Macaron

Ingredients:
    225 grams icing sugar
    125 grams ground almonds
    110 grams egg whites (about 4), aged overnight at room temperature
    30 grams granulated sugar
    Pinch of salt
Directions:
  1. On three pieces of parchment, use a pencil to draw 1-inch (2.5 cm) circles about 2 inches apart. Flip each sheet over and place each sheet on a baking sheet. [Note: You only have to draw circles on the parchment paper if you want absolutely even-sized macarons. If you're skilled with piping and don't mind eyeballing the amount of batter per cookie, skip this step.]
  2. Push almond flour through a tamis or sieve, and sift icing sugar. Mix the almonds and icing sugar in a bowl and set aside. If the mixture is not dry, spread on a baking sheet, and heat in oven at the lowest setting until dry.

  3. In a large clean, dry bowl whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip to stiff peaks—the whites should be firm and shiny.

  4. With a flexible spatula, gently fold in icing sugar mixture into egg whites until completely incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and 'flow like magma.' When small peaks dissolve to a flat surface, stop mixing.

  5. Fit a piping bag with a 3/8-inch (1 cm) round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets, in the previously drawn circles. Tap the underside of the baking sheet to remove air bubbles. Let dry at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours to allow skins to form.

  6. Bake, in a 160C/325F oven for 10 to 11 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door slightly ajar, and rotate the baking sheet after 5 minutes for even baking.

  7. Remove macarons from oven and transfer parchment to a cooling rack. When cool, slide a metal offset spatula or pairing knife underneath the macaron to remove from parchment.

  8. Pair macarons of similar size, and pipe about 1/2 tsp of the filling onto one of the macarons. Sandwich macarons, and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend together. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
Italian Buttercream
    2 egg whites (60 mL)
    1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
    4 oz (½ cup) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into slices
  1. In an electric mixer bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat the mixture, whisking often, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it feels warm and sugar has dissolved.

  2. Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer and whip warm egg mixture on high speed using the whisk attachment until stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the butter, one slice at a time, and continue to mix until all the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Add any flavourings and refrigerate for 1 hour or until it becomes firm. The buttercream can be kept, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.




Matcha-Chestnut Macarons

- 1 recipe macaron batter
- 3 ½ tbsp chestnut paste or crème de marrons
- 2 tsps matcha green tea powder
- 1 recipe Italian buttercream

Macarons: Follow the directions for the macaron batter, and mix in 1½ tbsps of chestnut paste after adding the icing sugar to the meringue.

Buttercream: Before refrigerating the buttercream, equally divide it into two bowls, and mix the remaining chestnut paste into one bowl, and matcha green tea powder into the other.

Assembly: When piping the buttercream onto the macarons, pipe one type of buttercream on each macaron, and carefully sandwich the macarons together.

Caramel-Fleur de Sel Macarons

- 1 recipe macaron batter
- 1 recipe butter caramel
- 1 tsp fleur de sel

Follow the directions for the macaron batter. Pipe butter caramel onto one half of the finished macarons, and carefully sandwich together. Top each macaron with a pinch of fleur de sel.

Toasted Sesame Macarons

- 4 tbsps and 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1 recipe macaron batter
- 1 recipe Italian buttercream

Macarons: In a skillet over medium heat, toast 2 tbsps of sesame seeds until golden brown. Use a food processor or coffee mill to finely grind the seeds, and push through a fine sieve or tamis. Follow the directions for the macaron batter, and mix in the sesame seeds when combining the icing sugar and almond flour.

Buttercream: Use a food processor or coffee mill to finely grind 2 tbsps sesame seeds, and push through a fine sieve or tamis. Before refrigerating the buttercream, mix the sesame into the buttercream.

Assembly: Pipe sesame filling onto one half of the finished macarons, and carefully sandwich together. Top each macaron with a few sesame seeds.

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