after the macaron masterclass i went to last month, i couldn't wait to try my hand at some homemade macarons whilst the tips and tricks were still fresh in my mind. as i had some sugar and crumbs coffee flavoured icing sugar left over, an idea sprung to mind for some cappuccino macarons filled with expresso creme patissiere.
(makes twelve macarons)
for the coffee flavoured macarons
♥ two egg whites (preferably 2-3 days old)
♥ 100g icing sugar
♥ 60g ground almonds, sieved
♥ 60g caster sugar
♥ coffee flavouring or a teaspoon of fine coffee powder
♥ a sprinkle of cocoa
for the expresso creme pat filling
♥ two egg yolks
♥ 60g caster sugar
♥ 250ml milk
♥ 100ml double cream
♥ 20g plain flour or cornflour
♥ 1/2 tsp expresso powder
preheat your oven to 150 degrees c.
begin by whisking the egg whites until it resembles foamy bubbles. you can do this by hand but will take a lot longer and a very strong arm! gradually pour in the caster sugar whilst whisking.
this will soon form firm white peaks with a slight gloss to them.
next add in the ground almonds and icing sugar. if you don't have flavoured icing sugar, add a little bit of fine coffee to the icing sugar beforehand and stir though thoroughly. this said, most traditional fresh macarons are actually left plain and the flavouring is created through the filling, so no worries if you let the filling do the talking.
you ready to find out some tips i learnt? for this part, do a figure of eight motion very quickly in the bowl, scooping as much dry mix as possible to reduce the amount of time this takes.
never pat the mix with the spatula as this will make it go flat. it is ready when the mixture drizzles like a ribbon and has a glossy shine to it. as you can imagine, this was very difficult to photograph... but i hope you get the idea.
fill a piping bag and swing it around (at your own risk) a bit to push the mixture to the end of the nozzle. secure with a knot or band, then snip the top 180 degrees across - not at an angle.
i should probably say at this point, get your baking tray ready before snipping your piping bag. another top tip is using dashes of macaron mix to stick the paper to the tray, as they cook better when this is completely flat.
with the nozzle upright and as close to your eyeline as possible (think telescope) pipe even shells across the tray. try and do as many as possible without bringing the bag back up and remember the macarons shells will grow in the oven.
sprinkle with cocoa and bake for 15 minutes, without opening the oven. meanwhile make the expresso filling.
place the milk and expresso powder in a pan and bring to the boil. i always use these pods as they are great for when you just need a little for cooking.
stir together the egg yolks, caster sugar and flour. once the milk is boiling, add it little by little to the egg yolk mixture. then return to the pan and whisk, whisk, whisk on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. it will gently come back to the boil.
whip up the double cream in a separate bowl, and then whisk together with the coffee mix. we learnt that if it splits, you simply add a tiny drop of milk and beat - our rhubarb and custard cream happened to split in the class and this actually worked!
allow your macarons and the filling to cool.
if your macarons are anything like mine (i.e. rustic) you might want to match up the smallest shells with smallest and largest with the largest. next, in the same way you piped the shells, pipe the filling on one side. instead of pushing down here, use a gentle twisting motion to make the mix spread out in the middle.
what do you think? definitely a work in progress but i'm already dreaming up new flavours. plus i have some green food colouring so pistachio will be a must! practice makes perfect... and means more macarons to sample :)
have you ever made macarons? what are your top tips?