One of Evie’s favourite desserts are macarons. When we see them at a bakery or restaurant she gets all sparkly eyed and we know what she wants. When she was about 3 years old she saw a recipe book that just had different flavours of macarons and she held onto that book in the store and we bought it for her. That meant that she nagged endlessly to make them. I just couldn’t do it, it scared me a little. Well it has been about 4 years preparing myself and we did it, I jumped in and did it. Of course Evie was chomping at the bit ready, I was still aprehensive but it wasn’t too bad for a first attempt and we will make them again now that we know the technique and what to expect.
We made orange marmalade macaron. My husband who would not even take a bite of one because he hated them, actually liked these. They were not too sweet due to the marmalade, it was a good pairing. All in all I would say it was much easier than I had anticipated and I would call it a success.
These would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.
You will need:
3/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 extra large egg whites
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
orange food colouring
1/4 cup marmalade (we use our favourite Robertson’s “Golden Shredless”, the one with Paddington on the label)
Place the ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Sift the mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. We didn’t have parchment so I used my Silpat on one sheet and nothing on the other. Let me tell you that parchment is necessary.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whip until soft peaks hold.
Gradually beat in the superfine sugar until you have a firm glossy meringue. Then beat in the orange rind and food colouring to give the colour that you want. Ours should have been brighter but I was afraid adding too much would affect the meringue.
Using a spatula very gently fold in the almond mixture (1/3 at a time). This is where I started to get a little worried and thought I was ruining it, but it was ok.
Incorporate all of the dry ingredients, until you have a shiny batter with a thick ribbony consistency.
I was very gentle with the folding but thought I was destroying the meringue, but it worked out ok.
Next problem I encountered was I did not have a pastry bag and I did not have the right sized tip. We inserted the too big tip (should have 1/2 inch plain tip) into the corner of a zip top bag! Go ahead, cringe any pastry chefs at this moment, it got a little messy. Please don’t judge, Evie is only 7 years old and I am just going along with her ideas.
The first couple were
ginormous a little large but it got better.
Tap the sheet onto the counter to release any air bubbles and let sit air drying for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Our should have come out a little sooner as you can see they were catching a little too much colour.
Now that sheet that did not have parchment, not so good.
and getting them off the pan was a nightmare.
Evie took a look in the oven at this batch and said “Mom, Paul Hollywood would say that is not a macaron that is a disaster”. He probably would have too.
Let cool to room for about 15 minutes on the baking sheet. At this point you would lift off the parchment and let cool completely before filling.
Then sandwich together with the marmalade.
Needless to say these did not last very long.