Sunday, January 2, 2011

Passionfruit Macarons

I thought the Christmas break would be a good time to practice my macaron skills, but, as usual time has gotten away from me and so far I have managed to only produce one batch.

As a little Christmas present to myself (and after some rave reviews by Trissalicious), I purchased a little book dedicated to Macarons, in particular the Italian meringue method (which I prefer)

The book, Secrets of Macarons, is a comprehensive guide to all things macarons. It gives detailed advice and descriptions to each of the elements to macarons from the ingredients down to the macaronage.

Here, I used the basic macaron recipe from the book (omitting the vanilla) to produce a yummy passionfruit version.

200g almond meal
200g pure icing sugar
75ml water
200g caster sugar
2 x 80g egg whites
Yellow colouring (paste)

Process then carefully sift the ground almonds and icing sugar (this is called tant pour tant). Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the water and caster sugar to the boil. Without stirring, make sure the temperature of the resulting syrup doesn’t go above 115c.

Gently beat 80 grams egg whites to soft peaks, then increase the speed of the beater when the temperature of the syrup passes 105c. When the syrup reaches 115c remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the syrup in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue to beat the meringue for about 10 minutes, so that it cools.

Combine the tant pour tant and the remaining unbeaten egg whites, making a smooth almond paste, then add the colouring.

Using a flexible spatula, incorporate about a third of the merinque into the almond paste to loosen the mixture a little, then add the rest of the meringue, working the batter carefully.

Fill a piping bag fitten with an 8 mm nozzle with the batter. Attach a sheet of baking paper to each baking tray, placing small dots of batter in each corner. Pipe out small, regular and well placed rounds, each about the size of a walnut. Lightly tap the bottom of the trays and allow the macarons to form a crust at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 150c.

Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. When you take them out, carefully place the baking paper on dampened benchtop: the shells will be easier to remove. Cool.

Passionfruit Buttercream (adapted from Mélanger)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g unsalted butter
1/4 cup passionfruit juice

In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes. Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time. Add in the passionfruit juice and mix until smooth. If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.

To assemble
Using a piping bag, pipe a small amount of the butter cream onto the shell and top with another shell.

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