A pe­tite sweet

With their del­i­cate, crisp shell and soft, chewy cen­tre, it’s lit­tle won­der the clas­sic French mac­aron is one of the most sought- af­ter sweets around. Mas­ter­ing th­ese de­lec­ta­ble lit­tle sand­wiches is eas­ier than you think. Fol­low our three easy steps for t

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASTE - Donna Hay pho­tog­ra­phy Chris Court styling Steve Pearce recipes Kirsten Jenk­ins

ba­sic macarons with vanilla but­ter­cream

1 ¼ cups ( 200g) pure ic­ing sugar, sifted 1 cup ( 120g) al­mond meal, sifted 3 eg­g­whites 1 ta­ble­spoon caster sugar Vanilla but­ter­cream 60g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped ½ cup ( 80g) pure ic­ing sugar, sifted Step 1: To make the vanilla but­ter­cream, place the but­ter and vanilla in an elec­tric mixer and beat for 6– 8 min­utes or un­til pale and creamy. Add the ic­ing sugar and beat for a fur­ther 10 min­utes or un­til pale and fluffy.

Place the mix­ture in a pip­ing bag and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

You can use hazel­nut or pis­ta­chio meal in­stead of al­monds if you pre­fer. Sim­ply process the whole nuts in a food pro­ces­sor un­til finely ground. Step 2: Pre­heat oven to 150° C. Sift the ic­ing sugar and al­mond meal into a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Place the eg­g­whites in an elec­tric mixer and whisk on high for 30 sec­onds. Add the caster sugar and whisk for a fur­ther 10 min­utes or un­til very stiff peaks form. Fold through the ic­ing sugar mix­ture, in two batches, un­til smooth. Place the mix­ture into a pip­ing bag fit­ted with a 1.5cm noz­zle.

Tip: You can use ei­ther a hand- held elec­tric beater or elec­tric mixer. For both ap­pli­ances, whisk on the high set­ting. Step 3. Pipe 48 x 4cm rounds of the mac­aron mix­ture onto bak­ing trays lined with non- stick bak­ing pa­per. Al­low to stand for 20 min­utes. Re­duce tem­per­a­ture to 130° C and bake for 17– 18 min­utes or un­til crisp on the out­side and chewy in the cen­tre. Al­low to cool on the trays. To as­sem­ble, pipe the vanilla but­ter­cream onto half the macarons and sand­wich with the re­main­ing macarons.

Makes 24.

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