Saturday, November 13, 2010

Macaroon/Macarons..and a rant about reality TV

Firstly: I don't watch "Masterchef". I did, however, see a very pretty picture of the Zumbo macaron tower on the "Masterchef" magazine at my local supermarket. A lot of people just love Masterchef, but not me. I didn't watch either the first or second series, the celebrity version, or am not currently watching the kiddy version. I don't like the relentless march of reality TV; and I don't need to watch reality television- newspapers now report on the series as if it is ACTUAL news. Anyway, enough of my rant about reality TV. I just felt as though I had to justify making these gorgeous macarons.

Firstly, a lot of people think they are "Macaroons". This is, according to this wikipedia entry, slightly wrong. A macaroon is a meringue type biscuit with coconut in it, generally in a raised shape. What I cooked was more of a macaron (as per this wiki entry). I think these are going to be the next big thing after cupcakes. Apparently macaron shops are opening up all over New York, so I would expect that eventually this will filter through to Australia.

Anyway, I decided to attempt to make a batch, and they were surprisingly easy (though time consuming since I used too small a tip in my pastry bag, and also found out the hard way that my pastry bag is crap!)

So the photographic evidence is above, and the recipe is below. These are so delicious! I made chocolate ones, figuring they would probably be fairly successful for a work morning tea.

Chocolate Macarons with ganache filling


  • 300g icing sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 40g cocoa
  • 5 eggwhites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 75g caster sugar (1/3 cup)


100g double cream
250g dark chocolate peices

1. Sift icing sugar, cocoa and almonds into a large bowl (push through with a wooden spoon)

2. Whisk eggwhites until foamy. Add the pinch of cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add sugar, 1 spoon at a time, and whisk until dissolved. Stir egg white into almond mixture (mixture will be stiff). Don't be gentle here; the more your egg whites collapse the better. If they are too airy, your macarons will be dull and have a pitted texture after they are baked.

4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large piping nozzle. Pipe small, uniform rounds on to baking paper-lined oven trays (I used about 4 different sized ones here, so grease up a couple to start then see how you go). They will smooth out with time. If you would like to smooth them out slightly, use a wet finger to smooth any bumps. I greased my paper so that the macarons would come off a bit easier.

5. S

et meringues aside, uncovered, on trays for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 200

°C towards the end of this time.

6. Set macarons into oven and immediately turn the heat down to 150°C(see below** for an explanation of why you would do this. It is optional of course; you can leave the oven on at 150°C). Bake macaroons for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. For me ,the best ones were the ones on the bottom tray of the oven, closest to the gas flame, but you may find this different in your oven.

7. Remove from oven and cool on trays. Slide a knife under each macaroon to release from baking paper.
For the ganache, slowly heat the cream and chocolate pieces, stirring occasionally until a smooth mixture is formed. Allow the mixture to cool, and spread onto the bottom the now cooled macarons. Join the halves together to form your biscuits.

*By leaving them out for an hour, you are also allowing the macarons to minimise cracking, as the egg white on the outside to hardens slightly, which means you will have the crispy outside, and a chewy inside.

**The change in temperature in the oven helps the coveted "foot" form at the bottom of the macaron. The initial high temperature hardens the outside of the macaron, and the mixture inside is forced down and forms the "foot" on the bottom of the macaron. I find this a particularly beautiful part of the macaron!

After baking, these keep for a couple of days in a sealed container, and are even better the next day.

1 comment:

  1. I so completely agree with the whole reality tv thing. Have only watched one episode of masterchef, way back when it first came to tv, nothing since. Great recipe btw!