Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Macarons
I only very recently stumbled upon the wonderful combination of peanut butter and jam. I had peanut butter, and I had jam, and always separately. It just never appeals to me to put them together. What else have I been missing out all these while?
Inspired by the discovery of this very exciting new (for me anyway) flavour combination, I made peanut butter and raspberry jam macarons. This is now my favourite macaron flavour, so simple and yet so satisfying at 3pm with a hot cup of jasmine tea.
The recipe below is my go-to recipe for making macaron shells. I have posted the same recipe on this blog several times before. However this time, I have arranged the recipe so that it is more “step-by-step” to how I have done it. I have also added tips and notes to the recipe, which I hope will be useful for anyone making macarons for the first time.
I made two batches of macarons (because I enjoy making things difficult for myself); a batch for the pink shells and the other for the brown shells. The recipe below is only for a single batch of colour of your choice.
Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Macarons
(Macaron shells recipe adapted from Secrets of Macarons)
For the macaron shells
200 gram almond meal
200 gram icing sugar
75 ml water
200 gram caster sugar
2 x 80 gram egg whites
Pink or/and brown food colouring (optional)
You will also need smooth peanut butter and raspberry jam.
To make macaron shells:
Preferably a week in advance, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Weigh out about 160grams egg whites into a bowl, cover with cling film, and set aside in the fridge. (Note: I recommend adding an extra egg white to the 160grams as the egg whites will lose some of it's weight over time.).
One hour before making macarons, remove egg whites from fridge, remove cling film and allow egg whites to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare template for the macaron shells. Cut a sheet of baking paper so that it fits inside the baking tray. Draw circles using a glass, a small cup or a plain round pastry cutter measuring 3.5cm-4.5cm in diameter. Stagger the lines and space the circles 2cm about.
Weigh out almond meal and icing sugar separately. Combine almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl. In a processor, process the almond meal and icing sugar mixture until you have a fine powder. Sift the processed almond meal and icing sugar mixture and set aside. (Note: This step is important to get a smooth macaron shell.)
Now you are ready to make some macarons. (Note: If this is the first time you make macarons, it will be helpful to get a family member or a friend to check on the temperature of the sugar syrup while you work on the egg whites.)
In a small saucepan, bring water and caster sugar to boil without stirring. When the temperature of the syrup reaches 105 degrees celsius (you will need a thermometer), start beating 80grams egg whites in an electric stand mixer (#4 on Kitchenaid) to soft peaks.
When the syrup reaches 115 degree celsius, remove the saucepan from heat. (Note: Make sure the temperature of the syrup doesn’t go above 115 degrees celcius. I usually remove the saucepan from the heat at 113-114 degrees celsius.). Increase the speed of the mixer (#6 on Kitchenaid), and pour the syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites. Decrease the speed of the mixer (#4 on Kitchenaid), and continue to beat the meringue until it cools. It will take about 8-10 minutes. The meringue should be glossy and stiff peak form, and bottom of mixing bowl should be cool enough to touch.
In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds and icing sugar mixture, the remaining 80grams unbeaten egg whites, and food colouring to making a smooth almond paste.
Using a spatula, incorporate about a third of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen the mixture a little. Then add the rest of the meringue, continue folding the mixture carefully until glossy and ("magna-like") moves slowly when the bowl is tilted. The batter should resemble slightly runny cake dough.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (Note: I used an 8mm diameter nozzle). Place template of circles on baking tray and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Pipe rounds of batter, using the template as a guide. (Note: You will probably need several baking tray. Or alternatively, you can place the template and baking paper directly on the kitchen bench, lift the baking paper with the piped macarons onto the baking tray when ready to bake.)
Allow the macarons to form a crust at room temperature. The batter should not stick to your finger. This may take anything between 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the weather.
Preheat the oven to 150 degree celsius (or 140 degree celsius fan force).
Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. My macarons took about 20 minutes. The macarons are cook when they come off from the baking paper easily.
To assemble, pipe peanut butter around the edge of the macaron to form a "border" for the jam. Spoon a small teaspoon of raspberry jam in the centre.
Macarons are best eaten after 24-hour standing time in the fridge to allow the moisture of the filling to flavour the shells slightly and improve the texture. But who can wait that long...