Annnnnnnd I'm back at it!
I loved, let me repeat, I LOVED, ENCHANTÉE by Gita Trelease. It was the right combination of historical and fantasy, and it blew me away. From the rooftops of Paris in a hot air balloon, to an open field just outside the city, to Versailles in magical makeup and glittery gowns, to the top of church towers to steal kisses... I was hooked. I took it with me in February on a trip to Edinburgh, and devoured it over the next 5 days. I almost missed a connecting flight back to Germany, that's how good it is. So when I wanted to create a cookie for it, I went traditional French. I could've done a million things really, but I like a challenge... thus, I went with the macaron. Now, I'm a pro pastry chef but I've never made these before.
My first attempt landed in the trash. I didn't like the recipe, I felt it was too finicky. A few days later, and a little more cautious this time, I used a newer recipe and added a few things. These were the result. The trouble with them, though, is that they require some items you might not have around like: a food processor, a piping bag with a large round tip, almond flour, a sugar thermometer, a kitchen scale, and a stand mixer. If you have these things, then let's go! Also gluten-free friends rejoice, no bothersome gluten here! However, if you have a nut allergy, I'm dreadfully sorry.
(adapted from here)
205g powder sugar
190g ground almond flour
4 egg whites, divided in 2 bowls
pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
pinch of salt
food color paste (I used blue :))))
190g granulated sugar
parchment paper that fits 3-4 European style sheet pans, 2 American style
How to make them:
First, shake your shoulders out and deep breath. Still with me?
Combine powder sugar and almond flour in a food processor and pulse it 16 times (I did 20 because I struggled getting it super fine)
Sift it through a strainer into a large bowl. I really wish I could tell you to skip this step because this is where I struggled with it initially, BUT if you're better than me, and you probably are, this should be easy going.
Once sifted, add two egg whites and mix into a paste.
Add food color paste and mix till properly combined. Set aside and cover it with plastic wrap!
Okay, here's another difficult part bahahaha, sorry. So you need a small saucepan, got one? Alright, let's do this thing.
Add granulated sugar to the saucepan along with the water. Start cooking on medium but do attach a thermometer to the side of it.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the remaining 2 egg whites, a pinch of salt and cream of tartar if you've got it.
When the sugar syrup reaches 110ºC, start beating the egg whites on medium. They'll be getting nice and frothy. By the time this happens, your sugar syrup should be around 118º. TAKE IT OFF.
In a slow and steady stream, pour the sugar syrup into the beating egg whites until it's gone. Set the hot pan aside and let the egg whites whip for abut 5 minutes until it's room temperature. It's now a meringue, YAYYY!
And now onto the other hard part hehe, fold in a scoop of your meringue into the paste mixture. Do it gently till it's combined. Then fold in the rest of the meringue, careful not to knock the air out of the meringue. When it ribbons from your spatula and sits on top of itself, you're good!
Now for the easy part. With a piping bag fitted with a nice round tip and filled with the mixture, pipe about 2 teaspoon circles OR (and this makes it easier) print out sheets of macaron templates and place it beneath your parchment paper. They spread a little but not that much.
Let them sit for about an hour until the top is no longer wet to touch. If it is, they will crack a bit :((
Bake them at 165ºC for about 12 minutes. I messed mine up and cooked them at 125ºC because I didn't read the recipe correctly and I'm a wee bit ill. Don't make my mistake!
Let them cool for 15 minutes and fill with jam or whatever you like. I don't love buttercream, but I love jam and ganache, so that would work here and taste really fresh!!
I made a very basic icing for the flag out of 2 cups powdered sugar with 1 Tablespoon of butter, and a little dribble of milk until it's your desired consistency!! Do what you like here.
ANNNNNND ENJOY!! YIPEEE!
Any books you'd like me to do next time??? Leave your comments below. And thank you all so much for reading and baking with me :)