Author: Mardi Michels, adapted from Stella (thebravetart.com)
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 40 macarons
3 ounces (85g) blanched almonds
1 ounce (28g) roasted unsalted peanuts
8 ounces (230g) powdered/ icing sugar
5 ounces egg whites (144g), at room temperature
2½ ounce (72g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon powdered yellow food colouring
Preheat the oven to 320°F.
Place a large (14") pastry bag fitted with a plain tip upside down in a glass so that you can easily pour the batter in when it's ready to pipe.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and place each tray on top of another tray. I find the double trays help prevent the macarons from cooking too fast on the bottom.
Grind the almonds and peanuts finely in a spice/ coffee grinder.
Place the nuts and powdered sugar in a food processor and grind until well combined.
Sift this mixture twice over a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and caster sugar and beat at a low speed (Kitchen Aid speed 2) for 2 minutes.
Increase the speed to 4 and beat for another 2 minutes.
Increase the speed again to 7 and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add the food colouring and increase the speed to maximum and beat for one more minute.
The egg whites should be very stiff at this point. When you remove the whisk attachment, there should be a big clump of meringue in the centre, just knock the whisk against the bowl to knock it free.
Add the dry ingredients to the meringue, all at once and fold them in. To successfully incorporate the dry ingredients in the meringue, you need to use both a folding motion and a pressing motion. You are aiming to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl.
After about 25 strokes your mixture will still be quite lumpy. From here on in, take it stroke by stroke so as to not over beat the mixture. Evaluate your batter one stroke at a time.
Basically, the macaron batter needs to be thick enough that it will mound up on itself, but fluid enough that after about 20 seconds, it will melt back down.Think lava.
Pour about half the batter to a piping bag and pipe the batter in small circles on the tray. When I pipe macarons, I hold the bag at an angle, with the tip always touching the tray. When I have piped enough for one macaron, I make a comma-like movement to remove the tip from the tray. That little comma-shaped bit of batter will settle down when it bakes, don't worry .
The batter will spread a tiny bit, but don't panic - it's ok!
Bake for 6 minutes, one tray at a time, then turn the tray from front to back for another 6 minutes. You'll be able to tell at the 6 minute mark if your macs will succeed - the feet will have formed by then.
Cool thoroughly, then remove the cooled macarons from the parchment paper.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with the filling of your choice and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
Even though you will want to taste them right away, macarons actually get better with age. The shells soften and become more chewy, mingling with the flavor of the filling too. You can store them in cool place for up to a week. If you store them in the fridge, bring them to room temperature before you eat them.
Recipe by eat. live. travel. write. at http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2011/05/mactweets-take-me-out-to-the-ballgame/