Vanilla and Cardamom Macaron

I love macaron’s, a bite of pure pleasure, every texture, and they can be whatever flavour you allow your imagination to run away with. Beautiful enough to be gifts, but they can be tricky little things to make, and believe me I have had a few ugly results. However even the ugliest are still edible even if they can’t be a present for someone!

For those willing to give it a go its a potentially very rewarding bake, just a little patience and attention to detail required. Here, I have used the French meringue method but the Swiss & Italian methods, are reportedly easier and I’m sure recipes are easy to come by.

The recipe is adapted from Adriano Zumbos book Zumbarons, who is expert in the macaron.
Getting equipment ready beforehand is essential. You will need 2 large baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper. (Ideally the baking sheets should be doubled up to give the most even results).

Meringue:
90g ground almonds
90g icing sugar
1tsp cardamom powder
75g egg whites (at room temperature)
125g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla paste or essence

In one bowl sift the icing sugar, cardamom and ground almonds. Then, whisk egg whites until just foaming then add a teaspoon of vanilla, and a third of the caster sugar, keep beating add another third, then when egg whites are quite stiff add the rest of the sugar.
Continue to beat until soft peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without any meringue falling out. Now carefully fold it through the almond mixture. Transfer to a piping bag.
Pipe rounds of the mixture onto your baking sheets, 3-4 cm across depending on how big you like them and make sure leave plenty of room between them as they do spread.
Tap the baking sheets to release air , and then leave them out for 30 mins in the air to form a skin on top.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C fan and bake for 11-12 mins sometimes they take slightly longer depending on your oven. Leave for a few minutes before peeling them off the baking paper and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ganache Filling:

60g whipping cream
1tap vanilla paste or essence
1tsp cardamom powder
95g white chocolate
30g butter

In a saucepan put the cream, vanilla & cardamom, bring it to the boil.
Put the chocolate into a bowl, then pour on the heated cream stir until smooth. Cool the mixture until warm, ideally until 50c in temperature.
Add the butter chopped up, stir until melted, (if cooled too much blitz until blended together). Cool completely, then put in a piping bag and fill and put together your macaron. Voila!
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