Friday, 22 August 2014

Ohh lala.... C'est magnifique


This was my first time making French macarons. I've been looking at the pretty colours in Loblaws for months now and figured they were never something I'd never get to eat. They looked to delicate to even attempt baking gluten free. Then I found out they are made with almond flour which is naturally gluten free so I had no excuse. I decided to made two batches, first going for a pretty pink version and then a nice purple. The pink turned out ok as you will see below {not perfect but a good first time effort if I do say so myself}.

The second batch turned out like this...



Not pretty or appealing by any standards. I will have to put lots of practice into these. While researching recipes I came across this post on how NOT to make Macarons which is worth a read before you set out. I followed Michele from The Little White Kitchen's recipe for my macaron trial. She has great tips and step by step pictures over on her blog. Be sure to pay her a visit.  Michele made her own almond flour by grinding the almonds in a food processor which is a lot more dedicated then I was prepared to go, plus I don't have a food processor so that wasn't an option for me.
 
As you can see my pink batch look the part. They were hollow inside unfortunately but from what I've read I believe that's to do with my oven which if you follow me you know has been acting up for a while now. Next time I'll increase the temperature slightly. Natalie from Love and Macarons suggests an increase of 10 degrees can make all the difference.  Noted for next time.
 
 


Basic French Macarons

1/2 cup  Almond Meal/Flour
1 1/2cup Icing Sugar
 3 egg whites, room temperature
2tbsp Sugar
food colouring, optional
 
I sifted the almond meal and the icing sugar together a couple of times until there was only a small amount of chunky bits left in the sieve. I dumped these and put the mixture aside.

In a large bowl place the egg whites and sugar, beat on medium speed until they start to foam then increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Add the food colouring and mix until blended.


Pour the entire bowl of almond flour and icing sugar mix into the egg white mixture and proceed to fold the two together, to make sure everything gets incorporated ensure you mix from the bottom of the bowl. Clearing the sides and base on each sweep. Continue to fold the batter about 35-40 times, or until the batter forms thick ribbons when you lift the spatula.
 
In a large icing bag fitted with tip #12 or #114, scoop the batter and pipe into circles on a template (I drew circles on doubled parchment paper to help present even sizes) or you could use a whoopie tin like this if you have one. Drop the cookie sheet/tin onto the counter a few times to release any air bubbles from the batter.

Allow the macarons shells to sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the batter forms a nice skin. Mine where ok after 30 minutes but our apartment is crazy warm.


 
Bake at 300f for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cooled remove from parchment paper. If the macaron shells are sticking to the paper, place them on the tray into the fridge for 1/2 hour and the cookies should come right off.



 
Fill the macarons as desired. I used raspberry jam and a French Butter Cream because I had a lot of egg yolks left over and I didn't want to waste them.  I used this recipe from The Kitchn for Silky French Buttercream and flavoured it 2 tbsp of Tequila Rose liqueur.
 
Place the finished macarons in an airtight container and leave in the fridge or the freezer for 1-2 days before serving. Serve at room temperature.


If anyone has  any macaron tips before my next trials please let me know. I love hearing from you guys. 

Michelle xxx
 
Sharing With
 
The Novice Gardener Fiesta Friday
Place of my Taste for Work It Wednesday
The Gluten Free Home Maker for Gluten Free Wednesday
New Mrs. Adventures Tasty Tuesday