Sunday, May 30, 2010
Nooblet's Macarons > Strawberry Jam
Last night it was my friend Steve's birthday. Happy birthday! Steve (big, macho guy he is) likes strawberry flavoured things. When we go to a cafe, he always wants a strawberry flavoured milkshake, but is always too embarrassed to order it himself. He usually makes one of the girls present to order it on his behalf. When I started making macarons, he immediately requested strawberry flavoured ones. I thought his birthday would be the perfect occasion.
150g icing sugar
150g almond meal
120g egg whites
150g caster sugar, plus 35g caster sugar
Pink food colouring (gel or powder preferable)
Preheat oven to 150° C and line a few baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Sift together the icing sugar and almond meal. Feel free to process the mixture before sifting if it makes your life easier.
Place 150g of caster sugar with the water into a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until 245° F, or firm ball stage. Meanwhile, measure out 60g of egg whites and beat to stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining 35g of caster sugar to the egg whites and beat until thick and glossy. When the sugar has reached the firm ball stage (drop a little into a bowl of cold water, if it forms a ball that is malleable, but holds its shape, it has reached firm ball) add it gradually into the meringue while beating, until all the sugar has been incorporated and the meringue is cooled, thick, shiny, and forms a 'beak' when the beaters are lifted.
Add the remaining 60g of egg whites to the icing sugar/almond mixture and mix until well combined. Add food colouring until the desired colour has been reached (note that the meringue will lighten the colour considerably when added). Gently fold in the meringue and continue folding until it reaches that 'flows like magma' consistency. It should be thick and aerated, but any peaks that form should manage to slowly disappear.
Piped onto lined baking sheets, and let rest until no longer tacky to touch. Bake at 150° C for about 20 minutes. Everyone's oven is different. I find that I need to place a foil covered oven rack just under my heating element or my macarons will burn. Perhaps in your oven, the macarons will take less time, or a little longer. Test them by gently touching one. If it is stuck to the bottom, and wobbles on its feet (threatening to separate into two layers), then give it some more time. When they are done, they should come off the baking paper relatively easily.
Cool up-side-down on cooling racks, then fill with buttercream. Refrigerate overnight before eating.
Strawberry Jam Buttercream
60g butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk or water
1/4 strawberry jam
Beat the with a 1/4 cup of the sugar until light and creamy. Add another 1/4 cup of sugar and beat in. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and beat in. Add remaining sugar with the jam and beat in. Add a little milk or water if necessary to achieve pipable consistency.