Pistachio Macarons: Shells
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
150g egg white (divided into two 75g quantities)
200g caster sugar
1 tsp food colouring powder
Pistachio White Chocolate Filling
110g double cream
225g white chocolate
2 tbsp pistachio paste
40g butter (room temperature)
Passionfruit & Milk Chocolate Filling
110g passionfruit puree
270g milk chocolate
40g unsalted butter (room temperature)
Combine icing sugar, ground almonds, first quantity of egg white and colouring, and beat until well combined. Place the second quantity of egg white in the bowl of a free standing mixer (or bowl resting on a damp cloth) to hold it securely.
Mix the caster sugar and water together in a small pan. The volume of the sugar and water combined needs to fill the pan at least a quarter full. If the pan is too large, the temperature of the syrup will rise too quickly. The syrup should be heated up to 117C which requires a good depth of syrup for a thermometer to measure it accurately. (If you do not have a pan small enough, double or triple the sugar and water quantities and heat in a larger pan. Only use a half or third of the final syrup.)
As the temperature of the syrup gets close to 118C, the egg whites should be whisked until a little frothy. Whilst continuing to whisk, the sugar syrup should be poured on to the egg white. Continue to whisk by free standing or electric mixer until stiff peaks and still warm.
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Add the ground almonds, icing sugar, egg white and colouring mix into the Italian meringue. Beat together slowly for 20 seconds then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat again for a further 10-20 seconds.
The batter needs to flow smoothly, and when dropped back into the bowl it should spread and form a flat even surface.
Transfer the batter into a piping bag with a 1cm plain round nozzle fitted. Pipe small rounds of batter on to a baking sheet lined with silicon baking parchment. Using a template underneath the baking sheet will help produce a consistent sized macaron.
A reusable template can be made by drawing 40mm diameter circles approximately 30mm apart on a baking sheet.
Hold the nozzle 1cm above the surface of the silicon paper. Pipe the batter out until it almost fills the circular template. It will continue to flow outwards until after you've finished piping. The tip of the nozzle should be swirled off moving it around the edge of the piped shell, this will help the batter to flow into an even flat surface.
If the batter is under-mixed, tap the tray of piped macaron shells at this stage will help the batter spread and give an even flat surface.
Most macaron recipes will recommend that the piped shells are left for a period of time to allow a skin to form before baking. This is a rather inconsistent method as how well a skin forms is dependent on the temperature and humidity of the kitchen. A much better technique is to place the trays immediately in the pre-heated oven at 150C but reduce the temperature to 0C and bake for 11 minutes. After that turn the heat back up to 135C for 12 minutes. The macarons are baked when they have a smooth dry top and have firmed up. They do not need to be completely dry and stiff before removing from the oven, as they will continue to cook for a few minutes after they have been removed.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and remove the baking parchment and macarons allowing the shells to cool on the work surface. This is important as if left on the baking tray the residual heat in the trays will over cook the shells.
Peel the shells from the parchment and pair up.
Pisatchio/Vanilla Ganache Method
Melt the white chocolate together with the pistachio paste and butter in a bain-marie. Once the chocolate is melted add the cream and mix gently until combined. Allow to cool until pipeable.
Passionfruit Ganache Method
Melt the milk chocolate with the butter in a bain-marie. Pour in the passionfruit puree and stir until smooth. Allow to cool until pipeable.
Raspberry, Rose and Pistachio Larger Macarons
Using a plain round nozzle, pipe 7cm diameter macaron shells. Bake in the same way, but larger shells will require 15-16 minutes baking at 140C after their drying out phase.
Whisk double cream to soft peaks and add a small amount of icing sugar and rose water to taste.
Pipe or spoon some of the rose flavoured cream in the centre. Place fresh raspberries around the edge of the cream and place a second macaron shell on the top.