Week 13: Pistachio macarons

After 6 unsuccessful attempts at making macaron shells (and many, many frozen egg yolks in my freezer), I have finally gave in and signed up for a macaron class. I was a little apprehensive about classes because I always thought I’d end up doing something really stupid, seeing I have zero formal training in the kitchen.

Thankfully, the class was conducted by this uber cool pastry chef, who was trained in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and she assured me that once I know the right technique, I will have no problems at all. I was a little worried at first as we had to make everything by hand – I have never beaten egg whites by hand before. But, the chef was right! Even before my batch of macaron shells were baked, the other trainees in the class oohed and ahhed about how nice they were. And when they were out from the oven, it was perfect! With feet! And delicious too.

Makes about a dozen

INGREDIENT

60 grams ground almond

110 grams icing sugar

50 grams egg white

4 grams egg white powder

14 grams sugar

DIRECTION

1) Sieve almond powder and icing sugar together

2) In another bowl mix together dry egg white and granulated sugar

3) Whisk the egg white until foamy and does not flow when bowl is tilted

4) Add in half of the sugar / egg white powder mixture

5) Add in coloring at this stage if using

6) Continue whisking until soft peaks and add in the rest of the sugar / egg white powder mixture

7) Meringue is ready when a firm peak holds it shape when whisk is lifted

8) Add half of the almond powder mixture and roughly fold into the meringue

9) Add the rest of the mixture, folding and pressing out the air

10) Stop mixing when batter is shiny and flows like magma

11) Fill pastry bag with a round tip (about 1cm in diameter) and pipe onto silicon mat

12) You may use a stencil, placed beneath the mat to ensure uniform sized macaron shells

13) Hit the tray on the table top once to remove air and get a smooth top. Bursting any large air bubbles with a toothpick

14) At this point you may sprinkle on salt, cocoa powder, decorations, etc.

15) Leave batter out to dry. It is ready when macaroons don’t stick to fingers when touched

16) Bake at 150C for 10 to 12 mins, turning the tray halfway through baking time

17) Check if it’s done by moving the top of the macaron shell, it should barely move

18) Transfer the mat onto a cooling rack and remove wheels carefully when cooled

Now, if I can only replicate my success at home…

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