27 September 2011

Double Chocolate Macarons

A few days ago, my macs barely had any feet. They were so so tiny, you'd miss them if you didn't look hard enough. 

But this time, the feet were huge! 

Same recipe. 

That's macs for you. These fickle little addictive... things.  

Makes about 12 macarons (24 shells). 

30g almond powder
5g cocoa powder
55g icing sugar 
30g egg whites
15g caster sugar

Sift almond powder, cocoa powder and icing sugar to remove any clumps. 
In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites till peaks are soft. 
Gradually add caster sugar and continue whisking till peaks are just stiff. 
Fold in dry ingredients in 2-3 batches till mixture is glossy and well combined. 

The mixture should be thick and sticky and flows slowly. When you run a knife through the mixture, the line should disappear in 10 seconds. If this happens, you have the right consistency. 
If the line doesn't disappear in 10 seconds, fold the mixture a few more times and test again.
If the line disappears too soon, it means the mixture is too thin or has been overmixed. Folding in more almond powder / icing sugar may help firm up the mixture.  

Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a #11 tip.
Pipe 3cm circles onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. 
The peaks should fall into place and disappear in 10 seconds. 
If a little peak still shows, tap the bottom of the pan a few times. 
Now leave the piped shells to dry for about 30-60 min till a dull crust forms and is no longer tacky. (Touch the shells lightly with your finger. It should not stick to your finger. )

Bake at 140*C for 14-16 min. 
Remove from oven and cool completely on baking sheet before removing. 
If the bottom of the shell still seems wet and a lot of it sticks to the sheet, pop it back in the oven for another minute or so. 

When the shells have completely cooled, fill with melted dark chocolate or nutella. 
It will be hard to resist a bite, but if left to 'mature' in the fridge overnight, it will taste even better the next day. 

Good luck to those who are on the quest for the perfect mac!

There are many many different recipes out there. So which one is THE best?

My conclusion is that there isn't a fool-proof formula. 
Every baker is different and every oven is different. Even egg whites are different!

Your perfect recipe will be different from someone else's. 
This recipe may work for me today, and it may not on another day. 
It may work for me, but may not work for you. 
So if you are a mac fan, keep trying and don't give up. 
Practice makes perfect :)  
And don't forget... even the best bakers have off days. 


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