I am back from my much-needed trip to Melbourne and I have returned $150 poorer and 2kg heavier. But that is what holidays are about - shopping and eating yourself silly and Melbourne is the place to do just that. Aside from spending on clothes and stopping at every cupcake shop I saw in the city, I made a batch of macarons for the very first time.
Result? They were kinda fail. Despite reading articles about it, my first attempt at macaron-making wasn't very successful.
Regardless, it tasted fantastic. My friend (hi Janne!) from Melbourne and I made two types of filling: salty peanut butter and salted caramel.
(Recipe adapted from Wives with Knives)
- 225 grams powdered sugar
- 125 grams almond flour
- 110 grams egg whites (3-4) left at room temperature for 1-2 days before using
- 30 grams superfine granulated sugar
- food colouring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a digital scale, measure the powdered sugar and almond flour. Sift the powdered sugar and almond meal with a medium sieve to remove any large or coarse bits.
- Measure the egg whites with the digital scale and place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whip attachment. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium high speed until they form soft peaks. Gradually, in small additions, add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. I beat the mixture about 3-4 minutes. When the egg whites are glossy, add food colouring and combine well.
- Add about 1/3 of the almond/powdered sugar mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in. Add another third and fold, and finally add the last third. Keep folding until the mixture is well combined and falls in a slow ribbon from the spatula. Don't overmix.
- Using a pastry bag with a large round tip, pipe the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet into approximately 1-1/2 inch disks.
- After piping, tap the baking sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles, then allow the macarons to set at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before baking. You should be able to touch the top and not have it stick to your finger.
- Bake at 150 degrees C for 12 - 16 minutes. Slide the macarons with the parchment off of the cookie sheet and allow to cool on the counter.
Salty Peanut Butter Filling
(Recipe adapted from Cannelle et Vanille)
- 125 grams creamy peanut butter
- 70 grams powdered sugar
- 25 grams softened butter
- 25 grams heavy cream
- 5 grams vanilla extract
- 3 grams fine sea salt
- Cream all ingredients together for a smooth filling.
Salted Caramel Filling
(Recipe adapted from Syrup and Tang)
- 50 g sugar
- 23 g cream
- 35 g butter, cold, in cubes
- Place one third of the sugar in a small saucepan and heat very gently. After some time it will suddenly start to melt and go brown.
- As soon as the sugar is liquid, add another third of the dry sugar and melt, stirring gently.
- Repeat with the remaining sugar.
- When the liquid sugar has reached a rich caramel colour (perhaps very soon after melting), add the cream in a thin stream. The caramel will bubble vigorously, so be careful.
- Stir and measure the temperature promptly. When the caramel reaches 108-110 C (this can happen very quickly!), remove from the heat and immediately add the butter.
- Stir well (or use a handmixer) until the caramel is smooth and has cooled somewhat.
- Refrigerate the caramel. It will firm up after an hour or two.