Vanilla & Honey Macarons

I ordered the book I ♥ Macarons by Hisako Ogita. I do love macarons and I’ve been practicing and trying to improve my macaronnage. This book is perfect for that. It’s more of an instruction manual with one recipe for vanilla macarons with a few pages of variations at the end. I think that it’s not a bad thing. Making macarons is hard and it’s best to start with a basic macaron and work up from there. There are lots of helpful tips and photos of what to do if your macaron comes out wrong. I hope she writes a follow up book!

The only thing that didn’t work for me in this book was the temperature the macarons were cooked. I think it will vary from oven to oven and depending on how many trays you use and stack. She suggests 190 C for 15-18 minutes. The first batch I made doing this came out perfect with feet and everything but they were rock hard and had to go in the bin! My second batch I cooked at 150 C for 14-15 minutes and this worked much better for me.
They look perfect but they were inedible!

Vanilla Macarons
85g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
3 large egg whites room temperature
65g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from vanilla bean
1. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet. Draw 1 inch circles on the paper, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. This is a pattern to squeeze the batter on later. I turned mine pencil side down.

2. In a food processor, grind the almonds and icing sugar together to a fine powder. Sift the mixture twice and set aside.
I caved and bought a mini food processor. It’s great and it’s really cute!
3. In a stainless steel mixing bowl (it does make a difference what kind of bowl you use but I only have plastic bowls and they came out OK) beat egg whites until they are foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites.
I added the vanilla and blue gel coloring just before it was done mixing and finished it by hand to stir the color in. The batter really needs to be bright as it fades a lot during baking. I didn’t really add enough.
4. Add vanilla and food coloring and stir lightly. When the meringue is stiff, firm and has a glossy texture, it’s done.

5. Add half of the sifted flour mixture. Stir it with a spatula while scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl. Add the rest of the flour and mix it lightly in a circular motion.
6. Press and spread out the batter against the bowl’s sides. Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this 15 times. This is called Macaronnage and is the most important part of getting the batter right.

When the batter is firm and drips slowly off the spatula it’s done.
I forgot to take a picture of batch #2

7. Get a pasty bag with a small circular tip ready and carefully scoop half of the batter in. I put all the batter in with the clip on top and it still leaked out the top.

8. Put the parchment on the baking sheet and squeeze the batter onto the center of the circles. Rap the baking sheet against the counter (this gives the macaron it’s pied/foot). Dry the batter at room temperature until the batter does not stick to your finger when touched. This can take 15-30 minutes.

9. I placed one baking sheet in the oven at a time on 2 heavy black oven racks on top of each other at 150 C for 14-15 minutes. Using 2 baking trays stacked is recommended as it stops the heat from over baking the macarons. I only have 2 and they didn’t fit together well. You can see I had one crack.
10. Remove from the oven and cool. When the macarons are cooled remove them from the baking sheet. Spread filling between 2 of the macron shells. I like to refrigerate mine overnight to let the flavors sink in.
Honey Buttercream
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tbs water
40g granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tbs honey
1. Cut butter into small pieces and put in microwave safe bowl. Heat for 10 seconds. Stir butter until it’s creamy and smooth (like mayonnaise).

2. Put water and sugar in a heat resistant container and stir well. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, take out and stir until sugar is absorbed. Heat for another 3-4 minutes and stir again.
When they say heat proof they really mean it! I should have known better than to use plastic. I should get a pyrex one.
3. Break an egg into a mixing bowl and beat it lightly with a hand mixer. Pour the syrup in like a thread and beat on high speed. Reduce speed to medium and then to slow, and continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is not hot and the mixture becomes white and heavy.
4. Add the butter in 2 or 3 batches. Beat with a hand mixture at medium speed each time until well mixed. Add in the honey and stir. Put the cream into a pastry bag and pipe between 2 macarons.

I ♥ Macarons (US and UK)

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