Making Macarons

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Macarons have been all the rage lately, and they’re a particularly versatile confection. Simple and elegant, they are usually filled with varieties of ganache, buttercream or jam.  They’re also made in an array of bright colours, making them even more attractive.

You might find yourself confused between macaron and macaroon at some point. But don’t be. They are essentially the same. Macaroon is the English spelling for the French macaron. It’s based purely on preference, and sometimes context. Although the style we’ve used in this recipe is the French meringue style, the origin of the macaron comes from the Italian word maccarone, which refers to the Italian meringue.

The macaron has a simple recipe and can be a lot of fun to make. The colours make it especially great for a child’s birthday or just as a colourful dessert option at parties.
So without further ado, let the Macaron making begin!

Ingredients
Egg white- 150gm
Castor sugar- 200gm
Icing sugar- 250gm
Almond powder- 125gm

Equipment
Tray
Silpat or parchment paper
Piping bag
Round tip nozzle
Mixing bowls
Handblender
Blender
Oven

Method
You begin the process by blending the icing sugar and the almond powder together. Blend the two until you have a fine powder.

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Next step, prepare the meringue, which in this case is the French style. Whisk the egg white and sugar together by using either a stand mixer or a hand blender, until it is shiny and stiff.

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Fold half the powder into the meringue and mix thoroughly. After this, add the remaining half and continue to fold. You can add your food colouring at this stage, if desired.
Stir until all the air bubbles are removed and the mixture becomes shiny.
You can tell if the texture is right with this simple test- scoop up a spoonful and drop it back into the bowl. If the scooped bit is steadily absorbed back into the mixture, you’re good to go.

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Attach the nozzle to the piping bag and fill three-fourth of the bag with mixture. Place your parchment paper or silpat on a baking tray and begin the piping process.
Pipe out the macarons evenly, making sure there’s sufficient space between them. Once your tray is filled, knock the bottom of the tray against a table to remove any remaining air bubbles.

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As a final touch, evenly dust cocoa powder over the piped macarons.

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Leave the macarons out to dry for about 15 minutes, or until they aren’t sticky to touch.

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Once they’re dry, set the oven at 140 degree celcius and allow the macarons to bake for 15-20 minutes. Simple enough right?

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Once the macarons are out of the oven, allow them to cool for a few minutes. Then find the shells that are proportionate to each other and begin making pairs.

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Pipe the ganache on one of the sides, and add the strawberry compote in the centre. Place the other side of the macaron on top, pressing gently. Not too hard, or the macaron will crumble.

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Your macarons are now ready to be served. It’s an elegantly easy process and that’s why we love this particular confection so much. You can make batches of macarons with different food colouring if you’re fond of vibrant visuals, or you could keep it classic and experiment with filings instead, until you find one that you particularly enjoy.

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Watch this space for more fun recipes.

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