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Monday, 8 October 2012

Macaroon Masterclass : Or the Story of How Not To Make Macaroons...

Sunday comes and most people laze about reading the weekend papers, drinking frothy coffee (we did a smidgen of that) and catching up on crap telly they've missed throughout the week. BUT oh no, not us mice, we decided to attempt to deliver the impossible ... homemade macaroons! 

We have tried our hand at these before without much luck but for my birthday this year I was gifted a macaroon kit by my friend Erin. We felt like Batman and Robin, armed with the necessary weapons and with each other for support in our tricky mission. Sadly, our confidence didn't last for long though, it drooped around the point that the macs saw the inside of our oven. Follow the uplifting yet oh so sad story below...

First things first the macaroon ingredients:

  • 130g almond powder
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 130g egg white (approx. 4 egg whites)
  • 60g granulated sugar

Now we didn't exactly follow all the rules which we recommend you do! You are meant to prepare the egg whites at least one day before your baking session which of course we didn't... so make sure you do that, unlike us! Separate the egg whites and place them in the fridge in an airtight container. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before use to bring them back to room temperature. 

Next pour the icing sugar and almond powder into an electric mixer to form a smooth powder. Sift into a bowl and add 2 of the non-beaten egg whites. 

Pour the egg whites into a large bowl and add 15g of granulated sugar then whisk away with an electric whisk until stiff. Add the 45g of remaining sugar and finish whisking...



Then add the sifted powder to the meringue and gently pour into the mixture then fold with a silicone spatula. When folding it's important you go from the centre of the bowl out (don't ask me why, just what the book says!) Scrape the spatula along the bottom of the bowl as you go so as to lift all the mixture at the same time. Mix until smooth, super shiny yet a little runny. Any ingredients to colour the shells must go in at this stage too. 

When the mixture is ready, pour into a pastry bag with a nozzle. Place small drops of mixture (approx. 2cm width) on a baking sheet or macaroon tray... 

Once complete, leave those little circles of mixture to crisp for at least 15 to 30mins...



Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 130 degrees celsius. This is also an area we cut corners! You aren't meant to use a fan oven as it flattens the macs. Guess what we used?!

Anyway, place in the oven for 12 to 15mins and then open the door ajar for 2 to 3 mins at the end to let the steam out...


Once cooked, whip out of the oven and leave to stand for approx. 15mins before removing from the sheet.

Now as you can see above, our macs were as flat as sad little pancakes :( but we weren't going to be beaten and carried on with our heads held high to make our white choc and raspberry filling... 



To an outsider they don't look half bad do they??? But they were! A little on the sloppy side not delectably smooth little drops of heaven, not at all like the French make them!


Well at least we tried and as all wise people saying 'learn from your mistakes' and 'better luck next time' BUT for now we'll be packing our macaroon tools away and instead we'll be munching on...





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