This is my very first attempt at making macarons. I've never even eaten a macaron before. Do you mind if I become a little obsessed?
adapted from Jose Marechal's Secrets of Macarons
Makes about 30
For the Macarons:
150g almond meal
50g Digestive biscuits (or graham cracker) blitzed in a food processor to fine crumbs
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
2 x 80g egg whites (We will be using them separately.)
50g dark chocolate, chopped and melted for drizzling
For the Marshmallow Filling:
1/2 cup icing sugar
115g butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Marshmallow Fluff
Make the Macarons:
Line two or three large baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.
Put the almond meal, icing sugar and biscuits/cracker crumbs in a food processor and process to break up any lumps, and mix thoroughly. Sift into a large bowl. Discard any larger bits that didn't go through the sieve (there should only be a very small amount, if any). Set aside
Put the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan, pop in a sugar thermometer and bring to the boil. Do not stir. We are making a syrup. This syrup shouldn't go above 115 degrees C.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks at low speed. Increase the speed to medium when the syrup approaches 105 degrees C. When it reaches 115 degrees C, remove it from the heat and gently pour it into the beaten egg whites in a thin stream. Continue to beat the meringue for 10 minutes. It will cool and become ravishingly glossy.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the remaining (unbeaten) egg white. Mix with a spatula to make a smooth paste.
Take one third of the meringue and mix it into the almond paste. Add the rest of the mixture and work it into the batter until it becomes a thick ribbon texture.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 8mm round tip with the batter and pipe out small circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottom of the sheets and set them aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to form a crust.
Bake for about 14 minutes. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before peeling them off and setting them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Marshmallow Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and icing sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the Marshmallow Fluff and beat briefly to combine.
Assemble the Macarons:
Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip with the Marshmallow filling and pipe a small about onto the bottoms of half of the macarons. Top with the other half of the macarons, creating a delicious pixie-sized sandwich. Place them on a baking paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with melted dark chocolate.