These tricky little suckers again – macarons!
Whenever I post that I’m making a new batch of these, the likes and comments rocket. It seems your enthusiasm for these almond meringues sandwiched with ganache is not extinguishing anytime soon.
I do get it – they can be made in pretty much any flavour combination and colour you like, and the fiddly nature of the bake means they lend themselves to special occasions like birthday parties or to be packaged up beautifully as wedding favours.
Hungry Hubby’s colleague who we call Doogs was the guy I should really thank for sparking off the macaron thing I have going on as if it hadn’t been for him asking me to make some for his wife, I’d never have been spurred on to perfect my recipes for them and get invited to Iced Jems to teach how to make them last year.
Which will go down as one of the best days baking I’ve ever had! When Doogs asked for another batch to accommodate the tastes of his family, children and adults alike, it was these Neapolitan Macarons that I came up with.
My basic method remains the same for this new recipe and I can’t recommend reading this post about my Chocolate Macarons enough so you have an overview of how to make them before you start. In general, macarons are fussy little buggers but and now here comes a bit claim, I’ve only had one duff batch made with this recipe and the blame there lies in using fresh egg whites which were the only thing I did differently.
(P.s. I find if you use eggs which are at the expiration date, especially supermarket ones, you can get away without ageing them in the fridge or freezer first – they are likely to be a few weeks old by then in any case).
What I am doing is gradually upping the cocoa content of the chocolate shells to see how chocolatey I can make them before it starts to affect the texture. Note how the chocolate shells have a larger frill than the plain ones; it definitely alters the chemistry of the mac but you will be totally safe with the amounts stated. The winning combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry is hard to beat and if you can’t get enough Neapolitan in your life, try my Neapolitan Biccies too.
Further macaron making tips:
- Make sure you process your ground almonds with the sugar and cocoa for a full minute and if need be after sieving, process any bits too large to got through the sieve without forcing them.
- I’ve now trialled Lakeland’s magic liners for my baking trays (which are many years old now and are the best option in my opinion), flexible silicone macaron mats from Iced Jems and baking parchment from both Home Bargains and Sainsbury’s and can report they all work with little or no stickage.
- Make your ganache first and leave it in the fridge until it is as thick as toothpaste so you can pipe it without too much mess! And don’t be tempted to add extra cream – you want it thicker than a traditional ganache.