Sunday, October 19, 2014

Almond Macarons (Ladurée Sucré Bake Through)

You may recall how, post Great British Bake Off, I felt the need for a new baking regime. I chatted to Pigling and we came up with our new bake through.

This is not it. Sorry. I usually bake twice a week, so I thought I'd bake along with her one day a week, and do an independent challenge to hone my patisserie skills separately.

If you've not come across Sucré, or indeed Ladurée, allow me explain. Ladurée is a Parisian bakery, tea salon and patisserie, that has now spread worldwide. Sucré is a book of recipes from Ladurée. It is beautiful, and completely impractical for the kitchen, being pistachio green velvet, with gilded page edges, wrapped in lavender tissue and in a pistacio green box.

The recipes presume a certain degree of baking knowledge, are a little fiddly, slightly more effort than your average cupcake, but usually produce rather spectacular results. (Unfortunately, I failed to take any pictures of the results)

I started at the beginning, with one of their famous macaron recipes (incidentally, there is an entire chapter of macaron recipes) - almond macarons. I forgot the chopped almonds to sprinkle on top, and did not make enough turns of my spatula to loosen the macaron batter (apparently this process of loosening is called macaronage, who knew?!) but the results were eagerly devoured by friends and colleagues. The recipe does produce a fair quantity of macarons, so you may wish to make just half or even just a third of the recipe if you don't have such obliging colleagues.

Macaron shells
275g ground almonds (almond flour)
250g icing sugar
6+1/2 egg whites
210g granulated sugar
100g chopped almonds
Almond cream filling (adapted as neither almond paste with 65% almonds nor unsweetened almond pulp are available where I live)
150g butter
200g ground almonds
110g icing sugar
200ml double cream

The recipe is the Macarons Amande from Sucré.

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