Saturday, February 23, 2013

Malteser Macarons

Last week, I felt like it was about time that I got on the bandwagon and made some macarons. Everybody seems to be making them at the moment and as I didn't want to feel left out, I thought I should too. And actually, I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to give these beautiful little sugary treats a try, because number 1, they taste heavenly, and number 2, they look wonderful once they're made. As this very tempting recipe popped up on my news feed the other day, I knew the time had come for me to venture into the world of the macaron...!

Although actually, this wasn't my first attempt, as I did give them a go last year whilst I was in France, because obviously, being in France and having the opportunity to eat the real deal made it all the more tempting. I didn't discover them properly though until the end of the year, after deciding to treat myself to one from Paul when the French had yet again infuriated me with their lack of organisation. Taking one mouthful of a delightful macaron though, was enough to make me forget why I was annoyed. Having food like that on tap would be enough to make anyone. Light, airy, almondy, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside - just pure heaven really. Ahhh take me back. Anyway, I gave them a go and my first attempt was a bit of a disaster.

They should look like this...
Pistachio flavour :)

Such a beautiful green!

Can't remember what flavour this was, but something delicious!

Unfortunately, my second most recent attempt wasn't much better. I'd heard all the rumours about how hard they were to make, and believe me, they were not wrong! Making the actual mixture isn't the hard bit, it's piping them onto the tray and cooking them where the difficulty lies. Piping is not my strong point, and I am very sad to say that my lovely piping bag may have to be thrown away as it has been attacked by our resident slugs, who have left slimy trails everywhere - including my piping bag! I don't think they can be rescued - I just don't like the thought of slugs crawling all over my things. Anyway, enough about slugs. Basically, it meant I had to use a plastic bag for piping and as I cut the hole too big I think, the mixture just came out in blobs on the tray which is why the macarons were all oddly-shaped and a bit on the large side. But appearance isn't everything, of course...

However, not only were they not the perfect circles they should be, but they stuck to the tray horrendously. I think this was probably because I didn't have any greaseproof paper to line the tray with, and being the poor student I am, just replaced it with foil which I had in the cupboard. This meant that half the outside of the macarons was still on the tray, which isn't ideal when you have to sandwich them together with a layer of ganache. On the plus side, at least you can't see the middles! They also lacked the signature macaron 'foot' (basically a technical term for the edge of the macaron) which apparently is from overbeating, so folding in carefully is extremely important.

Having said all that, they did taste delicious! Honestly, the texture was just how I remember them being in France and the white chocolate ganache I made, well....that's another story. Perhaps a bit too sweet, but really, when is anything too sweet for me? They're small enough so that it's not too much of a sugar overload! Anyway, I will not let this mini disaster deter me from making them again, because after all, I got the flavour and texture right, it's just their appearance that I need practice with. And actually, I would be happy to make these over and over again if it meant that I could eat these for the rest of my life. Although even I might get a bit sick of them after a while! But watch this space for another attempt, because I do not give up that easily!

Malteser Macarons (adapted from The Little Loaf's recipe)

For the macarons:
110g Icing Sugar
50g Ground Almonds
25g Horlicks Powder
2 Medium Eggs
40g Granulated Sugar

For the white chocolate ganache:
200g White Chocolate, finely chopped
100ml Double Cream
Handful of crushed Maltesers

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. 
  2. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper (not foil like I did!).
  3. Sift the icing sugar, ground almonds and Horlicks into a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until it forms stiff white peaks (not too dry though).
  5. Fold a third of the meringue mix into the almond mix.
  6. Fold in the rest of the meringue mix until fully combined - be careful not to knock too much air out of the mixture.
  7. Fill a piping bag (preferably without slug trails) with the mix and pipe small shallow disks onto the baking trays.
  8. Tap the tray firmly on a hard surface (this levels out the disks) and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  10. They should be done when the top is firm but not too coloured.
  11. While they are left to cool, make the ganache.
  12. Place the chocolate into a microwavable bowl.
  13. Heat the cream until it just starts to boil. 
  14. Pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for 2 minutes.
  15. Stir until smooth - if all the chocolate has not melted, put in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir.
  16. To assemble, spread a layer of ganache on the smooth side of one macaron shell and sprinkle some of the crushed Maltesers on top.
  17. Sandwich together with another macaron shell and repeat with rest of shells. 
  18. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Once again a yummy recipe. Macaron are a real 'technical challenge' à la GB Bake-off!

    Maman xx