Call me crazy; I went for it. The notorious macaron. I had just finished a massive RSS reading stint and had an itch I needed to scratch. That itch was alleviated by one www.pastrypal.com and her Master the Macaron walkthrough, so the credit for the recipe goes to her.
First, I made the buttercream filling. Start with powdered and granulated sugar, egg whites, butter, salt, and vanilla.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. At the same time, put the granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat to 250ºF. Once the sugary eggs are fully whipped up, drizzle in the heated syrup while the mixer is still going. Get the peaks as stiff as you can, then start adding in the butter in pats.
After the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla and whip the buttercream to a thick, spreadable consistency. You can store the buttercream icing in the refrigerator until you want to use it; just remember to give it time to thaw before piping.
Next, I turned my attention to the dreaded macarons. Egg whites, granulated and powdered sugar, and almond meal at the ready!
Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar into a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and add the granulated sugar so that the mixture gets a sheen. THIS MUST BE BEATEN TO STIFF PEAKS OR YOU WILL FAIL. Srsly. Do it. Add in half of the dry ingredients and fold in just until incorporated; then spoon that into the remaining dry ingredients and fold until homogenous. Pipe this mixture onto parchment paper on baking sheets in nickel- to quarter-size dollops.
Let these rest at room temperature, uncovered, for 30-90 minutes until the dollops form a dry skin on their tops. Pop them in the oven for around 15-17 minutes until the discs form little feet and are fairly hard on the outside.
Once the macaron halves are completely cooled, you can remove them from the parchment paper. From there, pipe icing onto half of the… well, halves… in the CENTER ONLY and sandwich the iced halves with the un-iced halves. Ta-da!
Here’s a lovely little gallery of the results for you. Enjoy!
This was so much fun, and I highly recommend giving it a try. They are incredibly tasty and incredibly versatile! Perhaps sometime I will attempt chocolate Hasta mañana!
Quick Recipe available for download at www.pastrypal.com