Sunday, August 10, 2014

Macarons with Lemon and White Chocolate Ganache Filling

A few weeks ago Mr B and I were sent a packet of passionfruit flavoured macaron mix to try.

Macarons have been on my 'must bake' list for a long time but to be honest I've been avoiding them - for a cute little snack they are very intimidating!

Anyway I thought seeing as we had now been given this mix to try that was as good a place to start as any and on the upside, if something went wrong, we hadn't lost anything.

As anticipated, something went wrong.

I'm not sure what but I don't think I mixed the egg whites and the almond meal enough because I ended up with these lumpy flat horrible little macarons with a very artificial passionfruit flavour.

Now when I said earlier that if they went wrong it would be OK because we hadn't lost anything? Well that's not exactly how it worked out because by now I was hooked. I knew what I had done wrong and damn it I was going to make macarons. So at 6pm on a cold wintery Sunday night I dragged Mr B to the supermarket in search of almond meal - that's right, we were attempting another batch and we were making these babies from scratch.

And do you know what?

Not only did they work out perfectly but they were ah-mazing!

Reason no. 5679 why you should always make things yourself instead of using a packet mix!

Macarons with Lemon and White Chocolate Ganache Filling 

4 large egg whites (or 5 small) 140g
1/3 cup or 70g caster sugar
1 1/2 cups or 230g pure icing sugar
1 cup or 120g almond meal
2g salt (tiny pinch)
gel food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 150C

Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on you mixer.  If you are using gel or powdered food colouring add now and continue to mix for a further 20 seconds.

Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and pipeable - not runny. Over-mix and your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.

Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, rap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick).

Once your macarons have cooled, arrange them into even sized pairs. Top one half of each pair with roughly 1 tspn of your chosen filling and sandwich together. To fill your macarons you can use jam and cream, buttercream, ganache, lemon curd, the possibilities are endless!

Ours kept in an airtight container in the cupboard for 2-3 weeks.

Lemon and White Chocolate Ganache 
1/4 cup thickened cream
150g white chocolate chopped coarsely
1/4 cup lemon juice

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until completely smooth.

Add lemon juice to taste (you want to be able to taste the lemon, don’t let the chocolate be overpowering).

Place in the fridge for roughly an hour or until cool and spreadable.


Mrs B xx

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