I've been really busy this week so I haven't had time to bake or blog. I had a bit of spare time yesterday evening and I thought I would participate in Random Recipes hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen. The challenge this month was to count to book number 17 and then pick a random recipe from the book. So I went to my bookshelf and started counting and shook my head in disbelief.
I'm pretty sure Dom and Choclette hatched a plot and secretly counted the books on my shelf when they chose the number 17!! So much for a nice, quick easy bake and an early evening. I was really hoping for a cake or a cookie. Dom - please take note that there was definitely NO cheating involved as I would not have voluntarily picked this book at present given my recent macaron failures. On the bright side, I've obviously never made anything from this book before and one of the great things about this challenge is making use of my ever growing stack of cookbooks so thank you :)
It's a great little book all about macarons. There are pretty pictures and clear instructions with step by step photos. I particularly like the recipes in this book because there is no egg wastage. The egg whites are used for the shells and the egg yolks for the filling. I would say these were a semi-success, far from perfect but I'm glad I tried them again. I particularly liked the filling - I could just eat it on it's own! I think I can now say with confidence that I've conquered my fear of macarons :)
randomly opened to... strawberries & cream ... looks very pretty which makes me even more nervous. Plus, I've run out of strawberry jam so it's raspberries and cream for me
I didn't have any vanilla pods either so I used a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste - smells amazing and you can see the flecks of vanilla seeds if you look closely enough
I'm also sneakily entering this to AlphaBakes even though the deadline has passed as Caroline has generously agreed to add my little macarons to the round up. What are the chances of picking a random recipe that begins with the random letter "M" that we picked for our challenge? It has to be allowed :)
And to Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Lisa from Sweet as Sugar Cookies
For the macaron shells
200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
120 - 125g egg whites (approx 3 egg whites)
a pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod split lengthways (I used vanilla bean paste)
red edible glitter
For the filling
Raspberry jam (original recipe states strawberry jam)
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways (I used vanilla bean paste)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
100ml double cream
- Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds for 30 seconds until thoroughly combined and set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a stiff peak.
- Continue to whisk at medium speed while adding the caster sugar a teaspoonful at a time.
- The mixture should be thick, white and glossy.
- Using a large metal spoon, fold the ground almond and sugar mixture into the egg whits.
- Continue folding until a ribbon-like texture as shown above.
- Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe evenly sized rounds onto a baking sheet (I used a silicone mat which you can buy online here)
- Tap the bottom of the baking sheets sharply, once, on the work surface to expel any large air bubbles.
- Scatter edible glitter on top (I used a small paintbrush which I tapped gently from a height).
- Leave the macarons to rest for about 15 minutes - 1 hour until they have set and formed a dry shell.
- Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Bake the macarons, 1 sheet at a time for about 10 minutes.
- The tops should be crispy and the bottoms dry.
- Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
- To make the filling, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a small heatproof bowl and whisk until combined.
- Heat the milk, along with the vanilla pod (or vanilla bean paste) in a small saucepan until it only just starts to boil.
- Remove from the heat and pour over the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook gently over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard comes to a boil and thickens.
- Strain into a clean bowl, add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave to cool before refrigerating.
- Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and fold into the chilled custard.
- Take one half of the macaron shells and spread about 1/2 teaspoon raspberry jam onto each one.
- Fill a piping bag with the vanilla cream filling and pipe it onto the remaining shells.
- Sandwich together with the jammy macarons and leave to rest for about 30 minutes before serving.