- Tried & Tasted -

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Macarons - The Italian Way

Front clockwise: Matcha sprinkled shell with bitter sweet chocolate filling, Chocolate shell with bitter sweet chocolate filling, Vanilla shell with passion fruit curd, Cocoa powder sprinkled shell with
bitter sweet chocolate filling, Raspberry sprinkled shell with white chocolate raspberry filling.

It was quite a fearful first attempt for me a few years ago to make macarons. I wanted to make them and was reading as many blogs as I can on the subject matter. (such as this blog)  I was so impressed at the passion of these bloggers as they went to the extend of very systematically showing the hows and whys in making and breaking one's macarons. I am thankful for all their effort and finally pluck up my courage to make them. 

Vanilla shell with passion fruit curd.

I personally think that the skill of macaron making really do depend on a few important factors, such as separating the egg white properly, having them at the right temperature (room temp, not cold), the oil free mixing bowl for the meringue and how fine the almonds are grounded.  Almond is one of the main ingredients that contains oil, the oil must never be transferred in the process into the mixing bowl that is used to beat the meringue. But once the meringue is formed, it does not matter anymore.

Chocolate shell with bitter sweet chocolate filling.

Enjoy the journey of macarons making. If you break yours, do not be discourage, many were not successful at their first attempt. Just try again. That's the spirit.

Matcha sprinkled shell with bitter sweet chocolate filling.

Italian Macarons Recipe

150g grounded almonds (super fine)
150g icing sugar
55g egg white (portion 1) - if you are adding color, add it into this portion of the egg white.

165g granulated sugar
37.5g water
55g egg white (portion 2)

Steps to take:
  • Place grounded almonds and icing sugar into the food processor, and blend the two together but do not over do it as the almond will turn into almond butter (not a good thing).
  • Sift the blended almond mixture through a fine sieve into a big mixing bowl. If there are a lot of almond bits left in the sieve, put them back into the blender and give it another whirl.
  • Make a well in the center of the almond mixture and pour the portion 1 egg white in. DO NOT MIX the egg white with the almond mixture.
  • In a pot pour the granulated sugar and water and leave it to boil. DO NOT STIR as that will cause the sugar to crystallize. Pour portion 2 egg white into a clean, dry and oil free mixing bowl and machine fitting with a whisk.  Boil the sugar mixture until the candy thermometer register 110 degrees Celsius.
  • Start the mixer at medium-high speed and beat the egg white until frothy. When the candy thermometer register 118 degrees Celsius, lower the speed of the mixer to medium, remove the pot from heat and pour the sugar mixture into the mixer in a slow stream, between the side of the bowl and the whisk. Please be very careful at this stage as boiled sugar mixture can cause third degree burn. 
  • Once all the sugar syrup is added, continue to whisk the mixture for 5 - 8 min. 
  • Fold the beaten egg white mixture in the mixing bowl, in thirds, into the almond-egg white mixture. 
  • Fold gently until all the mixture is combined, making sure that the mixture at the bottom of the bowl is incorporated. The mixture should flow like magma. If not, give it another few more folds.
  • Pour the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe circles of 5cm diameter onto a baking paper. If the top of the piped macaron form a tip, use your finger damped with water to pat the tip down. 
  • Let the rounds dry for at least an 1 hour or until the surface of the rounds is not tacky when touch.
  • Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius, place the baking tray with macarons on the lowest rack and bake for 18 - 20 min, until the macarons are dry enough to be lifted from the baking paper.
  • Once the tray of baked macarons are taken out of the oven, transfer the baking paper onto a cooling rack. Lift the macarons from the baking paper and turn them over to cool. Once cooled, place them in a air tight contained.
  • Now they are ready to be filled.
Raspberry sprinkled shell with white chocolate raspberry filling.
Filling for macarons

Bitter Sweet Chocolate filling:
252g good quality dark chocolate (I used 80% Callebuat)
305g heavy cream

White chocolate matcha filling:
252g good quality white chocolate (I used Callebuat)
112g heavy cream
1 tsp matcha powder

White chocolate raspberry filling:
252g good quality white chocolate (I used Callebuat)
112g heavy cream

  • Place the chocolate into a heat prove bowl. Heat the cream in a pot just until simmering.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and let mixture sit without stirring it for 1 min.
  • Using a spatula, gently stir the mixture until the chocolate and cream combine. 
  • For the matcha filling, sieve the matcha over the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
  • Chill the mixture till it is to the consistency ready for pipping.
  • Place the ganache in a pipping bag or a zip lock bag with on corner snipped off and start to filling the macarons like filling sandwich cookies.

Passion fruit Curd filling:
(Adapted from Martha Stewart )


  • 198g sugar
  • 158 ml of passion fruit juice
  • 8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use, like making macarons :)
  • 284g unsalted butter, cut into 2.5cm pieces


  1. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar and egg yolks; whisk in passion fruit juice.
  2. Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  3. Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.
Cocoa powder sprinkled shell with bitter sweet chocolate filling.

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