Just recently I found an old travel notebook. During a trip to Paris two years ago, I had written in the middle of the notebook – THINGS TO DO… I’m not sure what exactly prompted me to do so but I had written three things.
- Make the perfect macaron
- Get my driver’s license
- Save money
Well, two years later, two out of three ain’t bad! I recently passed my driving exam after over seven months of weekly driving lessons (let me tell you, it’s a struggle to get out of bed on a Saturday morning at 7:00 am to take a driving lesson!) and after my fifth attempt, I FINALLY passed! The feeling of getting my license was indescribable! Half of me was thinking it “Do I really deserve this?” and half of me was thinking “He is going to take it back in a second or two!!”. And the whole of me was thinking it was one of the happiest days of my life.
So it was only fitting that my next post would be about the French Macaron. Again, the Macaron is one of those creatures that I obsessed about for years before I was finally happy with them. To give you an example of the lengths I went through:
- Attending a macaron making class in Paris – IN FRENCH – when I don’t speak a word of the language (waste of money as the instructor’s macarons did not even rise)
- Getting a friend to attend a macaron class in Singapore so I could get the recipe off her – lots of good tips but really seeing someone make it in person is very different – plus I find the Italian method too fiddly.
- Flying to Melbourne to attend another macaron making class – TOTALLY WORTH IT. The school I went to was called Savour.
- Buying various macaron books (I have three written in French) and attempting to translate them using google translator just to learn “secrets” of macaron making
So many egg whites, almond meals, and tears later here they are! I still remember the first time my macarons rose and I saw feet. It was like passing the driving test!
For a comprehensive listing of macaron tips check out the website of David Lebovitz. Really, there are so many resources on the internet today compared to years ago but if you do feel like you are struggling with your own macarons please do drop me a note and I will do my best to help!
Here is the recipe I used:
- 250 grams almond meal
- 300 grams icing sugar (not icing mixture)
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 200 grams egg whites (from around 6 eggs)
- In a food processor grind the almond meal and icing sugar for around 5 minutes until very finely ground.
- Place the egg whites in an electric mixer and whip the whites until soft peaks
- Add the sugar, 50 grams at a time while the egg whites are being beaten.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks.
- Fold the ground almond meal mixture into the egg white mixture in three additions until fully amalgamated.
- Pipe on to baking trays which have been lined with baking paper. Note: If you are using food colouring, add it now.
- Let the macarons dry for around 30 minutes until the “shells” are dry.
- Bake in a pre heated fan forced oven (150c) for 15 minutes.
White Chocolate Ganache
- 400 grams white chocolate
- 200 ml cream
- Chop the white chocolate into even pieces (the smaller the better) and place in a bowl.
- Heat the cream until it starts to boil.
- Pour the cream into the bowl of chocolate and let rest for 1 minute.
- With a rubber spatula, mix the ganache fully.
- Cool and let it set in the refrigerator (around 1 hour)
To assemble: Fill each macaron with the white chocolate ganache.
Okay – here’s the very last picture if you actually managed to read through this whole post. It is a common sight in the Philippines to see parents hang their children’s diplomas on the walls of the house – as if like a very valuable painting. I guess in part because are proud of their children’s achievements. I’ve never really been a fan – BUT when I received THIS in the mail one day – I could not resist but framing it!