Chocolate Macarons

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Macarons, you’re beautiful but too hard for me to understand.  I love to look at your “feet” and your coloured smooth “faces”.  You are sweet to the taste buds but too fickle and difficult sometimes.  And I am sorry that I have to give up after too much wasted ingredients.  At least for now.  I feel sorry for wasting resources.

I’ve only had two successes in making macarons.  Both times are chocolate macarons.  Though the ingredients for macarons are few, it requires technique to get the batter right.  After my success with chocolate macarons, I took the next step to make coloured ones.  I tried making green and pink ones but they turned out disastrous!  No feet, cracked and flat!  So after many wasted tries, I’ve stopped making them.  It’s nerve wrecking each time I stand in front of the oven anticipating feet.  I still haven’t figured out why I failed.  I think I just haven’t mastered the macaronage well or the shells aren’t dried out completely before I sent them to the oven.  Macaronage is the stage in preparing French macaron shells where the batter is worked until smooth, shiny and flowing.  I don’t know when I will make macarons again. Hopefully soon! I admire those who are able to make batches after batches of macarons, all in different colours and fillings.  They are amazing!

Chocolate Macarons

Ingredients:

100g icing sugar

50g almond powder

25g unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder

2 large egg whites, room temperature

65g caster sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degree celcius.
  2. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2 inch) ready.
  3. Grind together icing sugar with almond powder and cocoa powder so there are no lumps, using a blender or food processor.
  4. Sieve the mixture to further ensure there are no lumps and that mixture is very fine.
  5. In a bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites till they are foamy.  Add sugar in 4 batches and whip egg whites till they are very stiff and firm.
  6. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients in 2 batches into the egg white mixture with a rubber spatula.  When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  7. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking trays in 1-inch circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  8. Tap the baking trays a few times firmly on the counter to flatten the batter then let the macaron batter dry out so that when you touch the surface, it doesn’t stick to your finger.  This takes around one hour.
  9. When the surface of the macaron batter is dry, bake them for 15-18 minutes.  Let them cool completely then remove from baking tray.
  10. Pipe your choice of filling and enjoy!

Filling:

1 portion of Nutella or Vanilla Buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

Ingredients:

56g unsalted butter

90g icing sugar

1 teaspoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream butter until soft and smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

 

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Recipe for macaron shells with slight modifications from http://www.davidlebovitz.com

Recipe for vanilla buttercream from http://www.aheadofthyme.com

 

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