Soufflés. Chocolate Fondants. Macarons.
What do these have in common? At some point in a foodies baking career, they will weep, scream, lye in front of the oven, peek in the oven, consult multiple blogs and helplines whilst attempting these recipes for the first time. Then it’s all over and out the oven and you think, ‘What the heck was I so worried about???’
That was what I asked myself last night after sandwiching my beautiful if not some rough around the edges macarons. Like most recipes, I didn’t just do a simple plain macaron to test out the technique and then go full throttle. Oh, know I went full on straight for a different take on the standard. Pecan Pie Macarons with Maple Syrup Filling. Autumn in a couple of perfect mouthfuls. Also, there is nothing to be scared of with making macarons, honestly if you can make meringues and be gentle folding ingredients (although I wasn’t overly careful) and can pipe blobs, you’re golden!
I had been given macaron mats from my Auntie to try out and check out the colour matching my sexy Kitchenaid! Perfect match. The mat helped to keep them even but parchment with circles drawn on the underside would work as well. I ground the nuts together but I didn’t sieve the mixture as most recipes suggest, not because I’m a rebel, I only had a tea strainer – too fine- and life is too short. And nutty pieces – joy.
A few more attempts then I would be happy to cross macaroons off my Birthday Bucket List. Just another 23 or so items to go!
Also by adding some chopped pecans on top before letting the skin form, I actually managed to make faces on top of the macarons. One looking like Wilson from Castaway. We may have even added a moustache to one of them….
Mixing the nuts into the meringue mixture.
Pecan Pie Macarons with Maple Syrup Filling
- 3 Egg Whites about 90g, at room temperature
- 40 g White Caster Sugar
- 200 g Icing Sugar
- 55 g Almonds
- 55 g Pecans plus 20g to sprinkle on top
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 70 g Unsalted Butter
- 50 g Maple Syrup
- 200 g Icing Sugar more depending on the consistency
- Oven to 150C. In a mini processor, blitz the almonds and pecans together. Even if the almonds are already ground, grind until super fine. Mix with the icing sugar and cinnamon and put aside.
- In a bowl of a clean stand mixer, add the egg whites and mix until they start to foam up. Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until you have a glossy meringue. You want glossy not a dry foam.
- Fold in the nut mixture into the meringue, be light with the mixture but make sure there are no pockets of icing sugar not mixed in.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto a macaroon mat or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the wet mixture.
- Let the macaroons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells, this is important not to just put in the oven straight away or you won't get the classic macaroon look and bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely before removing from the mat or parchment. Also, a tip from Mother FoodNerd, don't lift off the paper but peel back off. This works like a charm.
- While they cool, make the filling. Beat the butter and maple syrup until smooth and gradually add the icing sugar until you have a thick icing, more or less icing sugar mix be needed. Spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
- Pipe filling on the bottom of half of the macaroons and sandwich with an uniced half.
- Stand back and admire your handy work while filling in you face with these sweet treats.