Cooking and Baking

How to Make Blackberry & Violet Macaron

I've taught myself how to make French macaron and had lots of failures before I got it right. Now, I'd like to share what I've learned with others. "...Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness..." Oprah Winfrey

For photos of the procedures and the required equipment you can visit me at [URL removed by moderator per Serious Eats's self-linking policy]

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 30-35 macaron
Active time:approx. 1 hour
Total time:19 minutes
Special equipment:Electric mixer, bowls, sieve, thermometer, spatulas, piping bag, size 11 piping nozzle, parchment paper, baking sheets

Ingredients

MACARON
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TANT POUR TANT (TPT)
300g sifted TPT (150g almond meal with 150g icing sugar)
55g egg whites
 (fresh)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE (IM)
150g caster sugar

37g water
powdered purple food colouring or Wilton gel paste
55g egg whites (old egg whites aged 12-24 hours in a bowl on the kitchen bench)
Purple powdered food colouring or Wilton gel paste

BLACKBERRY & VIOLET GANACHE
200g Lindt White Chocolate (placed in a stainless steel bowl)
200g pouring cream (minimum 35% fat)
25g unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup of fresh blackberries (washed)
Few drops of violet essence

Procedures

MACARONS
STEP 1. MAKE THE TPT
Mix the Tant Pour Tant (equal quantities of icing sugar and almond meal) with the fresh egg white until it forms a thick paste, cover with cling wrap and set aside.

STEP 2. MAKE THE IM
Pour your aged egg whites into a Kitchen Aid mixer and insert the whisk attachment.

Bring the caster sugar, water and food colouring to the boil in a small saucepan. When the sugar syrup reaches 115°C start whisking your aged egg whites into soft peaks. As soon as the syrup reaches 118°C slowly pour the syrup into the beaten egg whites in a thin stream. Continue whisking the IM in the Kitchen Aid until it reaches a temperature between 50-55°C.

STEP 3. COMBINE THE TPT & IM
With a spatula, fold one-third of the IM into the TPT and egg white paste and knock out some of the air in the batter. At this stage of the process you can be quite rough when handling.

Gently fold in the rest of the IM into the TPT and combine until you have the right texture (should be glossy and look like cake mixture). Be careful not to over-mix the batter here or it will get too runny and your shells may crack in the oven.

STEP 4. PIPE YOUR MACARON SHELLS
Fill a piping bag with the macaron batter and place some parchment paper over a baking sheet. Put four small dabs of macaron mix underneath the parchment paper in each corner to secure the paper. Pipe 3.5 - 4cm diameter circles onto the parchment paper, tap the tray on the work surface to remove air bubbles and leave to dry for about 15-20 minutes to form a crust and are dry to touch.

STEP 5. COOK YOUR MACARON SHELLS
Cook the macaron for 17-19 mins at 150°C (fan forced oven). To release steam, leave the oven door open slightly. If this doesn't work for you, keep experimenting until you find the right temperature as every oven is different. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet and leave to cool on the parchment paper over a wire rack.

STEP 6. ASSEMBLE YOUR MACARON
Remove the shells from the parchment paper and pair like sizes together. Pipe a decent blob of ganache onto the shell, then place the lid on top and twist slightly so that the ganache flows out towards the edge of the macaron. When piping the ganache onto the shell always leave a small rim.

STEP 7. STORE YOUR MACARON
Store your macaron in the fridge for 24 hours prior to eating so that the humidity helps the ganache to soak into the shell and allow the flavours to develop. Try not to eat your macaron the day they are made as they are too dry. Allow the macaron to return to room temperature prior to serving.

BLACKBERRY & VIOLET GANACHE
1. Gently heat the cream and fresh blackberries in a small saucepan until it reaches boiling point and remove from the stove. Add the violet essence.

2. Pour 1/3 of the cream and blackberry mixture over the white chocolate. Using a whisk blend the chocolate and cream by hand, using circular motions starting from the centre of the bowl.

3. After, most of the chocolate has been combined add the remaining cream and then the butter.

4. Continue to use the hand whisk to emulsify the ingredients then finish off by using a Bamix or hand held mixer. When using the mixer, tilt the bowl and use short pulses as we don't want to add to much air. The purpose of blending the ganache with the hand held mixer is to make it thicker with a silken melt in the mouth texture.

5. Cover the surface with cling film and refrigerate until ready for use - should be firm but not solid.

TIP: Make this the night before and have it ready before you commence making your macaron. Make sure you bring the ganache back to room temperature before piping.

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