For this week I’m baking raspberry macarons, another classic of French patisserie. It’s one of the most popular desserts among people in France and recently has gained popularity worldwide. If the recipe is followed thoroughly, macarons are not hard to make.
For this recipe the Italian meringue was used because it leaves the macarons with a nice crisp on the top but still soft in the inside.
I’m aware that baking macarons for your first time can be overwhelming, but I assure you that even if they don’t look perfect on the first time, they will on the second try.
As long as the filling doesn’t contain egg yolk, the macarons can be kept refrigerated for a short week.
Mix the raspberries into a sauce pan with the sugar.
Bring to boil for 4-5 minutes. The raspberry seeds contain pectin which is a natural gelling agent.
Pour the jam into a large container to cool before placing it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Now, lets start the shells. Take eggs out of fridge and bring to room temperature, this ensures that egg whites will reach their full volume when whipped.
Get out three bowls; 2 bowls for egg whites and 1 bowl for the egg yolks (not going to be used in this recipe). The two bowls should each contain 75g of egg whites.
Put the water and sugar into a saucepan to make the syrup and swirl together, start to heat it up.
Add the first portion of egg whites to a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When the syrup reaches 115C, start to mix the egg whites on high.
Once the syrup reaches 118C, it shoud be having big bubbles but still runny, take it straight off the heat and pour it in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl, continuing to whisk on high.
Continue to whisk the meringue on medium speed for about five minutes until you have a nice and glossy meringue. But it is recommended to whisk the meringue until it has mostly cooled down. You need to have a 'bird beak' when pulling out your mixer.
Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and sieve into a large bowl.
Add the remaining 75g of egg whites into the bowl of almond/icing sugar and then half of the meringue. Using a spatula, fold the mixture together.
Add the other half and continue folding the mixture until it starts to shine. You should stir outwards from the middle and to the sides.
Add 5 drops of red colouring (or the one you choose for your recipe).
Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip.
Place the baking paper/silkomats on a tray and start pipping into 3cm diameter circle. Repeat until you have used all of your mixture.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
Tap underneath to flatten the shells out. Set aside for about 30 minutes, the macaron shells should form a skin that doesn’t stick to your finger.
Bake the macarons for 12-15 minutes.
When you take the shells out of the oven, turn them over so that the flat side is up. Try to match up the shells as much as possible so they would be the same size and put them next to each other.
Place the raspberry jam inside a piping bag.
Pipe a generous amount onto each, you want to see a gap when closing your shells.
Close the macarons with another shell and place in the fridge for 24 hours, the filling needs to infuse the shell. Take them out about 2 hours before serving to let them soften.
Your macarons are now ready, you can enjoy them with tea or coffee at the end of your meal or at tea time.