Blog

Oct15

The Macaroon Invasion

(15 /10 /2012)

If food was a fashion accessory the hottest item of the season would easily be the macaroon. These brightly coloured, perfectly rounded and exotically flavoured biscuits are absolutely everywhere at the moment.

However unlike fashion – the stunning visual of the macaroon paired with the huge variety of delicious flavours guarantee they will not be a short lived trend.

So what’s the story?

The birth of the macaroon was in Italy.  Created by the chef Catherine de Medicis in 1533; at the time of her marriage to the Duc d’Orleans who became King of France in 1547.

The basic recipe was egg white, sugar and almond meal and it wasn’t until the start of the 20th Century that the idea was to join two biscuits with chocolate panache.  You can also use the biscuits to make a wedding cake the same way as you use profiteroles to make a croquembouche.

The process to make these wonderful biscuits is precise measurements and clean equipment. I have tackled this recipe with success, but only after some practice and refinement.

This recipe makes about 20 filled macaroons:

200g Icing Sugar

100g Almond Meal (GROUND YOUR OWN WILL HELP WITH COST)

3 Egg Whites

40g Caster Sugar

Make sure all equipment is clean, with the mixing bowl for the whipping of the egg whites I like to wipe out with white vinegar and make sure it is dry.  Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature and all weighed out before starting.

Cost your required macaroon quantities on the iChef MenuCoster App. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/menucoster-app/id529729219

The method to the madness of making Macaroons

Step 1.

Using a fine sieve, sift icing sugar and almonds, pushing through with a wooden spoon.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they just hold a soft peak. Add sugar, 1 tbs at a time, and whisk until dissolved. Stir meringue into almond mixture (mixture will be stiff), then halve. If you are colouring your macaroons this is the stage you add your colourings and flavourings.

Tint one half of the mixture pink, the other half orange.

Step 2.

Spoon one colored mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm piping nozzle. Pipe 1.5cm rounds onto lined oven trays, and then repeat with other mixture. Set meringues aside, uncovered, on trays for 1 hour or until set, (this will help minimize cracking).

Step 3.

Preheat oven to 150°C and bake macaroons, 2 trays at a time, rotating trays half way through cooking process, for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on trays. Slide a knife under each macaroon to release from paper, then store in an airtight container until ready to fill.

Step 4.

The fillings,

Let your imagination go wild, you can  do just about anything you like with the fillings, these are just two;

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp finely grated mandarin rind
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 tsp rosewater

 

For fillings, using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Transfer half the mixture from the bowl to another bowl and add mandarin rind and orange blossom water. Stir to combine. Add raspberries and rosewater to remaining mixture in mixing bowl and, using the electric mixer, beat until well combined. Sandwich pink macaroons with raspberry filling and orange macaroons with mandarin filling. Serve.

With these gems you need to remember that practice makes perfect. And most importantly have fun.

 


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