Thursday, 6 March 2014

A little baking tutorial #2 ... Strawberry Macarons








Macarons? Macaroons? Still not too sure!  Anyhow, it was Mr M's birthday yesterday and, shunning the traditional birthday cake (because he likes to keep me busy with these little challenges) he informed me that he'd like macaroons please. Brilliant.


Now I have made these a few times before, and they were reasonably successful. Turns out that was beginners luck.  But because I've scheduled this recipe for today, and photographed it skilfully to hide the cracks (!) I thought we'd just go for it anyway. Any wonder-bakers, avert your eyes now - this is how baking happens in the real world.



Ingredients









Basic Macarons
130g icing sugar
110g ground almonds
105g egg white (use 90g in mixture, 15g to loosen when stirring in almond mix)
65g caster sugar
Food colouring


Ganache
50ml pouring cream
100g white chocolate chips
3 tbsp strawberry purée


Method




1.  Line baking trays with grease proof paper and draw 3cm circles on each (I used a mini jam pot to draw round!). Turn grease proof paper over so pencil marks are touching tray, but you can still see them through paper.








2.  Sift ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl (not the bowl of your mixer - you'll need this in a sec!)
3.  Whisk 90g of egg white until soft peaks form (1-2minutes)









4.  Add the Caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time and whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy (2-3mins).  Add your food colouring if using any (I only had yellow and blue, so decided to just go au naturel this time!)
5.  Stir in your almond/icing sugar mix in batches, using the remaining egg white to loosen the mixture.
6.  Spoon into a piping bag - I prop mine up in a glass while spooning mix in - a handy tip!
7. Pipe out using the circles on your grease proof paper as a guide.  Push down any peaks that form with the back of a spoon.









8.  Let Macarons stand for 30-45mins, until a crust forms (they'll become tacky, rather than wet)
9. Bake at 140C (fan assisted) for 10-12mins.



To make the Ganache









1.  Warm cream in a saucepan until just before boiling point.
2.  Take off the heat and add white chocolate chips and purée.
3.  Stir until chocolate has melted and it is smooth.
4.  Refrigerate until needed.



When Macarons have baked, and cooled, spoon a little of the ganache mixture into each half and sandwich together.  Eat, preferably whilst wearing a beret and singing Frere Jacques.










Voila!


Mine, it turns out, are the Quasimodo version. Definitely not going to win me any awards. But that didn't stop me eating three in a row, and twitching slightly from the sugar rush for the rest of the day.  Suffice to say, they taste okay!





E x






Lots of lovely Little Things to share with you tomorrow!

What do you think of my feeble patisserie efforts?  Any tips? 
Please do leave a little comment below, on LATLW's Facebook page, or tweet me @littlewoodlife.




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