Over the weekend, I had a friend came over for a visit. We had a crazy idea and decided to bake together. It's been awhile I had so much fun, sharing something I love doing with another person. Since the both of us have failed miserably the last attempt of baking french macarons, we thought to one another, let's tackle this little fella' together. After all, as the saying goes, 2 brains are better than one. Couldn't agree more!
Method 1: Italian Meringue.
What that means is that, you will need to bring sugar up to a boil exactly at 117°C, and while the egg whites are whipped until foamy and almost doubled in volume, we will then pour the boiled sugar down the side of the bowl and continue to whip to stiff peaks.
Method 2: French Meringue
A simpler method indeed. There is no worry over burning the sugar. All you need to do is whip egg whites till foamy and double in volume and then add sugar a tablespoon at a time (based on the recipe given) and whip till stiff peak.
As for the design and colours of the french macaron is very much inspired by Monet; chic, dreamy & whimsical. Each french macaron shell is hand painted and there are no 2 that looks exactly the same. To finish off, we made ultra smooth, slightly sweet dulce de leche & espresso buttercream; to go along with the almond macarons. Looking at the photos right now makes me giddy all over with excitement and I am glad I get to share them with you here.
Dulce De Leche & Espresso French Macaron
by Chic & Gorgeous Treats
* Makes slightly over 2 dozen.
* Dulce de Leche & Espresso Buttercream is slightly sweet. Please feel free to alter the amount of sugar.
* Store in airtight container in a fridge roughly up to a week if it’s not devoured within 2-3 days.
* Tinting or leaving the macarons plain in colour is optional.
Basic Almond Macaron
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup ground almond
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Dulce De Leche & Espresso Buttercream
135g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4-1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup dulce de leche
4 tablespoons strong espresso
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. In a large bowl, mix together ground almond and sifted powdered sugar. Set aside.
2. With a whisk attachment attached to a stand mixer, on high speed, beat egg whites until foamy, and doubled in volume (approx. 30 seconds). Add caster sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (approx. 10 minutes).
3. Immediately, fold whipped meringue into ground almond mixture in 2 batches until smooth. (NOTE: to tint, add small dollops of food gel colouring while mixing both meringue and ground almond mixture together). Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe about 4 cm rounds onto baking tray lined with parchment paper.
4. Allow to stand until a ‘skin’ forms (approx. 20 minutes) on the top of the macarons. Reduce temperature to 130°C and bake shells for 17 minutes or until crisp on the edges. Let macaron shells cool completely on the baking tray before spreading them with buttercream.
5. Place butter in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat for 6-8 minutes or until pale.
Add the icing sugar and beat further until light and fluffy. Add the dulce de leche and strong espresso and beat until well combined. (NOTE: If dulce de leche & espresso buttercream is too soft to spread or piped onto macaron, chill in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes to allow it to harden slightly.
6. Spread the dulce de leche & espresso buttercream onto half the cooled macaron and sandwich with another macaron shell. ENJOY!
*macaron recipe adapted from Donna Hay