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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Victoria Sponge Macarons

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Do you ever just feel sort of grey? Like there's not much sparkle in your life? Sometimes, especially during the darker months, work seems to pile on, socializing feels like a chore rather than something to look forward to, and it feels like an extra effort to cook a delicious meal.


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 My roommates can attest to the fact that I settle into a habit of having Tesco's finest Puy lentil and vine-ripened tomato soup for lunch everyday, with little variation. I get into a habit of hoarding my money instead of going out for meals. Food just gets a little boring. Hopefully I'm not alone here. I mean, I can't be the only one who gets into a food rut, can I?

So, if any of you found yourselves nodding along, you need to get your hands on some ground almonds, get into the kitchen, and start making some macarons. Nothing adds a bit of flair, a little sweetness to life than a light, lovely macaron. There is a reason that Laduree has become so popular. Sure, they have delicious macarons, but there is just something so glamorous about those teeny tiny adorable little cookies.

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Victoria Sponge Macarons
Makes about 20

Ingredients

For the macarons:
155 grams icing sugar
113 grams finely ground blanched almonds
3 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
56 grams caster sugar

For the vanilla buttercream:
200 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
500 grams icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Beans scraped from ½ vanilla pod
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberry or strawberry jam

To make the macarons: Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have a pastry bag, fit it with a 3/8-inch #4 tip. If not, cut the tip off of a corner of a small sandwich bag. In a small bowl, whisk together icing sugar and ground almonds. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increasing the speed to high, slowly add caster sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in almond mixture until just incorporated.

Fill pastry bag or plastic bag with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto parchment paper, leaving an inch between cookies. Allow macarons to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Bake for 13 minutes, until surface of macarons is completely dry. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. Gently peel from parchment paper and set aside until ready to fill.

To make the buttercream: Cream butter using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat, starting at a low speed, and gradually increase speed until icing sugar is completely incorporated. Beat in milk, vanilla beans, and vanilla extract.

To assemble the macarons: Spread buttercream onto half of the cookies. Spread jam onto the other half. Sandwich together the halves with buttercream and those with jam. Refrigerate for an hour, until firm.

2 comments:

  1. 1. Your photos are lovely here
    2. I completely agree with the feeling you describe in this post
    3. I took a macaroni baking class and have been to afraid to try myself at home. This post gives me some confidence to venture forward.

    ReplyDelete