Prep 15 mins
Cook 6 hrs
From a French cookbook called '30 recettes de macarons'- they're real French macaroons, the little melt-in-the-mouth ones you can get from patisseries rather than the more cakey, cookie-like ones made from coconut. I'm working in France at the moment and took the opportunity to collect French recipes, lol, this one looks amazing and I can't wait to make it for my dad, he loves this sort of thing. My French friend made them when I went round to her flat and they looked so impressive (I haven't tried them because I don't like cream but everyone else loved them). From previous experience of French macaroons, they're quite tricky to make but really worth the effort. The books gives a few tips: separate the white from the yolks a couple of days before use (keep refrigerated), use a fan oven if possible, weigh all the ingredients carefully before starting. Cooking time includes cooling/setting time. Hope you like the recipe!
- 3 egg whites
- 100 g ground almonds
- 100 g icing sugar
- 100 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 20 g caster sugar, extra (superfine)
For the creme
- 200 ml double cream (Heavy cream in U.S.A.)
- 2 egg yolks
- 30 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the original recipe says a pinch of powdered vanilla but I don't know where to get that, unless it m)
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling on top
- One hour before starting, take the egg whites out of the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcuis.
- Mix the icing sugar, caster sugar and ground almonds in a blender until they form a fine powder.
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of caster (superfine) sugar until they form soft peaks, then when it begins to look 'moussey' (not sure how to translate "commence a mousser"), add 20g of sugar and whisk until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Tip the egg white mixture into the almond mixture and and fold (the recipes says "macaronnez", I don't think that's translatable!) together using a spatula until they form a smooth paste but be careful not to let them become liquidy.
- Using a 8mm piping bag, pipe little mounds (about 60) of the mixture on a greased baking sheet, spacing them about 3-4cm apart.
- Leave in the oven for 12-14 minutes, being careful not to let them brown too much. After that time, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool before decorating. Turn the oven down to 90 degrees Celcius.
- While they're cooling, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until they become pale.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cream with the vanilla until it thickens slightly, then tip it into the egg yolk mixture. Mix together gently so it doesn't turn into a mousse.
- Pour the creme into a greased flan or pie dish measuring about 18cm (7-8 inches) and place in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. After that time, leave it to cool for an hour, then place it in the fridge to set for at least four hours.
- When you're ready to serve (finally!), take the creme out of the fridge and stamp out discs the same size as the macaroons, and place on the flat side of one macaroon. Sprinkle with demerera sugar and caramelize using a blow torch, then place on a small tea plate, placing another macaroon flat side down on one edge as a 'lid' to make 30 macaroons.
- I promise you it's worth the effort! They look really impressive, but it made me realize how hard French patissiers must work.