* adapted from the book : I <3 Macarons *
This was my first attempt at making Italian meringue. I usually make macarons using the french method of making meringue. The difference between the french and Italian method is that in the Italian method you have to whip the egg white until hard peak and then add sugar syrup that was boiled to a soft ball stage.
To make the macarons you will need
-2 table spoons of water
-5table spoons of white sugar
-2/3 cup of ground almond
-1-1/2 cups of powder sugar
-3 eggs -1 tea spoon of vanilla powder or extract
-2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-preheat your oven to 170 degrees
-combine water and white sugar in a small sauce pan, stir to combine
-mix the ground almond, powder sugar, ground Cinnamon and sift them twice and set aside
-place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the sugar water to a boil
-do not stir but swirl the pan, if crystals of sugar form on the edges of the pan wash down the edges with a wet brush.
-bring to a boil to 235 F - 240 F (soft ball stage)
-in a mixing bowl beat the egg whites at high speed for about 30 seconds
-to test the syrup drip a small bead into small bowl of water, pick it up from the water, it you should be able to make a small ball using your finger. If its not at the right consistency just yet, heat it a bit longer. (if you heat it too much it will turn into caramel be careful)
-continue beating the egg whites while slowly pouring the syrup into the the egg whites -keep beating until the bottom of the bowl cools down and the meringue is firm and smooth.
-add half of the sifted powder sugar/almond into the meringue
-mix them together, add the rest of the almond/sugar and fold lightly in circular motion
-keep folding until the batter becomes firm and slowly drips of the spatula
-place the macaron batter inside a piping bag with 0.4 inch tip
-line baking sheets with wax paper, pipe small circles into the sheets
-the batter with spread a little so keep few centimeters between each circle
-rap the baking sheet firmly against the counter *this helps the feet to form
-if you want to sprinkle something on them now is the time to do it, I sprinkled chocolate, cinnamon and walnut nibs on them
-dry the batter at room temperature for 15 minutes
-depending on the weather and humidity this it might take more or less time
-touch the surface of the macarons with your finger if it does not stick to your finger that the drying is complete
-bake for 15-18 minutes it usually take 11 with my oven.
-take out when the top is slightly crisp
-allow the macarons to cool completely before removing from the baking sheets
-fill them with what ever filling you like
-I filled them with nutella
Verdict on Italian meringue: getting the syrup to the right temperature isn’t easy it took me few times to get it right. The texture of the macarons is crisper than when made with the french method. Will I use this method again? Maybe, I’m sure. Its fussier than the french method. On a good note this method preserves the macarons better as the hot syrup sterilizes the meringue.
Keep the macarons in an air tight container. You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for about a week.