A French national holiday, Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille which took place on 14 July 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. While it symbolises the birth of the Republic, it’s also the perfect excuse to indulge our love of Macarons. Cake Pops and Whoopie Pies may have come and gone and replaced by a Cronut, but for us Francophiles, a Macaron is no passing fad . A crisp meringue shell that gives way to a preferably fruit based filling, like most things French – it’s a classic.
Like anything worth doing, Macarons can be a labour of love. If you don’t have a Ladurée down the road, here’s one of our favourite recipes from an old issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. Failing that, there’s always our gorgeous porcelain Macaron Trinket Holders from the shop – and they’re totally guilt-free!
And please. A Macaroon is not a Macaron. Anges de Sucre, artisan Macaron specialists in London, describe the difference: a Macaron is made from angels tears and almond meal by unicorn foals, while Macaroons are made with dessicated coconut by your grandmother. Enough said.
Macarons with White Chocolate & Rasberry Ganache
130 gm pure icing sugar
110 gm almond meal
105 gm eggwhite (about 2), at room temperature, left out overnight
65 gm caster sugar
4-5 drops rose food colouring
White chocolate and raspberry ganache
50 ml pouring cream
100 gm white chocolate
45 gm raspberries, coarsely chopped
Process icing sugar and almond meal in a food processor until finely ground, triple-sift into a large bowl and set aside. Whisk 90gm egg white in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes). Add caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously until incorporated and mixture is thick and glossy (2- 3 minutes), then add food colouring. Stir in almond mixture in batches until incorporated and mixture slowly slides down sides of bowl when bowl is tilted. Add remaining eggwhite to loosen mixture, spoon into a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, pipe 3cm- diameter rounds of mixture onto heavy baking-paper-lined oven trays, stand until a crust begins to form (4-5 hours).
Preheat oven to 140C. Bake macarons until firm but not coloured, swapping trays halfway through cooking (10-12 minutes), set aside, cool completely on trays.
Meanwhile, for white chocolate and raspberry ganache, bring cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand until melted (5 minutes), stir until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate until firm yet still pliable (45 minutes-1 hour) then stir until smooth. Add raspberries, stir to form a ripple effect, then spoon a teaspoon of ganache onto half the macarons. Sandwich with remaining macarons and refrigerate until set. Macarons will keep for 1-2 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
Note: If fresh raspberries are unavailable, substitute defrosted frozen raspberries.
This recipe (and image) appeared in the July 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.