Vanilla & Raspberry Macarons


hello!!! i survived!! exams are dunzo and so is my brain, which is maybe why i spent all weekend making blog posts and hiking up the internet usage. can we start by talking about this long weekend that australians are having at the moment? they say it's the "queen's birthday" weekend, but it ain't even her birthday?! what's up with that? it's bad enough that we got her birthday wrong, we also missed the mark with her birthmonth. her birthday isn't even in june!! anyway all that's beside the point. actually it's so far from the point that it's not even funny. the point is, in fact, that i get a long weekend to make macarons, regardless of who's birthday it is or isn't.

now some people interchangeably use the words "maracon" and "macaroon". however i'd just like to point out that i too, was once a confused little thing inside patisseries, until one day when on holiday in paris of all places, when this exchange occurred and i was forever set straight:

me: (in french) "bonjour patisserie owner, please tell me the secret to your delicious macaroons!!!!"

him: (in french) "we don't make those"

me: "oh, then what are these?"

him: "macarons, these my dear are macarons. made with almond meal, meringue and sandwiched together with frosting"

me: "so then what's a macaroon?"

him: "a chewy coconut concoction that is a cross between coconut ice and a snowball"

me: "oh those!!...i don't really like those"

him: "me neither"

me: "okay then!! thanks french patisserie man, i'll never be confused again!" 

him: "no problem, now how many did you want?"

so, thanks to the help of my patisserie owner friend back in late 2012, i was never mislabeling my sweet foods every again. here is a link to macaroons and down below is a recipe to macarons! 

also sorry for the gazillion appearance changes over the past little while, this is pretty much what we're going with now. the changes were made in phases for time reasons - but i hope you like the new look!!!

bon appétit mes amis!! merci à monsieur pâtisserie! 


notes: you can make your own almond meal, as this recipe needs quite a fine blend. to do so, grind about 2 cups of whole (unroasted) almonds in a food processor until they make a fine meal. these macarons are gluten free and dairy free (as always) so they're great for sharing at events where allergies are plenty. the shells, once baked are super mega fragile, so be careful with them! mr. pâtisserie told me that they should be crisp on the outside, but chewy in the middle so please please don't overcook your shells and dry them out!! happy macaron making!!


VANILLA & RASPBERRY MACARONS

{makes 10 medium/large macarons}

ingredients

macaron shells

1 1/2 cups almond meal

2 cups icing sugar

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup castor sugar

a couple of drops of food colouring (like pink! green! purple!)

 

raspberry goo

2/3 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup castor sugar

1/2 tablespoon water

 

vanilla buttercream

100g vegan butter alternative (i use nuttelex)

200g icing sugar

a few drops of food colouring

 

assembly

extra icing sugar (for dusting)

let's bake!

sift your almond meal and icing sugar through a sieve. you'll probably be left with about 2-3 tablespoonfuls of meal that can't be sifted - that can be discarded. 

in a stand mixer (or by hand if you're feeling strong!) beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. add in the vanilla and continue mixing on a medium speed. slowly add the sugar, still mixing, then crank it up to high until thick, glossy and sugar is dissolved.

to check if your sugar is dissolved, get some meringue between your thumb and forefinger and rub them together. feel granules? keep going! nothing there? you're good to go!

gently, using a spatula, fold in the egg whites to your dry mix until it comes together. it should resemble a cake batter-like consistency. add in any food dyes at this point here!! you will need a pretty intense colour, as it will fade a lot during baking. i went for a more subtle pale pink (it doesn't really come out in the photos sadly!) but you can be as creative as you like!.

using a piping bag fitted with a round (but small) tip, pipe small rounds onto a lined baking tray, leaving at least four fingers width between each round. this is essential!! 

preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius/300 degrees fahrenheit. 

tap your trays twice, hard, on your bench-top to remove any air bubbles and leave your macaron rounds sitting at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. they should have formed a skin and feel much drier (but still sticky) when you put them in the oven.  bake your macarons for 25 minutes or until they come cleanly off the tray.

raspberry goo

in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries, sugar and water. gently let it bubble and thicken until it's slightly jammy and chunk-free. place into a piping bad (you don't even need a tip, just snip the end off the bag to make a small hole). 

vanilla buttercream

cream your butter in a stand mixer until pale (2-3 minutes). add your sugar and vanilla. staring on a low speed, mix until pale, creamy and combined (3-4 minutes). add your food colouring and put the frosting into a piping bag with a small round tip. 

assembly

match up your shells into pairs of roughly the same shape and size. pipe two rounds of buttercream, starting at the edge, working your way towards the centre. leave a hole in the middle, so that you've made a doughnut shape. into the hole, pipe your raspberry goo. top with it's other half and dust with icing sugar to serve! 

 

 


psst! congratulations to these guys on their saveur food blog award wins!!! enjoy the long weekend :)

- jess x