Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vanilla Macaroons with Speculoos Filling

Photo and Recipe By: Look Who’s Cooking Too


Ground almonds/ almond meal- 60 gms
Powdered sugar- 100 gms
Caster sugar- 40 gms
Vanilla paste- 1/2 tsp (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Egg whites- 60 gms

For the filling
Double cream- 1/4 cup
Speculoos spread- 4
Granulated sugar- 2 tbsp (optional)

  • Before you start, get the baking trays lined with baking paper and the piping bag with round tip nozzle ready.
  • Sift the icing sugar and almond meal together once or twice to make sure there are no lumps. Its ok if they are not too fine. 
  • In a free standing mixer with whisk attachment whisk the egg whites till frothy.
  • Add the caster sugar bit by bit, while continuously beating, till soft peaks form.It should hold its peak shape when you lift the whisk, but shouldn't be too dry and stiff.
  • Add two spoons of almond powder mix into the meringue and fold it all in using a spatula. You can be a bit vigorous here.
  • Add the remaining almond powder mix and slowly fold it in till you get a smooth mix.
  • To check if the consistency is right the batter should fall back in ribbons when you lift the spatula.
  • Also put a spoon full of the batter on a plate and if it spreads out on its own (not too fast) then you are good to go. If it doesn't, give a couple more folds and loosen it out. This is very tricky, if too loose  you are ruined.
  • Fill the piping bag with batter and pipe small rounds on to the trays. leave around 2 inches gap between the shells.
  • Gently tap the trays on the kitchen counter to rid of the air bubbles and keep aside to dry. This can range from 15 minutes to about an hour, depending on the humidity of the place. 
  • They are ready to bake when a film forms on the shells and when you lightly touch them, they no longer stick to your fingers.
  • Pre-heat oven to 140C and bake the macarons on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes. And do pray that nothing goes wrong in the oven. 
  • Once time is up, take the trays out of the oven and leave aside to cool completely after which you can carefully remove the shells from the paper and store in an air tight container till ready to pipe.
  • For the filling, whip the double cream till soft peaks form.
  • Fold in the sugar and speculoos spread and mix till they all come together.
  • I have eye balled the measurements here, if you need more spread flavour coming through, then add more.
  • Either fill a piping bag with the filling and pipe on to the macaron shells or if you are lazy like me, use a small tea spoon and spread on to the shells.
  • Sandwich them and store in the refrigerator in an air tight container over night for the flavours to set in.

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