Did you know that March 20th is…… MACARON DAY?!?!
If you’re not yet aware of these little French cookies that have been plaguing bakeries all around the world….. let me give a brief introduction. Macarons are usually composed of 2 meringue-based cookies with a filling samwiched in between. When you think of a classic French pastry, croissant would usually come to mind. I’d like to think of them as the “croissant” of French cookies! (also because I can’t really name another French cookie off the top of my head…)
Vancouver for the first year celebrates Macaron Day! Bakeries will participate in form of donating part of their sale to charity, creating deals or even giving them out for FREE! Yayyyyyyy!! Please refer to the Vancouver Observer to find out more!
What will I be doing today? Making macorons of course! (of course going to work too)
I made the meringue cookie following a recipe from the book, but I decided to use whipped cream for the filling inside. Macaron shells are usually super sweet because of the high ratio of sugar for maintaining its structure. I didn’t think the addition of a super-sweet buttercream would be necessary! But, (non-traditional?) perhaps whipped cream would downplay its sweetness.
I usually measure my ingredients by volume because….. I do not actually own a weighing scale! Yes.. That’s right. It is quite sad 😦 However, I’ve come across many cookbooks stating that it is important to weigh your ingredients when it comes to macarons. Accuracy and precision are the key ingredients for success…
But, I still didn’t get a weighing scale. I’m too used to measuring by volume now.. But hey! I don’t think I did too badly for myself. 😀 So, here is the list of ingredients by weight AND volume. I would encourage you to try it by weight if you have a scale!
I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #17 – March Macaron Madness! (Mar 2012) hosted by Alan of Travellingfoodies.
Strawberry Macarons with Whipped Cream – Macaron à la Fraise et Crème Chantilly
Cookie / Shell
from Mad About Macarons by Jill Colonna make approximately 30 mini macarons / 20 medium-sized macarons / 7 giant macarons.
- 75g egg whites (75 ml egg whites)
- 50g (1/4 cup caster sugar)
- 90g (2 tbsp less than 1 cup ground almonds)
- 135g (3/4 cup icing sugar)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Colouring (Used 1 drop of pink paste)
- Line your baking sheets with flat greaseproof paper. Parchment paper / silicon sheet OKAY. Wax paper NOT OKAY!!!
- Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the caster sugar gradually.
- Sift ground almonds with the icing sugar and discard any large coarse pieces of ground almonds.
- Mix well to incorporate icing sugar and almonds.
- Incorporate the beaten egg whites into the dry ingredients with a large rubber spatula. Mix well
- Work on the mixture using a plastic scraper. Press down well with the scraper, going back and forward, to remove oxygen (potential air bubbles) from the whites. Do this for no more than 5 minutes until you have a smooth mixture.
- The result should form a soft and brilliant mixture than forms a “ribbon” on the scraper. If the mixture is too liquid, the macarons will be flat. If too stodgy, they may crack.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a plain nozzle (1cm round the tip). Twist or clip the bag above the nozzle to stop the mixture from escaping.
- Pipe out the desired size of rounds. (about 3cm in diameter for medium ones). Press the nozzle right down on the paper then finish off with a flourish to obtain a nice round. Leave a good space between each round as they really do spread out!
- Leave for about 30 minutes to set until they feel hard. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160C / 325F degrees.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 – 12 minutes. Giant macarons will require about 15 minutes.
- Test after 8 minutes. Touch the top of a macaron. If there is a “wobble”, cook for 3-4 minutes longer till firm. When ready, leave them to cool off completely then scrap them off with a palette knife.
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar (or more depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
I didn’t really follow any recipe for this. I think 1 tbsp is sweet enough! But some may enjoy half or double the sugar of my preference! P.S. This will probably be more than enough whipped cream you need. You might even want to consider halving it.
- In chilled bowl, whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
- Add the sugar and vanilla, whipping just until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat, or cream will later separate when sitting.
Conclusion? I didn’t think my macarons were perfect. I found them a little flatter than I wanted. Some cracked a little too.. But nevertheless, they tasted great!!! I really like the macaron / whipped cream combination!! Sweet but not too nauseatingly sweet!
HAPPY MACARON DAY!!