I decided that today would be the day I conquered my fear of italian meringue and use it for macarons. What was I afraid of!! It was so easy I feel a bit silly for not having tried it earlier. I found a recipe on Foodbeam, a wonderful blog full of heavenly treats, whose writer did an internship at Pierre Herme in Paris and in fact this recipe comes from Herme’s book PH10. The complete recipe is for a rose macaron but I just used the base recipe for the cookie and used some strawberry jam as the filling. These were absolutely the best I have ever made and will now become my staple base recipe. Next time up I want to try my hand at Chocolate.
Basic Macaron Recipe
Adapted from Pierre Herme’s PH10 – Via Foodbeam
125g Icing Sugar
125g Ground Almonds
125g Caster Sugar
47g Aged Egg Whites (that have been sat out for 48-72 hours)
43g Fresh Egg White
1. Put the Icing sugar and Almonds in the food processor and blitz for around a minute or so until you have a fine powder. Sieve this mixture twice.
2. Preheat your oven to 160c (I have a fan assisted oven so I set to 130c)
3. Put the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and over a medium heat bring to 120c
4. Just before the syrup gets to 120c (around 114) start the egg whites going in the mixer, set to high, and when the syrup gets to 120c pour it into the mixer, down the side of the bowl avoiding the whisk, and keep it going until the bowl is cool. The meringue should be thick and glossy.
5. In a seperate bowl mix the fresh egg white into the almond/sugar mix until you have a thick paste add the colouring to this. bear in mind that the meringue and the baking will make the final colour paler.
6. Mix a third of the egg whites into the second bowl just to lighten the mixture. You dont need to be gentle on this addition.
7. In two seperate additions fold the meringue in gently until your mixture just begins to shine and flows like magna (to be honest im never 100% sure if I have gone too far but if you do they will spread too far and if you mix too little they will be more like meringue than macaron Edit: since this post I have macarons multiple time this is a picture of the right consistency)
8. Pipe the mixture into small rounds onto a lined baking sheet and then bake for around 9 mins (in my fan oven at the lower temp i bake for 12-13 mins)
9. When you take then from the oven leave them on the baking paper or silicon sheet until totally cool or they may stick to the sheet.
10. Sandwich with the filling of choice and if you can resist, refrigerate overnight to get better flavour