It’s Monday and we fancy making macarons! But not just any old macarons, we want to have a go at these brilliant burgers from the new book, Super-cute Macarons! As we’re getting closer to the party season, we want to practice our whisking and decorating, ready to wow guests with tasty treats over the festive season! Whoever said canapés couldn’t be cute or a little crazy?
BASIC MACARON RECIPE
145 g/5 oz. egg whites
95 g/½ cup caster/superfine sugar
170 g/1 2/3 cups ground almonds
260 g/2 cups minus 2 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar
Separate the egg whites from the yolks 3–5 days before you plan to use them, and store them, covered, in the refrigerator. Do not use fresh egg whites. After 3–5 days in the refrigerator, the egg whites will be a runnier consistency (see picture above).
Before baking, you need to bring the egg whites to room temperature.
Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand-held electric whisk until it has doubled in size (see picture above). Add the caster/superfine sugar and continue to whisk until the meringue mixture looks glossy and starts to come away from the side of the bowl, forming one large blob in the middle. At this stage, if you lift the whisk, the meringue in the bowl should form a stiff peak and stay upright after the whisk has been lifted (see picture below).
When you are first learning how to make macarons, it is a good idea to work with a very stiff meringue. This means that the end result can be slightly dry, but it gives you extra time when you reach the folding stage, allowing you time to get your ‘macaronage’ or folding technique right. If your meringue is under-whisked (or if it is perfectly whisked but you have not yet got your folding technique right), the meringue will collapse before you have incorporated all the dry ingredients.
Sift the ground almonds together with the icing/confectioners’ sugar in a separate bowl. Add the meringue mixture to the dry ingredients. You are now ready to fold the ingredients together (see picture below).
Fold the meringue into the dry ingredients using quick circular movements until the mixture is ready for piping. This technique requires you to be gentle but not too gentle – you do not want to just coat the meringue in the dry mixture, you need to combine the two together. As well as being gentle, you also need to work quickly, otherwise the macaron mixture will lose its structure and collapse. Use a spatula to fold the ground almonds into the meringue until there are no more ground almonds around the edge of the bowl. At this stage, use your spatula to scoop up the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and work them into the meringue. Fold until there are no dry ingredients visible in the bowl. The mixture should not be runny.
These macaron burger buns look very realistic thanks to the sesame seeds on top. You will need to slice your cheese into squares no larger than 7.5 cm/3 in. and the same goes for the lettuce leaves.
For the macaron shells
1 batch Basic Macarons (see recipe above)
20 g/¾oz. sesame seeds
For the filling
2 beef tomatoes, cut into 25 slices
25 small lettuce leaves
25 small cheese slices
disposable piping/pastry bag fitted with a 1-cm/½-in. round nozzle/tip
6-cm/2 3/8-in. round template
transparent silicone mat
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF) Gas 3.
Prepare the Basic Macarons according to the recipe above, adding no food colouring paste. Put the mixture into a piping/pastry bag fitted with a 1-cm/½-in. round nozzle/tip.
Place the 6-cm/2 3/8-in. round template on a baking sheet, and place a transparent silicone mat on top. Pipe 50 rounds, using the template as a guide. (You will need more than one baking sheet.) Tap the bottom of the sheets lightly on the work surface to settle the mixture. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Carefully slide the template out from under the silicone mat. Leave the macarons to rest for 15–30 minutes.
Bake the macarons, one sheet at a time, on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 10 minutes until the tops are crisp and the undersides of the macarons are dry.
Lay cheese slices on half of the macaron shells, then add the lettuce slices and, lastly, the tomato. Top with another macaron shell. Serve.
For more fun macaron recipes, check out Super-Cute Macarons by Loretta Liu.