Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Macarons - May Madness

You may or may not know, but when I first came across the Parisian Macarons, naively I assumed Dear Jill, the lovely 'Mad about Macaron Jill Colonna, had made a wee spilling mespake :)  That surely they were indeed Macaroons, just like the ones my wonderful Mam used to make. After much conversation, bless Jill's patience,  I realised that these little beauties were in fact nothing at all like the ones Mama used to bake.  For those of you who follow my tempestuous love affair with my pantry & oven you will already be aware of my last attempt, the gungho frivolous endeavour at delightful-humourous-honouracarons. Well, it seems not much changes in my liaison with almond meal :)  Still a fool for such temptation, I needed to tackle the mighty macaron, also having the 'Mad about Macron' book for ideas & support I was truly inspired & fearless!! So, when Bank Holiday brought unexpected visitors, Macarons were needed & needed fast!!  Quickly, no time for any decisions over flavours,  time only for action!!  Once again realising, as I was gathering my bits together (close your eyes Jill for the next bit) still  I had no piping bag  -again making use of a spoon instead  - surely you can understand the resemblance!!   I must say though, 'Mad about Macarons' is just the most tempting beautifully illustrated book, I imagine to become a Macaron bible .. my biggest lure towards insanity yet!!  Much to my delight  there are sooo many divine flavours I could aspire to create - how can one choose only one, how can one consume such delights without planning the next batch.  Thank goodness my imaginative dilemma didn't last for very long, in fact quickly turning to frustration as I actually  discovered - remembered - my dear friend already had stolen borrowed my beauitful book when I was proudly showing her, telling her about my new book, my enthusiasm was too contagious! It was, after all her daughters Birthday .. hmmm how could I refuse such a polite request!! So in the heat of the kitchen,  as I'd simply forgotten in planning mode that I had no support system from my new book and as time was running out .. .  Hmmmm not one to be defeated, my memory activated from last attempts here I dare to present..
  Gung ho II

Modest Macarons!! 

Ingredients
Almond Meal
Sugar (put through processor)
Granulated Sugar
Egg Whites
Fresh Cream
Raspberries

Impatience & delightful anticipation

Method
  • Weigh Sugar then put through processor to make fine sugar powder
  • Weigh the Almond Meal, add to the powder sugar
  • I put both through the processor again, to create a beautifully fine powdered mix of both
  • Measure our required egg whites, mix really slowly to begin with until frothy
  • Once frothy add granulated sugar to egg whites, turn up the speed until soft peaks are forming
  • Gently add the Almond & Sugar mix to the egg whites, about a quarter of the mix at a time until all blended, folded in. 
  • You should then have a nice, thick slightly grainy looking batter
  • Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Using a small tea spoon, oooh dear don\t know how I even dare write this, dollop a small amount of batter onto the greaseproof paper leaving enough space between dollops for the batter to spread 
 
  • Leave to rest for up to an hour, although unintentionally mine were left for longer due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Pop into oven for about 15 minutes, I turned mine after 10 as my oven can be quite ruthless
  • Say a prayer & hope for the best
  • After 15 mins remove from oven, hopefully admire your little creations
  • Remove from greaseproof paper whilst hot, allow to cool 
  • Try to find similar sizes to pair together, add some newly whipped fresh cream & a few raspberries to create a most flavoursome delightful dessert
 
  • Also if you have a tiny little bit batter left over but not enough room on your trays, leave in basin until all batches are cooked then add the remaining mixture int a cookie shape dollop
  • Pop into warm oven for around 15 minutes, reove & add to biscuit barrel 
  • Meanwhile, the finished paired delights awaiting their luxurious filling
  • Whipped cream for some, me included, can be a bit heavy & too rich, if so try whipping it with Icing sugar & fromage frais to give it a beautiful light fresh taste & texture
  • Just love the taste of raspberries, in fact sadly often they're far more interesting in flavour than the sometimes bland out of season strawberries
Ooooooops, heavy fingers!
  • Now, this is where I suggest if you would truly like to create the real masterpieces, the authentic Macarons with aesthetically pleasing form, flavour & shape.  Please, please please buy/use Jill's wonderful book, do plan your day & time accordingly, do own a piping bag & nozzle, don"t ever loan out your book to a friend, no matter how nice she is, nor who's Birthday it is she is cooking them for unless she promises to buy you another one (just in case she gets a crease in any of the pages or any stickiness or in your hour of need you have all you need !!!:) 
  • Do not rely upon memory, a teaspoon nor hope for the best in prayers as you shove them into the oven!!!! 
  • Do be prepared to be seduced slowly but surely, by every crumb & nibble, into the world of the most delectable Macarons. 
  • Let the madness commence . . 

2 comments:

  1. I have just seen your wonderfully fun post! Gosh, thank you so much for sharing your macaron fun - and for mentioning the book.

    Your macarons look good: don't forget you can really mix these egg whites until they're really quite stiff. Your filling sounds good: must try that! You could also mix it with rosewater and serve them as open macarons with the raspberries on top for dessert. I can see you're becoming hooked :-)

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  2. Helloo Dear Jill,
    Bless, without you & your book my taste buds would be very much poorer. My attempts at making macarons' a great deal more difficult. Thank you for your help I will try stiffening my peaks - ooh'er - & some new flavours. Thank you for your time & further suggestions. You making macaroning most magical :)

    I am hooked, never mind becoming.
    Many thanks again

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