A tried and true macaron recipe using the French meringue method.
Author: Mardi Michels, adapted from Stella Parks (bravetart.com)
Serves: makes 40 macarons
115g ground almonds (store bought or home ground in a spice/coffee grinder and sifted before you weigh)
230g icing sugar
15g cocoa powder for chocolate macarons or 15g freeze-dried raspberries, ground in a spice grinder
144g egg whites, separated, covered in plastic wrap and left at room temperature for a few hours. You can separate them up to 3 days before you use them - just keep them covered in the fridge and bring them to room temperature for a few hours before you use them
72g granulated or caster sugar
(food colouring powder – about 2 teaspoons for this amount of macarons)
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Prepare a 14” piping bag with a plain tip (I use Ateco 803), twist the bag at the tip end and place inside a tall glass to facilitate filling the bag.
Combine almond flour, powdered sugar and either the cocoa powder or freeze dried fruit powder in a food processor, pulsing about 10 times for a few seconds, until all ingredients thoroughly incorporated.
Sift dry ingredients twice using a fine sieve and pressing the mixture through with your hands and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar at a low speed (Kitchen Aid speed four) for 2 minutes, medium speed (Kitchen Aid six) for 2 minutes and a high speed (Kitchen Aid eight) for 2 minutes. The egg whites will be very stiff at this point.
Add the colouring powder and mix for one minute at the highest speed (Kitchen Aid ten).
Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites.
Fold the mixture, pressing it against the sides of the bowl to deflate the mixture. Fold about 40 times (counting single strokes), stopping every couple of strokes after 25 to check the consistency. It should be lava-like, flowing in ribbons off the spatula.
Transfer half the mixture to the piping bag, sealing the open end with a twist and holding firmly with the hand that will not be actively piping.
Pipe four tiny dots of mixture under the corners of the parchment paper to make sure it stays put.
Pipe your macarons, holding the piping tip at an angle to the baking sheet, about 3cm in diameter (they will spread during cooking), and quickly removing the tip when you have finished piping, making a shape like a comma.
Rap the tray 3-4 times on a hard surface. You'll see air bubbles coming to the surface of the unbaked shells.
Fill the bag with the rest of the mixture and pipe and rap the second tray.
REST the trays of macaron shells for 30 minutes before baking. At this point you should heat the oven to 300˚F.
Place one tray of macarons on an empty baking tray and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 16 minutes at 300˚F, turning the tray from back to front halfway through.
Remove from oven and let the tray sit for a few minutes.
Remove the parchment from the tray and allow to sit on a cool surface for at least 30 minutes, then remove macaron shells to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container overnight.
Pair up like shells to facilitate the filling process.
Once completely cool, fill with ganache or cream filling of your choice.
Best enjoyed 24 hours after filling (sorry!)
Recipe by eat. live. travel. write. at http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2012/03/why-do-my-macarons-have-hollow-shells-a-work-in-progress/