I almost gave up on macarons.
I got feet. Once. Back in February this year.
But ever since then, all I got were meringue cookies (a.k.a. mutant feetless macarons).
After making tiramisu for a party last weekend, I was left with 5 egg whites sitting all alone on the counter. So I mustered up whatever courage I had left from my traumatic mac experience and plunged right in to mac-ing.
I should forewarn you... this post is kind of an odd one because the 'making of' photos are from a previous batch - which turned out less than perfect, so I didn't take the end shots. All's not lost, because the 'making of' shots are still helpful (I hope) in showing how macarons are made.
Ok now, please resist the temptation to ask me why my macs look like hamburgers.
I have no idea.
But I wish I knew why my mac shells are so domed.
Time for more experimentation...
OREO NUTELLA MACARONS
Makes about 15 small macarons (30 shells).
30g almond meal
8g oreos (2 sides of an oreo cookie)
2g cocoa powder
50g icing sugar
30g egg white (from about 1 egg, preferably aged overnight)
20g caster sugar
Combine almond meal, oreos, cocoa powder and icing sugar in a blender.
Blitz till as fine as possible.
Sift to break up any clumps, and discard leftovers in the sieve.
In a mixer, whisk egg white till foamy.
Continue whisking while adding caster sugar gradually.
Whisk till the meringue is glossy and peaks are stiff.
Your meringue should NOT have black specks as seen in the picture below, unless you added scraped vanilla beans. Or, I can't imagine why, pepper!
Fold the sifted dry ingredients in 2-3 batches into the meringue till you get a thick and sticky batter.
Pour batter into a piping bag fitted with a #11 tip.
Pipe 3cm circles about 2cm apart on parchment paper or silicone mat.
Don't worry if the freshly piped circles have peaks.
Wait 5-10 seconds and it should all fall into a smooth shiny mass (like the pic above).
If it doesn't it probably means that your batter is under-mixed.
Scrape your batter back to your mixing bowl and fold it a few more times.
Now, it is important to practice a little patience at this stage.
If you want feet, you need patience.
Let the piped batter dry for at least 30 minutes.
Yes, 30 long minutes.
In the meantime, distract yourself with making the filling and/or washing up.
After 30 minutes or so, the piped batter should have formed a dull skin and should no longer be tacky to the touch.
Yes, you can very gently test with your fingertip to one of the circles.
It should not stick.
Bake in a 140*C oven for about 16 minutes or when the feet no longer look wet.
(The feet should show up by about the 5th minute. If it doesn't, congratulations - you've just made meringue cookies!)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two before you nudge one of the macarons to test for doneness.
Gently nudge a macaron (pick the ugliest, just in case). If it comes off the parchment or silicone without leaving a messy mass, it's done. If it leaves a sticky mess/mass, pop it back in the oven for another minute or two.
To make the filling:
Combine the filling from as many oreo cookies you can find. (I used the whole small pack of about 10 cookies.) Then add nutella to make up about half a small bowl. Add milk by the teaspoon and stir till you get an easily spreadable / pipeable consistency. (Add less milk if you like it thick, and more if you like a lighter filling.)
When the mac shells have completely cooled, pipe or spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of filling onto the flat side of a shell. Smoosh another shell on top and gently squeeze till the filling just reaches the edges.
Not quite yet.
You need patience again.
Macarons are best enjoyed after it's been left to mature in the fridge overnight, giving it time for the flavours to meld and the shells to develop that signature chewy bite.
Best to also let the macs come to room temperature before sinking your teeth into these little delights.
So, from start (ageing the egg whites) to end (when you can finally eat it!), that's a span of 2 days.
Patience, my friends, and you will be well rewarded.
More macs coming up...
Stay tuned :)