3 May 2014

Vanilla Macarons

Eve 03/05/14

Delicate almond meringue cookie, baked with the addition of vanilla seeds. When cooled, the macaron shells are filled with whipped cream. A simple yet luxurious Parisienne treat.



These little treats are so delicious, and they have actually worked! 


These little macarons are like a bite from heaven; sweet and chewy vanilla packed cookies filled with cold and fresh whipped cream. I mean, how can this get better!?

These macarons are unbelievably scrumptious, I can't describe how good they are, seriously!  

This is the first macaron recipe on my blog that is 100% foolproof. And also, I made up this recipe, completely from scratch, but first I had to do a bit of research. 


I found out that there are actually three types of macarons! 

1. The French Macaron - This macaron is made by sieving sugar and almonds together. A French meringue is made and folded into the almond mix. Once piped, the macarons are left to develop a skin (2 - 4 hrs) before baking.

2. The Swiss Macaron - Sugar and egg whites are whisked together over a pan of simmering water. Once cooked, it is whisked vigorously until cool and stiff peaks have formed. Almonds are folded in and the cookies are piped, rested and baked.  

3. The Italian Macaron - Egg whites are whipped and a steady stream of sugar syrup is added while whisking. More sugar is mixed with almonds and the egg white is folded in. Once piped and rested, the cookies are baked. 


I used the Italian method, I find it works best for me. Macarons are quite hard to master but once you have tried to make them a few times, you really do master them!

Macarons are probably one of my favourite sweet treats to make, so delicious and temping, they really are the bee's knees!


Guess what?

(what?)

This is Baking the Day's 50th post! I cannot believe it! It only seems like yesterday when I start this blog up, and I am so glad I did! I have come a long way from those first few posts. And plus, It is BtD's birthday soon!!!


Happy Baking!


Vanilla Macarons
Posted by Eve
Makes 40 shells/ 20 whole macarons 
Ingredients

  • 125g Ground almonds
  • 125g Icing sugar
  • 50g Egg whites
  • 1/2 Vanilla pod, seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • 100g Caster sugar 
  • 50g Egg whites
  • Food colouring (optional)
To finish
  • Whipped cream with vanilla
  • Buttercream
  • Jams, preserves, jelly or curd
  • Flavoured spreads

Method
  1. Line 1 -3 baking trays with baking parchment or silpat mats. If you want, you can create a stencil.  Just measure out a bit of drawing paper that fits your trays and draw 4cm circles over it. I used a compass to make them all the same. And what's even better is that the template is reusable.
  2. Using a food processor, whizz the almonds and icing sugar together until very fine. Sieve 2 - 3 times and discard lumps.
  3. Add 50g of egg white to the sugar and nuts and mix well with a wooden spoon until combined and sticky. Set aside. Add the seeds of half a vanilla pod and mix well.
  4. Put the remaining 50g of egg white into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and whisk until they form soft peaks. Stop the mixer once you get to this stage.
  5. Put the caster sugar and water into a saucepan and heat on medium with a sugar thermometer until it reaches 115ºc. 
  6. Turn on the mixer again on to high speed. Slowly add the sugar syrup in a steady stream until all of it is added. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until they are very stiff. 
  7. Take one third of the meringue mixture and add it to the almond paste. Beat it in vigorously until the mixture has become much looser in texture. Add food colouring, if using. Fold in the rest of the meringue using a large metal spoon until the texture is uniform.
  8. Fill a large piping bag with the macaron batter. The piping bag does not need a nozzle. Pipe 4cm diameter discs on to the prepared trays. Leave the macarons to rest on the counter for 30 - 60 minutes until you can touch the macarons without getting batter on your finger. This stage is crucial so don't forget about it! Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 150ºc fan/ gas mark 2.
  9. Bake the macarons for 12 - 15 minutes until they lift of the tray with ease. During baking, open the door half way through to remove moisture.
  10. Once baked, transfer the macarons, still on the parchment or silpat mat to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. When cold, sandwich together with whipped cream, buttercream or anything else you fancy!

Enjoy!


Once filled, store the macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Unfilled shells should be kept in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. 

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