Currently, my favourite thing to bake is French macarons. After lots and lots of practice I’ve finally mastered the technique so not I get to focus on flavours and making them all kinds of pretty colours. (check out my Facebook page to see my latest Valentines Day designs).
For macaron inspiration Pintrest is great. There are some bloggers who are killing the macaron game too, my personal favourite it Raspberri Cupcakes, she’s a macaron queen! This particular recipe was inspired by some Lindtt orange chocolate I was gifted a while back. It was tasty, but I felt like it could be put to better use than my passing sweet tooth cravings. Also, macaron making always leads to leftover egg yolks which usually leads to curd for a filling! Orange curd is a great twist on the lime and cranberry versions I’ve posted before. It doesn’t have the tartness of the other and is sweet and creamy. Perfect when paired with a dark chocolate ganache like we have here.
I’ve covered macaron making before in this post, so I’m not going to take you through things step by step. However, I am thinking about making a video tutorial sometime soon. In my experience it was hard to know what was meant in a lot of written tutorials. It only finally made sense after I had made the macarons a few times and figured out what worked. I think a visual tutorial would be more helpful to you guys, any thoughts?
One note about making macarons that I haven’t made much of in the past is that you must use baking paper – not greaseproof paper. I’ve heard that silicone mats are great too but I’ve never used one. Lakeland has a huge roll of baking paper which has hugely helped my macaron making when combined with good quality baking trays. Good luck and if you have any questions please comment of tweet me!
- 100g ground almonds
- 95g icing sugar
- 20g cocoa powder
- 85g egg whites (from 3-4 eggs)
- 1tsp meringue powder
- Pinch of salt
- 85g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- juice of 1 orange
- zest of 2 oranges
- 50g butter
- 80ml double cream
- 80g dark chocolate
- For decoration: (optional)
- 50g orange flavoured dark chocolate
- orange decorative sugar
- Line two baking trays with baking paper, then set aside.
- In a food processor, blitz together the almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder until fine and all one colour. Set aside.
- Clean the bowl and whisk attachment with lemon juice to make sure everything is grease free. Add the egg whites, meringue powder and salt to the bowl and mix on low until frothy. Turn up the mixer to medium and slowly add the caster sugar. Turn the mixer up to high and whisk until the mixture is white, glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- Add the almond mixture all and once and, with a rubber spatula, fold in to the meringue. Don't worry about being gentle with it, stir quite vigorously to knock out some of the air. the mixture will become slightly glossy again and run smooth from your spatula. Be careful not to over mix, slightly under is better than slightly over. This just takes practice.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round tip and pipe 20 macaros per tray. Give the tray a few sharp taps on the worktop to knock out any air bubbles and smooth the top. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C fan)
- Place one tray in to the over and cook for 6 minutes then turn the oven down to 140 degrees C (120 degrees C fan) and bake for a further 8-10 minutes. To test if they're done, gently wiggle the top of the macaron if it moves leave it for another couple of minutes. Another test it to try and lift a macaron off the baking paper, if it comes away easily it's done.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack.
- Make the curd whilst the macarons are resting.
- Add all of the ingredients, bar the butter, to a heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Set aside to cool.
- Place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl.
- Heat the cream in a pan until just below boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for 10 minutes until the chocolate has melted then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Sort the macaron shells in to pairs according to size. Pipe a ring of ganache on one of the shells then fill the centre with some of the orange curd then sandwich together.
- Chill the macarons in the fridge overnight before eating to create the chewy texture in the centre.
- Macarons will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Remove from the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating.