Tag Archives: French meringue

Macarons citron ou chocolat (lemon or chocolate macaroons)

I posted a recipe of macarons on this site before with a step by step. This recipe is a bit different because we are doing an Italian meringue instead of a French one. An Italian meringue is a meringue cooked with a sugar syrup at 118C. The French meringue is simply a meringue beaten with caster sugar until glossy. When using Italian meringue, you also have to add unbeaten egg whites to mix with the ground almond/icing sugar. I find the meringues made that way have a better shape but the sugar content is far higher! Also, I have learned not to fiddle with different colours with any batch of macaroons as there is a high risk of over-beating the mixture and ending up with flat macaroons as I sadly experienced during my month certificate. Just add the colour to the meringue while whisking and you’ll avoid that pitfall! Please refer to the step by step with pictures as the process is the same for any macarons after the meringue is made and ready to mix. I will give you the classic way to make macaroons (without Thermomix) and the Thermomix version. Just remember to have everything ready before starting (including the trays and all the bits and bobs you will need along the way) as once you start, you have to look after these babies without any interruption (they are very demanding little buggers!)

 Ingredients

For the macarons:
100g egg whites (about 3 egg whites left at room temperature)
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
125g egg whites (to mix with the “tant pour tant”: mix of ground almond/icing sugar)
300g caster sugar
75g water
Food colouring of your choice in powder form

For the Chocolate Ganache
400g dark chocolate (either in callets or ground with your Thermomix)
250g single cream
1 tbsp of any flavouring you like: coffee essence, Kalhua, rum…)

(Lemon macarons are made with a Lemon Curd filling)

Method

  1. Make sure you have everything out before starting the macaroons: a spatula, a stand mixer or hand whisk if not using Thermomix, a saucepan, a 1g precision scale, a piping bag with a large round nozzle, at least 2 trays (4 is better). If using 4 trays, place 2 on a grid at the 2 lower shelves of your oven. No need to preheat just yet. If using 2, just place one in the oven (lowest shelf). You will need to have the trays that are not in the oven lined with either greaseproof paper or silicone sheet. Have a large bowl and a sieve ready also. A food thermometer is also useful if making the sugar syrup (no need if using Thermomix!).
  2.  For the non Thermomix Method: sieve the weighed ground almonds and icing sugar together into a large bowl. Mix with 125g of egg whites and set aside.
  3. Whisk the 100g of egg whites until fluffy and white.
  4. Meanwhile, place the water and 300 caster sugar in a saucepan and stir a little before bringing to the boil (make sure there is no sugar stuck on the side of the pan). While boiling, check that no sugar was spat on the side, if it happens, use a brush dipped in cold water and brush the sugar back down. This step is necessary to ensure there is no cristallisation.
  5. When the sugar syrup has reached 118C or more (it’s ok if it’s a little higher but do not let your syrup colour!), pour slowly on the beaten egg whites while whisking at low speed until the whole syrup is used. Continue whisking at high speed to cool down the meringue (touch the side of the bowl and you will see it is quite hot to start with). The cooling down can take a while, so if using a hand mixer, you will end up with a very muscley arm 😉 Stop when it is below 25C. Add your colouring while whisking the meringue until you’re happy with the intensity (the colour always goes paler after it’s cooked).
  6. Now, it’s time for the macaronage: use a third of the meringue to loosen up the ground almond/egg white mixture. At this stage, you can mix quite vigorously.
  7. Next, add the rest of the meringue and fold it gently using a spatula with the almond mixture. You should make a round movement starting at the center of the bowl, then dragging the spatula along the side of the bowl to lift the mixture up and back down again. Turn the bowl after each folding motion.
  8. When the mixture is ready, it should form a ribbon when you pour some from your spatula (see step by step).
  9. Place in piping bag with nozzle in, remove any air pockets by smoothing with the edge of your hand).
  10. Pipe the mixture at a slight angle and with your nozzle almost touching the greaseproof paper/silicone sheet. Make your rounds smaller than you want them as they will spread a little. Make sure you leave enough space between each macaron.
  11. Lift the tray and tap it strongly against your worktop a couple of times to burst any air bubbles.
  12. Let them dry for 30 min to an hour (they should not be sticky when touched with your finger).
  13. While they are drying, preheat your oven at 150C for light coloured macarons to 170C for dark ones. I used a fan oven so I am not sure of the temperatures if using a conventional oven (gas ovens are absolute no-no for making macaroons!).
  14. Place cold trays on the trays you have placed in the oven before starting (the doubling of trays will help the feet forming) and bake for 11 min for small macarons at 150C (8 min at 170C) and 15 min for bigger macarons (12 min at 170C).
  15. Let them cool down before lifting them up with a hard spatula.
  16. You can store them in a plastic container with a lid for up to a week.
  17. To make the chocolate ganache: boil the cream in a saucepan. Add the flavouring, stir and pour over the chocolate. Mix until it’s all melted (you might need to reheat gently if some of the chocolate is not melting and the mixture is cold). Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and spread it with a spatula. Cling film and leave to cool 30 min at room temperature. Place in a piping bag (no need of a nozzle) and pipe on one macaron shell and place another shell on top and press slightly. Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating to soften the macarons).

 

Macarons with chocolate ganache

  1. Thermomix version: sieve ground almonds and icing sugar (you can make your own icing sugar with Thermomix by mixing granulated sugar 20sec/speed 10). Mix with the 125g of egg whites.
  2. Only use 150g of the sugar needed to make the syrup. With Thermomix, we don’t need to make a syrup as you can whisk your whites while heating at the same time. You’re gaining lots of time and effort!
  3. Place 150g of granulated sugar in the TM bowl and turn it into icing sugar (see step 1).
  4. Tip out and reserve.
  5. Place the butterfly whick in the TM bowl and measure 100g egg whites.
  6. Whisk for 5 min/speed 3/70C with measuring cup OFF and when it starts foaming, pour a little bit of the icing sugar.
  7. Continue adding more icing sugar, about 20/30g at a time until all absorbed.
  8. If the 5 minutes are not over, turn off the speed and press the ON/OFF button to clear the temperature setting. Continue whisking at speed 3 with no temperature until the light under the 37C is off.
  9. Proceed as in the classic recipe above from step 6.

Macarons with lemon curd filling

Tarte meringuée au citron (Lemon meringue tart)

This is one of the many desserts I cooked on my first week at the 1 month certificate. I love lemon meringue tarts and made a couple before but I had never blogged about it (never had time to take a picture as it seemed to vanish very quickly). I will give you the Thermomix version and the classical one so every one can try it (it’s well worth it 🙂 )

Source: Cooks Academy 1 month certificate

Ingredients

Sweet pastry (French sugar paste)
50g sugar
125g butter
1 egg
200g flour
A pinch of salt

Lemon Curd
450g sugar
2 lemons (zest and juice)
3 lemon juiced (you will need about 240g of juice altogether)
8 large eggs
2 egg yolks (save whites for the meringue)
350g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Meringue
4 egg whites + the 2 egg whites saved above
600g caster sugar

 Thermomix Method

  1.  Sweet pastry: place the sugar in the TM bowl and grind 10 sec/speed 9.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except the flour and mix 20 sec/ speed 4.
  3. Add the flour and turbo pulse briefly a few times until JUST clinging together. Turn out and chill wrapped in cling film for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Lemon curd: grind lemon peelings and sugar 20 sec/speed 10.
  5. Add eggs + egg yolks + juice + butter. Mix 10 sec/speed 6.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the TM with the spatula. Cook and stir 6 minutes/80C/speed 4. If it hasn’t thickened enough, continue to cook for another minute or 2.
  7. Spoon out into a bowl and leave to cool at room temperature.
  8. Meringue: clean thoroughly the bowl with soapy water and dry well with a clean tea towel. insert the butterfly whisk.
  9. Add the egg whites and whisk on speed 3 without the measuring cup.
  10. When it is starting to foam, add a little bit of sugar at a time while still whisking. Wait until the sugar is dissolved before adding more sugar.
  11. When all the sugar has been whisked in, you should have a thick and glossy meringue. Tip out into a piping bag with a round or star shaped nozzle.
  12. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  13. Take the pastry out of the fridge and knead it a little until softened slightly (it should be soft enough to roll but still cold and a little stiff).
  14. Place between 2 sheets of cling film and roll to fit your flan tin (it should be 2 or 3 mm thick).
  15. Butter and flour your flan tin (about 20 to 25cm in diameter).
  16. Carefully place the rolled pastry in the tin and press down the sides to fit the tin neatly. Cut out excess pastry but leave enough to have a 2 cm overflow as the pastry might contract during cooking.
  17. Line with parchment paper and place dry beans on top to stop the pastry from bubbling.
  18. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
  19. Bake for 15 minutes, then take out of the oven, remove the beans and baking parchement and bake again for 8 minutes (watch the pastry as it cooks as you don’t want it to brown too much. It should be done when golden at the edges and lighter in colour but still lightly golden in the centre.
  20. Take out of the oven and turn the temperature up to 220C.
  21. Leave the pastry to cool for a couple of minutes and trim the edges neatly before pouring the lemon curd (which should still be warm enough to pour evenly) and pipe the meringue all over.
  22. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes so the meringue browns and becomes crispy.
  23. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for a couple of hours before eating.

Classical Method

  1. Sweet pastry: cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer or a stand mixer equipped with the wire whisk.
  2. Add the egg and mix for a few seconds
  3. Gradually incorporate the sieved flour and salt. Mix until smooth.
  4. Allow to rest in the fridge before using.
  5. Lemon curd: place the sugar in a bowl and zest the lemons on top of it. Rub the lemon and sugar together to make the sugar fragrant.
  6. Strain the lemon juice into a non-reactive pan. Add the eggs, egg yolks, zested sugar and butter and whisk to combine.
  7. Place over a medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  8. At the first sign of boiling (you will need to see bubbles all over the mixture), remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Leave to cool slightly.
  9. Meringue: whisk the egg whites until they start to foam. Add the sugar, a little bit at a time and continue whisking until the sugar is incorporated before adding more sugar.
  10. Follow recipe above from step 11 onward.