These French Macarons are like a grown up more sophisticated version, both in looks and in the preparation. No quick one bowl mixing here.
They are melt in the mouth delicious with a crisp outside, soft center and delicious smooth creamy filling.
I have made french style macarons a few times before with excellent results using this recipe which I believe is originally based on a Pierre Herme recipe.
Recipe requires a stand mixer (Kitchen Aid type mixer), a candy thermometer, food processor, piping bags and a bit of planning and patience.
300g (10 5/8 ounce) ground almonds
300g (10 5/8 ounce) Icing (confectioners) Sugar
220g Egg Whites, (7 3/4ounce) aged at least 3 days, separated into 2 lots of 110g (3 7/8 ounce)
5g / dash Red/Pink Food Colouring - (I used Gel food colour but you are supposed to use powdered)
300g (10 5/8 ounce) Granulated Sugar
75g (2 5/8 ounce) Water
a little crushed crystallised rose (optional for decoration)
1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. Add colour and 110g (3 7/8ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.
Icing sugar and almond meal processed and sieved2. Place remaining 110g (3 7/8 ounce) of egg whites in bowl of mixer fitted with the whisk.
3. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C. Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water as required to avoid the sugar crystallizing. Once the mixture reaches 115C start mixing the egg whites on high. Once the sugar syrup reaches 118C remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.
Meringue cooled and ready to mix into almond meal mixture3. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C.
4. Add meringue mixture to almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that stays visible for about 30 seconds.
5. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 3 for each one. If you like you can sprinkle a little crushed crystallised rose onto the top of half of the macarons for decoration but its not essential.
7. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, they should not be browned. Remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.
Rose White Chocolate Ganache
200 gm (7 ounces) white chocolate
3 tsp rose water
pink food colouring - I used Wilton gel colours
Bring cream to boil, pour over finely chopped white chocolate and stand 5 mins. Stir until all chocolate has melted and mixture is glossy mix in rosewater and food colour. Chill approx 45 mins and use as required.