Macarons are one of the favour thing to bake! I be honest I love traditionally French baking. There nothing like pull off as a difficult bake time and time again. My originally inspiration was a starry night sky, however I found when I did the first batch I could not get them black enough, However I found the end midnight blue was much pretty. I think macarons are perfect for Christmas season, they need to made in advance so no worries about a baking disaster, plus everyone one love them, I never heard of someone not liking them. So hear I have used a travel size bottle of Champagne as I was find one however any type of Sparking wine would do like Cava and Prosecco.
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 180 grams icing (confectioner/powdered) sugar*
- 100 grams “aged” egg whites, at room temperature**
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
- 35 grams superfine or castor white sugar***
- Sugarflair colours-pasta paste concentrate-black
- 230 g/8 ounces of white chocolate,
- 180 ml/3/4 cup of double cream (heaving whipping cream),
- 2 tablespoon/30 g of unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoon of champagne
* Use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch (corn flour).
** Separate eggs at least 24 hours before using (or up to five days). Cover with paper towel and place in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
*** Make superfine sugar by processing regular granulated white sugar in your food processor for about 30 seconds or until sugar is ground very fine.
- First off, if your like me and terrible at piping consistently you need a make a template as guide. A good size for me is the top off a milk bottle. Draw around a clean on parchment paper with bright colour paper and flip over. On side no make sure the baking pan has flat bottoms.
- Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground (about 1 – 2 minutes). Sift the mixture to remove any lumps.
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, in a electric mixer if using, and on a low-speed until foamy.
- Gradually add the sugar, and continue to beat, on medium speed,until the meringue reaches a soft peaks stage (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue has a droop, called a ‘beak’ present). At this if want some favour or colour you can add them, however use the most concentrated form you can find.
- Now continue to beat until the meringue just holds stiff peaks (when you slowly raise the whisk the meringue is straight up, no drooping, called a ‘beak’) (but do not over mix the meringue or it will ‘break’). I stop mind machine every 30 seconds to check, to be on safe side.
- If like me you have enclosed electric mixer for the next stage move to a large bowl. Then, in three additions, sift the ground almond/sugar mixture over the meringue. When folding, cut through the meringue and then fold up and over, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Once the almond mixture is completely folded into the meringue, the batter will fall back into the bowl in a thick ribbon, it is time to pipe the Macarons.
- Place your pastry bag fitted with 1cm/1/2 inch tip in tall glass and fill with about half the batter. Pipe rounds circles onto the parchment paper, using the template as a guide. Then gently tap the baking sheet on the counter to break any air bubbles (can also break air bubbles with the end of a toothpick). Let the Macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60 minutes (depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen) or until the tops of the Macarons are no longer tacky.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 160 oC/ 325 oF. Bake the cookies (two sheets at a time) for about 14 – 16 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom, front to back, about halfway through baking. The Macarons are done when you can just barely separate the cookies from the parchment paper. Remove from oven and let the Macarons cool completely on the baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
- Heat the cream, butter and chopped chocolate in bowl over a pan of simmering water , and leave for few minutes to melt. Add the champagne, and stir and leave to cool. Pop into your fridge to cool a little if your a little impatient. Once it add the right consistency ( i.e. not to runny or to set), put the mixture into a piping bag.
- To assemble the Macarons, take two cookies and sandwich them together with your filling (place filling on flat side of cookie). These macarons are best left for 24 hours before serving as it flavour can mature. Serve and enjoy!