Friday, 30 March 2012

Raspberries and Cream Macarons



I've been really busy this week so I haven't had time to bake or blog. I had a bit of spare time yesterday evening and I thought I would participate in Random Recipes hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen.  The challenge this month was to count to book number 17 and then pick a random recipe from the book. So I went to my bookshelf and started counting and shook my head in disbelief. 


 

I'm pretty sure Dom and Choclette hatched a plot and secretly counted the books on my shelf when they chose the number 17!! So much for a nice, quick easy bake and an early evening. I was really hoping for a cake or a cookie.  Dom - please take note that there was definitely NO cheating involved as I would not have voluntarily picked this book at present given my recent macaron failures.  On the bright side, I've obviously never made anything from this book before and one of the great things about this challenge is making use of my ever growing stack of cookbooks so thank you :) 

It's a great little book all about macarons. There are pretty pictures and clear instructions with step by step photos. I particularly like the recipes in this book because there is no egg wastage.  The egg whites are used for the shells and the egg yolks for the filling. I would say these were a semi-success, far from perfect but I'm glad I tried them again. I particularly liked the filling - I could just eat it on it's own! I think I can now say with confidence that I've conquered my fear of macarons :)

 randomly opened to... strawberries & cream ... looks very pretty which makes me even more nervous. Plus, I've run out of strawberry jam so it's raspberries and cream for me

 I didn't have any vanilla pods either so I used a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste - smells amazing and you can see the flecks of vanilla seeds if you look closely enough

 you are supposed to mix to a ribbon like texture... so far so good.... 

 Glitter makes everything better

 A skin formed - honestly! 

 I couldn't resist peeking into the oven... looks good :) 

 ta-da! 

 look there's feet!! 


 whisking egg yolks, sugar and cornflour... 

 to make a custard like filling...

 ready for the fillings

 jam on one side, custard-cream filling on the other 



 mini macs just because everything looks better in miniature form!

 I'm so super proud of myself!! :) 



I'm also sneakily entering this to AlphaBakes even though the deadline has passed as Caroline has generously agreed to add my little macarons to the round up. What are the chances of picking a random recipe that begins with the random letter "M" that we picked for our challenge? It has to be allowed :)


 And to Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Lisa from Sweet as Sugar Cookies



Recipe from Macarons by Annie Rigg, published by Ryland Peters & Small, photography by Kate Whitaker - reproduced with kind permission from the publisher (with minor edits from me in the method section)

For the macaron shells

200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
120 - 125g egg whites (approx 3 egg whites)
a pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod split lengthways (I used vanilla bean paste)
red edible glitter

For the filling


Raspberry jam (original recipe states strawberry jam)
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
250ml milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways (I used vanilla bean paste)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
100ml double cream


  • Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and set aside. 
  • Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a stiff peak. 
  • Continue to whisk at medium speed while adding the caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time.
  • The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold the ground almond and sugar mixture into the egg whits. 
  • Continue folding until a ribbon-like texture as shown above. 
  • Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe evenly sized rounds onto a baking sheet (I used a silicone mat which you can buy online here)
  • Tap the bottom of the baking sheets sharply, once, on the work surface to expel any large air bubbles.
  • Scatter edible glitter on top (I used a small paintbrush which I tapped gently from a height).
  • Leave the macarons to rest for about 15 minutes - 1 hour until they have set and formed a dry shell. 
  • Preheat the oven to 170C. 
  • Bake the macarons, 1 sheet at a time for about 10 minutes.
  • The tops should be crispy and the bottoms dry. 
  • Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

  • To make the filling, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a small heatproof bowl and whisk until combined. 
  • Heat the milk, along with the vanilla pod (or vanilla bean paste) in a small saucepan until it only just starts to boil.
  • Remove from the heat and pour over the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. 
  • Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook gently over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard comes to a boil and thickens.
  • Strain into a clean bowl, add the butter and stir until the butter has melted. 
  • Cover with clingfilm and leave to cool before refrigerating. 
  • Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and fold into the chilled custard. 

  • Take one half of the macaron shells and spread about 1/2 teaspoon raspberry jam onto each one. 
  • Fill a piping bag with the vanilla cream filling and pipe it onto the remaining shells. 
  • Sandwich together with the jammy macarons and leave to rest for about 30 minutes before serving. 


50 comments:

  1. These turned out really well! Did they come off the macaron mat more easily this time, and if so did you do anything differently?
    One problem I had was that my filling was runnier than expected, you need it to be quite firm - how did yours turn out?

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    1. Some still stuck to the mat. It was a different recipe and the smaller ones were easier to get off the mat. My filling was quite runny too but tasted delicious!

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  2. You should be super proud! these look completely amazing!! I think it was fate that you landed on your macaron book because second time round has clearly turned you into a macaron pro! Not only do they look beautiful, and I love the glitter too! but the flavour combination sounds delicious! I applaud your honesty...I would have totally cheated and picked book 18 or 16 or something!

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    1. Thanks! I really couldnt believe my eyes and was sooo tempted to cheat! I do feel extremely proud and am telling anyone and everyone that will listen about my little success :)

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  3. Wha beautiful macarons look perfect!!

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  4. Well it must have been fate as you've certainly done brilliantly with these. Love the glitter as well! I'll have to give that a go next time! :D

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    1. I think it was definitely fated (is that even a proper word?!) I'm definitely using the glitter again if I attempt macarons again!

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  5. I'd be more than happy to make macarons that look this good!

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    1. Thank you... they don't always look like this!

