One maca two maca three maracona..
I made two very, very exciting purchases last week.
The first, some adorable cup measurers
The second? An electric whisk.
Okay okay, not necessarily the most traditionally ‘exciting’ purchase, but trust me, I was thrilled.
So, what better way to celebrate than with macarons?!
The most luxurious little treats ever, filled with the king of all fruits.
I’ll let you into a little secret, I was going to do my first experiment with passionfruit for these, but it turns out nowhere in Newcastle sells passionfruits in March. Who’d have known! So I went for my alltime favourite fruit instead.
Disclaimer: I’m no pro at this (in fact this is my second ever attempt making them) so they’re certainly not the beautiful perfect looking macarons you’ll see in shops but I’m getting there, and for now I’m having a lot of sugar filled fun practising! This recipe is one adapted from here and here
For the macarons:
3 egg whites (I’d suggest buying a big box of eggs if you’re as useless at separating eggs as me)
¼ (50g) cup caster sugar
2 cups (200g) icing sugar
1 cup (120g) ground almonds
For the mango butter cream:
½ mango, sliced and worked through a sieve to extract 3tbsp juice
¼ cup (60g) butter
¾ cup (75g) icing sugar
Seriously how cute are these cup measurers?! Just me? Fine be like that.
Prepare your baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Draw 2.5-3cm circles on the the baking paper as a rough guide for later, leaving a few cms in between each circle. Turn the sheets over so the inked side isn’t going to touch your macarons and set aside.
Sift your almond meal and icing sugar together. Repeat thrice more then set aside
Separate your eggs so you have your whites in one bowl and set the yolks aside for a big yolky omelette later!
As you can see it took me a few more than 3 eggs to get it right (think I got through 9 eggs in total..)
The tricky part is making sure none of the yolk gets into the white as if so it ruins the next stage! And as is typical for my luck, I always broke the yolk or dropped the whole thing right in when I was on my final egg.
My flatmates enjoyed a big sharing yolky omelette last night..
With your (new shiny exciting whizzy wicked) mixer beat the egg whites until foamy (add any powdered food colouring or flavouring at this stage), and continue beating on a low speed, slowly adding your caster sugar. Increase to high speed and beat until mixture forms stiff peaks and is glossy, a bit like so…
You should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head without it budging.
Fold in half of the almond meal & icing sugar mixture until combined, then add the other half.
This next stage had me vaguely baffled, but basically you need to swipe the mixture against the side of the bowl with your spoon/spatula, scoop the batter from the bottom of the bowl and plop it upside down. You need to repeat this process until the batter is sufficiently runny.
Test by scooping a bit up with your spoon and letting it drop back into the bowl. It should fall slowly, form a small mound ontop of the mixture and then slowly sink back in.
The next stage ideally requires a piping bag but I’m yet to treat myself to one of these, so I just used a spoon and a careful hand.
Either pipe rounds of macaron onto the greasproof paper (following the marked out circles) or as I did, dollop some mixture in circles, trying the best you can to make them uniform shape/size
Once done, bang your trays against the counter to knock out any air within the batter.
Set macarons aside for up to an hour until they’re tacky to the touch but don’t stick to your finger
This dries them out a little.
Preheat the oven to 200°c/230°c fanforced/400°f/gas mark 6
Place trays in the oven and reduce temperature to 140°c/13o°c fanforced/275°f/gas mark 1.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, ish. Every oven is different and macarons cook very differently in every oven. Make sure the shells don’t char, they’ll be ready when they can be lifted from the greaseproof paper without sticking.
(Mine probably shouldn’t have the cracks on, think this again is down to the oven)
Set aside to cool and get to working on your filling!
Whip the butter with an electric whisk until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly add the icing sugar, mixing all the time.
Place a sieve on top of the bowl, and work the chunks of mango through the sieve. This is surprisingly easy if you use the back of a big metal spoon and a ripe enough mango.
Whip till combined, then turn the shells upside down and pipe/spoon the mixture on one, then top with its partner.
As I said, not quite Ladurée standard in the looks department, but definitely make up for it with taste!
Definitely got the wow-factor if you’re looking for something to impress!
Perhaps an idea for a homemade Mother’s Day treat?
Good luck! x