French pâtissier, Pierrick Boyer, shows us how to prepare Macarons, the small almond and meringue biscuits that have become very fashionable. A little experience is required to make macarons well. It may you a few times to obtain a good result.
- 50 ml water
- 150 g caster sugar
- 60 g eggwhites, plus 60 g extra
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthways and seeds scraped
- 160 g almond meal
- 160 g icing sugar
- 160 g thickened cream
- 160 g dark cooking chocolate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 1 hour
Place the water and caster sugar in a pan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until the temperature reaches 121°C (you need a candy thermometer).
When the syrup is almost cooked, beat 60 g of eggwhites into stiff peaks, then slowly pour the hot syrup onto the beaten eggwhites, beating continuously. Continue beating for a few minutes.
In a bowl mix the second batch of 60 g eggwhites with vanilla seeds, the almond meal and the icing sugar.
Fold about one-quarter of the beaten egg white mixture into the almond-eggwhite mixture, then using a plastic scraper, mix in the rest of the beaten whites. Transfer the preparation to a piping bag fitted with a 10 mm nozzle.
Pipe small mounds of mixture about 3 cm in diameter onto several trays lined with baking paper. Tap the trays lightly to even out the mixture and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 145°C.
Bake the almond meringues in the oven for about 8-10 minutes.
Bring the thickened cream to the boil. Combine the hot cream with the cooking chocolate until very smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool but don't let it set.
Transfer the chocolate preparation to a piping bag and pipe small mounds of chocolate ganache onto the flat side of half of the meringues. Then sandwich the chocolate with another meringue half.
Store the macarons in an airtight container.