Chocolate Macarons & Cake International

Check out my pretty new mini stand from Baker & Maker at Cake International
   The idea of baking macarons has always been a little daunting. So when I went Cake International last weekend and spotted a Silikomart macaron mat I decided to pick them up and give them a go. Along with some handy tips from Lucy at supergolden bakes, I was set.

   They didn't turn out as the disaster I had envisioned for my first attempt. Maybe a little too chewy but Lucy came to the rescue again via Twitter and assured me they'd mellow 24hrs after being filled.

Chocolate macarons
(makes about 30 mini)
     115g ground almonds
     230g icing sugar
     15g cocoa powder
     144g egg whites
     75g caster sugar
     Nutella to fill

  • Combine the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a food processer ensuring all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Sift the dry ingredients twice and leave to one side.
  • In a stand mixer, beat together the egg whites and caster sugar. Firstly on a low speed for 2 minutes, then on medium for another 2 minutes and a high speed for a further 2 minutes or until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients, pressing the mix onto the side of the bowl with each fold to knock any air out. You should aim to fold anywhere between 25 - 40 times. Its important not to overfold. (I did about 30 folds and was too scared to continue!)
  • Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe macarons onto the mat (or baking paper with pre drawn macaron cicrcles).
  • Once piped, tap the tray 3-4 times on the work surface. Air bubbles will form on the top of each macaron shell.
  • Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes before baking, the surface should become touch dry. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150 degrees.
  • Bake for 12-16 minutes. (I baked for the full 16 minutes but could have definitely got away with 12-14 time!)
  • Ensure that the macaron shells are completely cool before removing from the macaron mat.
  • Fill with nutella or chocolate ganache.
The macarons will last in an air tight container for a few days.

For the ultimate macaron commandments, visit Lucy's page here.

And here's some pictures from Cake International...
Some of my favourite pieces from the competition. A Mulberry bag made of cake, I'll have 2 please!
Professor Dumbledore's Phoenix, Fawkes, in cake form. Cookie Girl in action. The Brownie Bar...I recommend their white chocolate and pistachio! 
More of my favourites...including the Leaky Cauldron, for Harry Potter fans like myself.

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