egg whites until cool.
Fold in a spoonful of meringue into the almond mixture to make it loose. Fold in the remainder until all the ingredients are incorporated. The texture should not be stiff. If the mixture still needs loosening, stir it with a spatula a couple more times until it leaves a ribbon-like trail when you lift the spoon, then settle again into the mixture.
Draw 4cm circles on baking paper. Heat the oven at 150C fan or 170C. Pipe the Macarons with a pipping bag. Set aside for 20 minutes to allow for a skin to form on top.
Now the Macarons are ready to be baked. Put the trays in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. When ready, take out of the oven and transfer carefully the baking paper onto the worktop. This way the Macarons will not continue to cook and they will also have time to harden. Do not try to remove them from the baking tray, but slide the baking tray.
When the Macarons are set, is time to make the chocolate ganache. Heat the 75ml milk in a saucepan. When the milk is boiling, take it off the heat and toss in the chocolate cut in small cubes. Stir without stopping until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache has a lovely smooth thick consistency. Leave to cool a bit before pipping the ganache on a Macaron before sticking the second one on top.
They are not hard to make if you follow these instructions. Have you ever made Macarons before? Tell me your favourite flavour combinations, as I’m always looking for new ideas.