Try your hand at this delicious Valentine's Day macaron recipe! They are the perfect little treat for your loved one.
For the Macarons:
Preheat oven to 170º Celsius.
Combine almond meal and pure icing sugar and pass the mix through a fine sieve to break up the lumps.
Divide into 2 equal portions.
Add the pink colouring paste to one 25g portion of the egg whites and add the red food colouring to the other 25g portion of the egg whites.
Pour the pink egg white mix into one portion of sieved almond meal and icing sugar, and the red egg white mix into the other portion of sieved almond meal and icing sugar. Mix each portion until it becomes a homogenous paste (this is known as the macaronage).
In a saucepan, bring the water and white sugar to the boil. Use a sugar thermometer to monitor the temperature of the syrup – you’re aiming for 118ºC (soft ball stage).
When the syrup reaches 114º, start whisking the 94g portion of egg whites to soft peaks.
When the sugar reaches 118º, slowly pour it over the whisking egg whites. Continue to whisk until the bowl is warm to the touch (about 50ºC). This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Measure 193g of meringue. Add 32g of the meringue to the pink macaronage and mix hard to incorporate and soften it. Add 32g of the meringue into the red macaronage and mix hard to incorporate and soften it.
Add half of the remaining meringue to the pink mix and mix gently, ensuring that you scrape the bottom until it is fully incorporated. Add the other half of the meringue to the red mix and mix gently, ensuring that you scrape the bottom until it is fully incorporated.
Put the pink batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Then put the red batter into another piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
Line baking trays with baking paper and pipe rounds of batter (around 4cm in diameter) onto the trays, leaving 2cm between each round.
Tap the tray quite firmly against the bench to remove air bubbles and settle the batter. To create the heart shapes, pipe a small dot of pink batter onto a red shell and drag a toothpick through the dot to make a heart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove the trays from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Carefully remove the shells from the trays and baking paper.
Pair each pink shell with a like-sized red shell.
For the Ganache:
In a saucepan place the strawberries, red currants, citric acid, white sugar and strawberry oil and cook until it coats the back of a spoon but is not too thick.
Pour the reduction into a food processor and blend until smooth then pour through a strainer to remove the seeds.
Stir in strawberry powder and set aside to cool slightly.
Melt white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water.
Remove bowl from saucepan and pour warm reduction into the white chocolate.
Mix gently and add the rosewater once all the white chocolate has incorporated with the reduction.
Pour ganache into a piping bag and chill.
For the Praline:
Place the sugar in a pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has melted and turned an amber colour.
Add in toasted almonds, turn heat to low and mix until sugar becomes a lighter shade of brown and smells nutty.
Transfer to stainless steel tray to cool.
Pulse in the food processor to break up the chunks but do not turn it into a powder.
Method for assembling the macarons
Pipe the ganache onto the pink shell, sprinkle with a few pieces of almond praline.
Top with the red shell.
For more information on MakMak Macarons, visit makmak.com.au
Photographs by Isaac Entry
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