When you reach the point of mistaking your bathroom soap bar for a macaron, I think it’s serious. And when your boyfriend confesses the same thing happened to him, then you understand that you have hit the bottom. Besides, after an intensive 3-day of macaronage, pochage and croûtage to the extreme attempt, I guess it is quite normal. Heavenly, devilish, little, sweet macaron. How could you resist the temptation? Not that of eating them, though, but rather that of succeeding in the mission of taking out of the oven those smooth and colourful shells, as perfect as a kiss.
Ingredients for 40 macaron of 3cm
- almond powder, 200g
- icing sugar, 200g
- sugar, 200g
- egg whites (3-4 days old), 2 x 80g (1 white = ca 30g)
- raspberry jam, 1 pot
- water, 7,5cl
- red food colorant (liquid if you wish to obtain a subtle colour, in paste if you wish to obtain a stronger colour)
- electric beater
- soft silicon palette knife
- sac-à-poche with 8mm opening
- perfectly straight baking tin
- silicon non-stick oven carpet
- thermometer for sugar (up to 200°C)
- precision digital scale
1. The TPT (tant pour tant): mixer icing sugar and almond powder in a blender, then sift accurately.
2. The syrup: in a small pot, put water and sugar and, without giving a stir, bring to a boil not over a temperature of 115° (approximately 10 minutes). If you don’t have a thermometer, take a little syrup with the tip of a teaspoon, dip it into cold water and feel the syrup between your index and thumb: if, while opening your fingers, the syrup makes a thin trickle, it means you have reached the temperature.
3. The Italian meringue: firmly whip 80g of egg whites. When the syrup is ready, let it drizzle into the whites, while continuing to whip for another 10 minutes.
4. The almond paste: in a bowl, mix the TPT together with the rest of the non-whipped egg whites and the food colorant, until you get a smooth and even paste. If you use liquid food colorant, consider that, compared to the colour you see in the paste, the macaron will be of a much lighter colour. To obtain the result you see in the picture, the paste has to be raspberry pink.
5. The macaronage: with a soft silicon palette knife, incorporate 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to soften it. Then add the rest of the meringue, working from the side of the bowl to the centre and from the bottom of the bow upwards. Do not overwork or you won’t get the typical collar during cooking.
6. The pochage: put the silicon pad over the baking tin and fill the sac-à-poche with the mixture. Wrap the sac-à-poche, keep the opening with your left hand and make a slight but firm pressure on the bag with your right hand, keeping the sac-à-poche in a vertical position compared to the tin. Make several disks 2,5cm big, keeping them quite distanced one another as they will expand eventually. You don’t need to “draw” the circles, just press by keeping the bag vertical at a distance of 1cm from the tin.
7. The croûtage: let your macaron shells rest out of the oven for at least 30 minutes. This phase is extremely important as it creates a resistant coat on the surface which will prevent the shells from cracking while baking.
8. Bake: in a preheated oven at 145-150° (the temperature might slightly vary from oven to oven), for 14 minutes.
9. Take out of the oven: put the tin over a wet cloth, in order to create a thermal shock which will help detach the shells from the pad once they will be cold.
10. Assemble: very carefully detach the shells from the pad. Fill the sac-à-poche with raspberry jam and press in the middle of the shell. Put the other shell over the jam and press very slightly. Once assembled, store in the fridge for about 1 hour before serving. For further details, I suggest the book “Macaron” by José Maréchal, Bibliotheca Culinaria editions.