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  6. I'm really impressed with your dedication!!! The macaroons look fab too, they're very regular...did you use a mat or are you amazing at piping or both??? :-)

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    1. Thanks I felt I had to accept the challenge but its nowhere near as amazing as your teapot cake. I used a macaron mat :) the ones that I piped freehand were a little more oval than round!

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  7. Wow, I think I would have chickened out or cheated if that book had been my no.17. I think my macaron phobia is even bigger than my scone phobia - well done, yours look fabulous.

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    1. Trust me I was tempted to give up and go to bed but I decided to soldier on. You should not be afraid of scones - try it :)

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  8. you are my random recipes hero!... You should have a giant medal to wear with pride!... I love you for doing this, it's genius... thank you so much for not cheating and being so honest... I would SO have just cried and gone to bed!... thank you for taking part and making it all so wonderful xx

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    1. Thanks for *cough* inspiring me Dom! I will admit to murderous thoughts initially but I'm so pleased with how they turned out. I am happily boasting to everyone and anyone that will listen. Look forward to April's challenge x

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  9. I agree with Dom - you're an inspiration and I know I would have chickened out if this had been my recipe. And I would have been REALLY pissed at Choclette! ;)

    But I think these macarons look pretty darn perfect to me. I love the filling combination... Yay for success and you truly are a fearless baker!

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    1. Poor Choclette - getting all the blame! I did almost chicken out but decided to accept the challenge and am so so so pleased that they turned out well. Thanks for your kind words and support :)

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  10. Beautiful! I think I would have picked out another book :)

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    1. Thanks! trust me the temptation was very strong :)

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  11. Wow, well done. I still haven't plucked up courage to make macarons.

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    1. Thanks! It's taken me more than a year to pluck up the courage so I don't blame you :)

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  12. You should be proud these are great!! Also glitter definitely makes everything better :)

    Nom! X

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    1. Thanks! I am so happy and proud and yes glitter definitely makes everything better :)

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  13. These are TRULY wonderful and WELL DONE for making them too! LOVELY flavours and colours!

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    1. Thanks Karen! They were absolutely delicious and I'm so pleased with how they turned out :)

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  14. I'm so impressed- goodness it must have been a very late night for you! I love the addition of the glitter too- how sparkly and sensational do they look?

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    1. It was very late indeed, into the wee hours of the morning! So pleased with the final results and the glitter really elevated it :)

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  15. They look great - good on you for taking on the challenge - looks like you've succeded spectacularly!

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    1. Thanks! It was definitely a challenge!!

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  16. Nicely done. I love the sound of the filling. I haven't made macarons for a few years but you've got me thinking that I should make some more.

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    1. The filling was really good! They are quite time consuming to make but everyone loves them :)

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  17. I've never tried macarons before (well - making them, that is!). Living in France I can get good ones in abundance but it's still something I really want to try but I hear such horror stories about the difficulty of these dainty little things - makes me quite scared, but yours look fabulous. Where did you get your macaron mat from? I'll have to try and pick one up and then give them a go for myself!

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    1. It took me more than a year to try making them myself as I was put off by horror stories and I have a few of my own to add! I bought the macaron mat online but I've seen it at Lakeland too.

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  18. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:
    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2012/03/seafood-crab-salad-show-your-stuff-17.html

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    1. Thanks for the invite. I'll add these to the list :)

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  19. I am so thrilled that you were able to link up to Sweets for a Saturday. Those macarons look amazing. I'll be learning how to make macarons in a class next week and hope mine will come out as nice as yours. Thanks for linking up and I hope you'll join in again.

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    1. Thanks for hosting and I'll definitely be there again as I make a lot of sweet stuff! Have fun at your macaron class :)

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  20. AWESOME! (: I love love love seeing the feet when making macarons at home. I would be dancing with joy and like you, i wouldn't be able to resist peeping into the oven when the shells are baking! hehe I LOVE the glitter, it sure does make everything better and prettier, might I add!

    I'm sure these were delicious! Sure look divine!

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    1. It was definitely very exciting seeing the feet!! They were very tasty indeed and quite moreish - it was difficult to stop at just one!

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  21. Its really mouth watering.I will often come by here to know more recipe listing.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll find some suitable recipes to try :)

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  22. I feel so bad for not being able to participate in last month's Alphabakes but I promise to participate this month woo hoo :D macarons are definitely one of my favourite cookies ~ I was wondering if anyone would make them for the alphabakes last month hehe too bad i'm not talented enough to make them :D

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    1. Don't feel bad, there's always another month! Well I ended up making them twice... not by choice but am glad that I did. Now I know I can make them :)

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  23. I should read from the older posts first - these macs look great I must have misread the last post - oh well it is late. You did it!

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    1. The first attempt was disastrous! These were much better. So pleased I finally produced something resembling a macaron!

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  24. Looking good ! I'd say a very well done.

    That filling sounds yummy.

    Baking on the mat takes a little bit of getting used to. If the little ones came off the mat easily after cooling and are still chewy in the middle, I'd say they're done.

    The big ones sound like they could have done with a bit longer. When you get the timing just right, they all come off easily.

    Also worth having a go at the Italian meringue method. Creates a less fragile shell and seems to keep longer (if you can resist not eating them !)

    You've got lovely smooth tops - so your attention to grinding the icing sugar and almonds paid off :-)

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    1. Hi Sarah

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. Your macarons look perfect so I shall aspire to them! I think I just need more practice and working out the timings. I may even consider the Italian meringue method (eeek!)

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