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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Macarons!

makes 35 whole Macarons

Contrary to common belief, Macarons are very easy to make. These beautiful small round biscuits, which are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside are simply made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites! Nothing more to it! The preparation varies from city to city and from manufacturer to another, but it is all the same in essence. Some prepare macarons from French Meringue, and some from Itlaian Meringue. Some Don't even whip up the eggs to peaks, but instead, whip it lightly by hand, then encorporate into the dry ingredients... Whichever way you decide to go, you will always end up with the same texture macarons, and they will always be received with much admiration.

Macarons are usually flavoured with nuts, coffee, chocolate or fruits... nowadays, macarons are flavoured to almost anything you like. They come in every flavour and colour. It is preferable though to use powdered flavouring and colouring, liquids are not ideal for use with Macarons.

Macarons are usually pairs of the macaron biscuit joint together by a chocolate Ganache or creamy filling. Even the fillings have been used in varieties thesedays, and therefore no limit to what you can do, and how you can flavour your macarons. You can use flavour infused Ganaches, Custardy cream, whipped cream, buttercream, or any cream you fancy!

The classic presentation of Mcarons is round. Originally different towns had different presentations. Amongst the famous French Macarons are the Monmorillion, which are shaped like  cornets and sold on their baking paper. The Nancy Macarons remain the most famous though.


As with everything, you can now shape macarons in a variety of shapes, including squares and hearts, which will assist you in theming when necessary.

You can even, place a lolly stick in the middle of your macaron to make a Macaron Lolly as in the picture below. This is especially nice for baby showers, and for children's parties. you can present them in a vase, or standing on a foam block. Macarons are so popular that they are used to brighten up any desserts buffet. Macarons can be used in cake decoration, and as a garnish for different desserts. They are also given at events, such as weddings as giveaways and party favours. Their small size and ability to be tinted in any shade, make them a favourite option for elegant edible favours.


Macaron Towers remain at the top of the list when talking about presentation. These towers are elegant, colourful, and very irresistible, they truly will liven up your buffet, and party scene.
Now here is how you can make these delicious pretty biscuits..

Almond Macarons
You Need

100g Finely Ground Almond
200 Confectioner's Sugar
3 Egg Whites, eggs are separated a day ahead, and whites kept at room temperature overnight in an airtight container to cure.
4 tbsp Caster Sugar
Seeds of a Vanilla Pod

Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat, baking paper or rice paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and ground almond. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla seeds with electric mixer, then gradually add the caster sugar and beat to soft peaks.

Fold egg white mixture into the dry ingredients mixture and continue to fold till you reach the ribbon consistency. place a round tip in a piping bag, fill the bag with macaroon mixture. pipe small circles on lined baking sheet. don't make them big, macaroons are best small. Once you have piped all the mixture on lined sheets. Leave to set on the counter top for 1 hour. This will form a skin that becomes the crunchy bit after baking.




Preheat oven to 300F, bake macarons for 10-12 minutes, keeping a close eye on them as they can easily burn. Cool completely, remove from sheet and fill with Ganache, cream..or your choice of filling and stick the 2 together.


You can store Macarons in an air tight container in the fridge seperated by layers of baking paper for up to 6 days. These baked and Ganache joint macarons can also be frozen for up to 3 months...


You will love these, so make sure you try them :)



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