This is my 5th attempt at macarons. And it's finally worthy of being blogged about. YEAH!
Let's recount each attempt:
Ingredients: 2 unaged egg whites, 1/2 cup of almond meal, 1 cup of pure icing sugar, 2 tbsp instant coffee granules, 5 tbsp granulated sugar.
Result: Not bad. Actually pretty good for my first attempt. Nice feet, shiny surface and all that, but a bit dome-y on the top. Tasted...like a macaron.
|See? Ugly dome. BUT there's a nice looking batch if you scroll a bit.|
Ingredients: Same as attempt #1. Except the I used icing mix (i.e. powdered sugar with a touch of cornflour) instead of the pure
Result: TERRIBLE. No feet, dome-y, stuck to the parchment paper. And surface was spongey looking.
Ingredients: Mostly the same as attempt #2, since apparently cornflour wasn't the culprit in the failure of #2. This time, the egg whites were aged for 18 hours (i.e. separating the whites and the yolks and letting the whites rest at room temperature. And no, they don't go off.)
Result: Still bad.
Ingredients: 1 unaged egg white, 1/4 cup of almond meal, 1 cup of pure icing sugar, 1 tbsp instant coffee granules, 2 tbsp granulated sugar.
Result: Same as #1. Macronage was still too thick, I thought it was runny enough but it wasn't. I think I was a bit paranoid.
Ingredients: Same as #4. Except that my egg whites came right out of the fridge.
Result: :D I mixed my macronage for thoroughly (i.e. the macaron batter)
|The feeeeeeeeeeet. (and yes, this photo has to be x-large)|
1. Aging egg whites doesn't really make a difference for me, or even bringing them to room temperature.
2. Cornflour is bad. Very bad. Cornflour in macarons = massive FAIL
3. Just stir the macronage. Don't be too scared.
4. Almond flour doesn't have to be TOO fine. If it can get pushed through a sieve, good enough, but you will get a smoother, shiner top if you do.
5. They don't have to be completely dry to the touch. Mine never dried like that sometimes. I just left it to rest for about 10-15 minutes just so it could finish spreading.
6. You don't have to weigh each ingredient. Medium egg, large egg, worked fine for me.
7. Just plop in all the granulated sugar, you don't need to add it gradually. Although sometimes I do anyway just because.
8. If you do have a little peak after you've piped them, only use a slightly damp finger to pat them down, not a wet one.
The recipe below can easily be doubled. I got one or two that had cracks, but that's my oven's fault. You might need a couple of tries since all ovens have different personalities.
French Coffee Macarons (as in coffee flavoured, French meringue not French coffee)
Makes: 9 large sandwich cookies
(adapted from David Lebovitz's French Chocolate Macaron Recipe which can be found here)
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup pure icing sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 egg white (from egg around ~59g)
pinch of salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
50g dark chocolate, chopped (since the macarons would be pretty sweet already)
1 tbsp heavy cream
Combine the almond meal and pure icing sugar and grind with a stick blender, blender etc until consistency is much smoother. Pass through a sieve.
Grind the coffee (I find a mortar and pestle works very well). Sift onto the almond meal and icing sugar mixture. Set aside.
Beat the egg white and a pinch of salt in a clean, grease-free bowl until soft peaks form.
Add all the granulated sugar and beat until glossy, stiff peaks form.
Add in all dry mixture and fold until combined.
Now keep folding, until the batter is runny. When the spatula is lifted, the batter should run down and there should be no track marks on the surface of the batter after about 10-20 seconds. Basically, it shouldn't hold its shape. If it looks like the image on the left, KEEP FOLDING.
Fill a piping bag with the mix and pipe rounds, leaving a generous amount of space in between. Leave to dry for about 15 minutes. (this image is from another batch, so they're smaller. I find bigger ones are better in terms of the shiny surface and feet. I don't know why)
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C while the macarons are resting. Then slide them in. Bake for 15 minutes. Then cool on the same tray. The macarons can then be carefully peeled off, or use a metal spatula and slide it under the macarons.
While the macarons are cooling, make the ganache. Heat the cream (in the microwave) and pour over the chocolate. Stir. If necessary, heat the chocolate further in a double broiler or in the microwave (in 5-10 second intervals). Cool to room temperature, making sure that the consistency is thick and doesn't run everywhere (about 20 minutes).
Drop a teaspoonful of the ganache onto the flat side of each macaron. Place the other side on top and gently press and twist simultaneously to even sandwich the filling.
These can be stored in a DRY airtight container. Macarons can easily get soggy if the container is damp.