Now that I've gotten my own copy of PH's Macarons book, I thought its time I tried recreating these Mogador macarons. Its probably one of the easier recipes in the book when it comes to sourcing for ingredients. Passion fruits are much much easier to find compared to exotic stuff like Tuber Melanosporum black truffles or Aceto Balsamico Di Modena, listed as ingredients for some of the more unusual macarons...What can i say, its PH afterall...
I had a little problem with the food colouring though - if you've already noticed from the pictures, my macarons turned out a little more orange than yellow. I guess I might have over did it a little on the red food colouring =P. Still, its such a joy churning out bright coloured macarons, just looking at them makes me happy! And they taste sooo yummy too!
Recipe below makes about 36 macarons, adapted from Pierre Hermé's "Macarons"
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g aged egg whites (first portion)
approximately 2.5g yellow food colouring
approximately 1/4 tsp red food colouring (adjust this according to how strong the food colouring you're using is, or you could get orange instead of yellow macarons like me!)
For the italian meringue:
- 150g caster sugar
- 37.5g mineral water
- 55g aged egg whites (second portion)
- 1.5 tsp egg white powder (added to second portion of egg whites. PH doesn't use egg white powder in his recipes in the book but he recommends using egg whites that have been aged for at least a few days. I tend to add egg white powder to my egg whites if I didn't have the chance to age them enough. It helps to strengthen the protein bonds that form when you whisk the whites and gives the same effect as using aged egg whites.)
Finish: cocoa powder
Sift together icing sugar & ground almonds in a large bowl. Stir food colouring into first portion of egg whites, then pour mixture into icing sugar & ground almonds but do not stir.
To make italian meringue, bring water & caster sugar to boil at 118C. At 115C, start whisking second portion of egg whites (with egg white powder). When sugar syrup reaches 118C, pour it over egg whites, whisking continuously till meringue to cools to 50C, then fold into ground almond-icing sugar mixture. Spoon batter into piping bag fitted with plain nozzle.
Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on lined baking trays. Rap baking trays on work surface covered with kitchen cloth. Using a sieve, sprinkle cocoa powder lightly over shells.
PH's instructions are to leave shells to stand for at least 30 minutes until they form a skin, then bake them in fan oven for 12 minutes at 180C. From past experience this doesn't always work for me under Hong Kong's weather conditions, so instead I dry the piped batter for 15 minutes in the oven at 65C, then without removing the macarons, increase the temperature to 150C and bake for 14 minutes. Either way, during the last 4 minutes of baking open and close the oven door twice to let out steam. Once out of the oven, slide shells on to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before removing from silicon mat / parchment.
Passion fruit & milk chocolate ganache:
50g "La Viette" butter (or your preferred unsalted butter), at room temperature
275g Valrhona Jivara chocolate or milk chocolate, 40% cocoa solids
125g passion fruit juice
Cut butter into pieces and chop up chocolate. Halve passion fruits and scoop seeds out with a spoon. Strain to obtain juice. Bring juice to boil.
Partially melt chopped chocolate bain marie. Pour hot juice over chocolate a third at a time.
When temperature reaches 60C, add pieces of butter a few at a time. Stir to obtain a smooth ganache.
Pour ganache into gratin dish and press clingfilm over the surface of ganache. Set aside in fridge for ganache to thicken.
Spoon ganache into piping bag fitted with plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mould on half of the shells and top with remaining half. Store macarons for 24 hours in fridge and bring out 2 hours before serving.