Angelique in Paris, Jeff and I have said that the best
possible macaron is mandarin. That's because we ordered a small plate of macarons to have with our hot chocolate. One of them was mandarin, and it was the most delicious thing imaginable.
So today's macarons were made with a recipe adapted from Pierre Herme (the one I got given at my cooking class at La Cuisine).
Want the recipe? I'll write it down so I can remember what I did too.
Whites of three egg whites (this made 90g of egg white for me)
120g almond meal
120g icing sugar
Orange food colour (gel style)
100g white chocolate
Just under 100ml cream
Zest and juice all the mandarins.
Heat the strained juice slowly and reduce to about a tablespoonful of liquid awesomeness.
Top up the juice with cream, to make 100ml. Heat til bubbling. Pour over the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until it turns into the best ganache ever.
Sift together the almond, icing sugar and zest. I'm assuming you have fine zest. If it doesn't like going through the sifter, stir it in instead.
Put some gel food colour and HALF the egg white into the almond mix. Stir it all up.
Beat the other half of the egg whites ntil it forms soft peaks. Meanwhile, heat the water and sugar without stirring. Bring it up to 118C. Trickle the hot syrup onto the still-being-beaten egg whites. Keep beating until the mix is about 50C.
Mix the meringue (you can call it Italian meringue now) into the almond mix, starting with a little bit at a time. Be thorough each time you add more. Keep stirring until it reaches some mysterious stage I've never been able to recognise. I just stir a bit.
Pipe out little circles, about the size of a macaron, onto trays with baking paper. Leave some room between them - no so much for spreading, but more for easy handling.
Ignore them for a while. They need to dry on their tops a bit.
Preheat the oven. I went for 160C, static baking (ie no fan), but when I checked the thermometer in the oven it was way hotter, so I turned it right down to 120C. I baked for 11 minutes at that temperature, one tray at a time, and basically, it should have been a bit hotter. Some came out great, some were too wet inside, and it shows. The ones in the photo are the great ones!
Cool them right down, and fill with ganache.
Leave for 24 hours in a sealed container in the fridge. Before eating time, get them back to room temperature.
At this stage we are unlikely to do all of the last step.
2 hours ago