These delicate French biscuits, sandwiched with a soft vanilla ganache centre, are the perfect sweet treat to enjoy with your favourite cuppa.
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Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar and vanilla and whisk until sugar dissolves. Sift almond meal mixture over the egg mixture, in 2 batches, folding well after each addition.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 2cm plain nozzle. Pipe 4cm discs onto the lined trays. Use a damp finger to smooth the tops. Set aside for 30-60 mins or until tops are dry.
Preheat oven to 120°C. Bake for 30-35 mins or until firm to touch. Set aside to cool on trays.
Meanwhile, combine white chocolate and cream in a medium glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30-secs bursts until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or until thickened. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain nozzle.
Use a palette or butter knife to remove macarons from baking paper. Pipe white chocolate mixture onto half the macarons. Sandwich with remaining macarons. Chill for 1 hour or overnight.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Macarons will last for 7 days at room temperature and up to 7 weeks in the fridge. They should be stored in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.
Macarons – not to be confused with the rustic-looking coconut macaroons – are a delicate French treat that have surged in popularity over the last 15 years thanks to the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette. The almond-based sandwich biscuits with creamy centres are a popular feature in magazines, cooking shows, recipe books and patisseries around the country. The defining features of the French treat are two perfect circles of often brightly coloured almond meringue-like biscuits with a flavoured buttercream or ganache sandwiched in the middle. Macarons have a crisp exterior shell with a soft centre, enhanced by the creamy filling. They require you to follow the macaron recipe precisely to get the correct shape, however, once you master that technique they are really quite simple to create.
A macaron recipe should be followed precisely to elicit the best results. The trick to getting the perfect macaron shells is in the consistency. Ensuring the egg whites are perfectly whipped and firm, and the almond meal is finely ground, will help create the lightest, fluffiest biscuits. Your piping skills will also play a big part in getting the best results and it can help to have a sheet of baking paper with 4cm circles drawn on to ensure you pipe perfect circles every time. Making sure to smooth the tops once piped will help create smooth biscuits, and leaving the biscuits aside for 30 minutes to an hour before baking will help the tops to crisp up.
While the shells in this simple macaron recipe are important, you certainly shouldn’t forget the filling. Whether it’s a creamy ganache or a simple buttercream, the creamy centre gives these delicate biscuits an extra special mouthfeel. Biting into the crispy shell and getting a mouthful of creamy ganache really hits the spot. To make a perfect ganache, combine cream and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in short bursts to melt the chocolate slowly. Ensure you don’t heat too fast or too high or it will seize. Stir chocolate and cream together and allow to cool slightly before piping a small amount of ganache, just enough to cover the entire biscuit, and around 1cm thick. You want about a 1:2 ratio of ganache to biscuit or just under. Then top with another shell. Ensure the sandwiched biscuits are chilled for at least an hour or overnight so the ganache sets and the biscuits rest. Then eat and enjoy!
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