Happy New Year! I wanted the first recipe of 2018 to be something sweet. So, I thought I will start with a very familiar and favourite taste for many of us.
Have you heard of the phrase match-made-in-heaven? This French confection called ‘Macarons’, are the sweet babies born from that perfect pairing of peanut and chocolate. I call them babies because they are delicate, finicky, temperamental and demand a lot of patience and care. True, they take time and require attention to detail to turn out perfect but the rewards are better than punishment! If I haven’t scared you away already, let’s get started!
I think it is safe to say that I have experienced every kind of macaron mishaps on my journey to perfect, smooth-top, crispy eggshell-like exterior but chewy interior, not hollow macaron shells with happy FEET! Ruffled feet with tiny air pockets are the sign of a perfectly formed macaron. That moment when you are sitting on your kitchen floor besides your oven, biting your lips and peering through the oven door at your umpteenth tray of macarons….you are almost ready to give up and filled with anticipation and, you hope beyond hope…suddenly….lo and behold, you see tiny feet growing underneath your macaron shells…and you are hit by a powerful rush of euphoria and start dancing! ♪ ♫ ♬ ♪ ♫ Because I’m happy! Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…..♪ ♫ ♬
Okay, I can be dramatic sometimes. After 5 trials my macarons came out perfect. I am sure you will get them right much sooner! It is one of those things you just need to practice until you get it right and once you do, it will never be forgotten. I would say it was a good thing for me to make those mistakes and learn from them and now I know exactly how much to beat the eggs and the right consistency of the batter before piping it out.
I used half peanut and half almond flours for my shells. Peanut is rich in fat and you most likely will run into all kinds of problems if you use a 100% peanut flour. I have mentioned areas of concern and critical points to remember while making these macarons in detail in my recipe. Also, I tried around 4 different recipes before developing my own macaron recipe. This method, oven temperature and resting time is what worked best for me.
You can try them with buttercream, jam, ganache or just a simple chocolate filling. These little cookies are so special with their contrasting textures of a fluffy interior and crispy crust sandwiching a decadent peanut butter and chocolate filling. Truly addictive! Stay tuned for more amazing legume-based macaron recipes!
Peanut Macarons with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Filling
|Prep time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 30 minutes|
- 2 Large Egg Whites
- 33g Caster Sugar
- 133g Confectioners Sugar
- 40g Peanut Flour
- 40g Almond Flour
- 1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 50g Chocolate Chips
- 30g Peanut Butter
- 1 tablespoon Confectioners Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
|Sieve together the nut flours and confectioners sugar. You might be left with about a tbsp of nut pieces which can be discarded. |
If you cannot find the flours, grind in small batches whole unsalted nuts into a fine flour-like powder. Do not over grind as the nuts will start releasing their oils and this will ruin your recipe.
|To the nut and sugar mixture, add salt and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.|
|Next step is making the meringue and needs to be done with care. Using a kitchen stand mixer, beat the egg whites along with caster sugar until it starts to form stiff but creamy and glossy peaks. They should not slide down the side of the bowl when you tilt it. Under whipping or over whipping your whites will give you either macarons with imperfect/no feet or cracked tops.|
|Using a spatula, add 1/4th of the meringue to the dry mixture first and then add the rest and start folding it in until everything is just combined and no more of the flour or cocoa powder is seen. This is another very important stage in the macaron making process and the batter cannot be under or over mixed. Over mixing will push the air out of the mix and you won't get fluffy shells with feet and under mixing will not give you a smooth top and the shells might turn out hollow. The final mix should be thick but still drip down from the spatula and at the same time it should not be runny. Take some batter in a teaspoon and pour it on a baking sheet. If it slowly spreads out evenly you have succeeded! If it doesn't spread on its own you need to mix it more. I used 40 strokes to get my perfect batter.|
|Pour the batter into a piping bag and gently pipe out the batter onto a tray lined with parchment paper. My little rounds were 1 1/4 inch in size. You may use a template to help you with this.|
|Tap the pan hard at least 3 times on each side to release the air bubbles and help them spread evenly. Using a toothpick, burst any large bubble that rises to the top and cover the gap up. This will give you a smooth top.|
|Let them sit out for at least 40 mins, or up to an hour. This will allow them time to dry out a bit and develop a "skin". They should not stick to your fingertips when touched. This is another important step to ensure your macarons develop feet!|
|Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the tray around at the halfway mark to avoid getting lopsided shells.|
|Take them out and let them cool down for 20 minutes. Peel them out gently to be filled.|
|Melt the chocolate chips and combine with the rest of ingredients for the filling.|
|Pipe out a small amount of filling on one of them and top it with the another same sized shell and for best results, leave them to mature in the fridge for a day.|
|You can store them in a container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them up to a month. Just thaw them, if frozen, before eating.|