27 November 2010
Apple and Cinnamon Macarons
After making some successful macarons with lemon and passionfruit fillings, I wanted to try and flavour the shells themselves. Sir D is a big cinnamon lover, and since cinnamon and apple go together like a fat kid and cake, I decided to make cinnamon flavoured macaron shells with an apple compote.
It's been a while since I made my last batch of macarons and I seemed to have lost my touch. The first batch of cinnamon macaron shells failed miserably with cracks appearing on the surface. The second batch was much better because I stood in front of my oven and watched them lke a hawk, but some of them still had a few imperfections on the surface. Seems like I need a lot more practice!
To make the cinnamon flavoured macaron shells I replaced 5g of the icing sugar from the basic macaron recipe with 5g of ground cinnamon. If you like it more or less cinnamon-y just adjust the amount of ground cinnamon you replace for icing sugar.
I was really happy with the overall flavour and that the shells actually tasted like cinnamon. Sir D thought that the combination of the apple compote and the cinnamon shell reminded him of McDonalds apple pie! And anything that reminds people of pie has to be a good thing :)
Apple and Cinnamon Macarons
For the macarons
100g egg whites (approx 3), aged
30g caster sugar
110g almond meal
195g icing sugar
5g ground cinnamon
1. Age your egg whites by leaving them out at room temperature for 24-48 hours, or for 3-5 days in the fridge. Process almond meal, icing sugar and ground cinnamon in a food processor and sift into a bowl. Process any remaining lumps again and sift again - discard any bits that do not fit through the sieve.
2. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar whilst beating until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and mix quickly with a spatula a few times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Once the ingredients are starting to incorporate, slow down and fold the mixture until it flows like magma and falls in ribbons from the spatula. Pipe 3cm circles onto sheets lined with baking paper. Confidently rap the baking sheet onto the counter top to allow bubbles to come to the surface, pop these with a toothpick. Leave the shells out to dry for 30 minutes to an hour to allow a skin to develop on top - when you can touch the surface without any mixture sticking to your finger, they are ready.
3. Preheat the oven to 140ºC. If you have thin baking sheets, place an overturned baking tray into the oven and place the tray on top of it when the macarons are ready. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven. When they have finished baking, carefully peel the macarons from the baking paper and place onto a wire rack to cool.
For the apple compote (adapted from a recipe by Sherry Yard):
2 medium or 3 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
25g caster sugar
25g brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Melt the butter in a skillet until it starts to bubble. Add the apples and allow to caramelise on one side, then turn over. Sprinkle the sugars over the apples and cook, turning occasionally, until the fruit is caramelised and soft. Place the apple mixture into a food processor with the lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until required.
To assemble the macarons, spoon a teaspoon of the apple mixture onto one of the macarons and sandwich with another one. Leave in the fridge in an airtight container overnight to allow the macarons to 'mature'. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before you want to eat them and enjoy!