What is deliciously light, chewy, and can almost always guarantee a smile no matter how long or grey the day may be? What else but theMacaron ? The Lindt Chocolate Bar serves delicious macarons. I love to sink into one of their comfortable chairs with a coffee and macaron as the stress of the day is slowly replaced with contentment.
The macaron was arguably introduced to mainstream Sydney by superstar patissier Adriano Zumbo during his appearances in Master Chef Australia. Since then, his inner city cafe has become a mecca for foodies, pastry lovers and macaron seekers of all kinds.
The modern macaron that Adriano Zumbo introduced was developed by Pierre Desfontaines from the French pâtisserie Ladurée *. It consists of two almond meringue shells filled with buttercream, ganache or jam filling. When I first considered making them from scratch, I decided to reconsider that notion and examine it. They are notoriously difficult to make and require a lot of patience and perseverance. The thought of making these delicate brightly colored biscuits intimidated me. What if I put in all this effort only to have a batch of cracked, deflated cookies? Is it really worth the time and energy? Why bother making them when I can buy them from someone who knows how to make them already? But there the turning point lay – if I let this fear of failure stop me from trying to learn how to master the macaron, then I will spend the rest of my life never knowing this skill. The macaron loomed in my mind, a neon tinted fancy mockingly bwaking chicken…chicken.. ch-ch-chicken! I made up my mind. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
To make the macarons you’ll need:
3 cups sifted icing sugar
3 cups ground almonds
5 egg whites (aged)
1/3 cup caster sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
Flavouring and food colouring
125g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
Approx 100 ml heavy cream
- Separate the yolks from the whites and leave the egg whites in the fridge to age for at least 24 hours.
- Using an electric blender, grind the almond and powered sugar together until very fine.
- Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and keep whisking until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in your preferred coloring and flavouring.
- Fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites. Fold carefully, making sure the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round 5mm nozzle. Pipe 2cm rounds onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Set meringue aside to dry for about 45 mins (this helps to reduce cracking)
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius and bake the macarons for about 15 mins or until firm when lightly tapped.
- Allow the macarons to cool on the tray. The macarons should lift from the baking paper easily, but if the bottoms are a little sticky, use a sharp knife to lift them.
- To make the ganache filling, heat the cream and pour it over the chocolate. Mix gently until the chocolate melts. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Allow it to cool until the mixture thickens.
- Match up similarly sized macaron shells. Spoon the ganache into a pastry bag and pipe onto one half of the macaron shells before topping with the other macaron shell.