Makes 22 medium size macarons
Powdered/ icing sugar- 100 gms
Egg whites- 60 gms
Caster sugar- 40 gms
Vanilla bean paste- 1/4 tsp (optional)
For a detailed macaron making process, check out this post of mine.
Get the baking tray with baking paper ready. Make sure you cut them exactly to fit the size of your pan without any folds or dents, because this will affect the shape of your macaron. You would need 2 trays for this quantity.
Sift the ground hazelnut with the icing sugar to remove any lumps.
Using a free standing mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites till frothy.
Add the caster sugar bit by bit, while continuously beating the egg white, till soft peaks form. (When in doubt, beat till still peaks form, so you don't deflate the meringue too soon)
Into the meringue mix add the sifted hazelnut-sugar mix and vanilla bean paste and fold gently using a spatula, starting from the bottom and continuing to the top till you get a smooth even mixture, with no meringue visible.
Go really easy on the folding because if you over do it, you could end up with disfigured macarons when you pipe them out. To test of the batter is of correct consistency the batter should fall back in ribbons when you life the spatula and the ribbons should have disappeared in about a minute or so. If it doesn't, then give a couple more gentle strokes and test again.
Leave aside to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Again, this completely varies, If the batter is towards the looser side, it would take longer to dry, if it is humid it would take longer to dry and sometimes with no particular reason it just takes forever. If you don't leave it to dry enough, you wont get a proper developed feet.
Lightly touch the piped batter with your finger and if it doesn't stick them it means you are good to go.
When the batter is drying pre heat the oven to 140C and once ready place the tray in the middle rack and bake for 13 to 15 mins.
If your macarons are undercooked, it becomes crinkled and hollow. It also becomes too delicate to handle as well. So when it doubt, bake a little longer, but make sure you don't burn them.
Once done, cool completely in the tray itself before filling.
Spiced coffee and chocolate ganache
Spiced coffee- 1/4 cup (brewed with 2 heaped teaspoons of spiced coffee)
Melt together the chocolate and cream in the microwave, in bursts of 30 to 45 seconds.
Stir in the spiced coffee and make sure its all mixed together.
Pour into a piping bag and place in the fridge to firm up, and till ready to use.
Sandwich them and store in an air tight container till ready to serve.
They taste better when the flavours have mixed well and has moistened in the fridge for a couple of hours.
If you leave it in the fridge for a long time, it would moisten too much leaving you with soggy shells.
Notes: If you want to do your own spiced coffee, add a 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp all spice and a pinch of nutmeg
Of course, just replace the 60gms of ground hazelnuts with ground almonds and you'll get the original almond macarons