I've had my ups and downs with macarons. I had beginner's luck with my first and second batches, which gave me a sense of false confidence. Then my third batch cracked... baking sheet after baking sheet cracked.. and cracked... and cracked.
I am competitive (it runs in my family). This sort of thing becomes an obsession. I ended up taking a class at Sur la Table, which was both confidence building and a lot of fun. I highly recommend it. I got to ask a billion questions as well as practice "macaronnage," the technique of mixing almond flour and meringue. I still approach baking macarons with a little bit of fear, but the class really helped.
I still park myself in front of the oven with the light on while the first batch bakes, just to see if I get "feet" (the crinkly part) and un-cracked shells.
I love the flavor of chocolate malt, so when I saw this recipe, I had to give these a try. These are filled with chocolate ganache, which goes nicely with the malt and almond flavor of the shells.
Inspired by Daydreamer Desserts
Note: Using a scale is essential for making macarons. They are not very expensive. If you bake, get one. You won't regret it. And it will save you a lot of time in dishwashing.
Second note: On a piece of parchment paper, draw 1 1/3 inch circles to use as a pattern template. Place this paper under the parchment paper that you will use to bake the shells. Slide it out from under the top piece of parchment prior to baking the shells.
175 grams powdered sugar
25 grams Ovaltine
110 grams almond flour
90 grams egg whites (from three to four eggs)
Pinch of cream of tartar
25 grams granulated sugar
Your favorite chocolate frosting will work here. I used a ganache filling.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar, Ovaltine, and almond flour together.
- Sift the dry ingredients through a sieve into a bowl. Discard any large pieces.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment, whisk the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar. Once the sugar has been added, scrape the bowl, and increase the speed to high and whisk until the egg whites are stiff and form glossy peaks.
- Sift the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time over the egg white mixture and fold it in using a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny and drips slowly from the spatula.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round pastry tip and pipe into 1 1/3 inch rounds onto parchment lined baking sheets. Slam the sheets onto the counter to release any trapped air. Let the rounds sit for 30 minutes, or until no longer sticky on the surface.
- Stack the baking sheet on top of another baking sheet and bake, one sheet at a time, about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating half way through.
- Let the macarons cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes. Transfer the shells to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Pipe the filling onto one of the shells, and top with another shell.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to one week.
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