Banana Macarons + some handy macaron baking tips
Ok so I know I’ve posted a lot of macaron recipes already, I seem to be a bit obsessed, but I just love trying out new flavours! The amount of flavour you can get into a delicate little macaron is amazing, plus I have two Zumbo cookbooks that I need to work though to try all the flavours!
This week it’s Banana Macarons. These little beauties pack a big banana flavour and are just delicious!
Banana ganache recipe from Adriano Zumbo
– 1 quantity of macaron shells (recipe here) coloured yellow
– 165g ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
– 5g lemon juice
– 40g thin pouring cream
– 255g white couverture chocolate chopped finely
Make the macaron shells as per the recipe posted here but coloured yellow, this is my trusty macaron recipe that always works.
To make the banana ganache filling, puree the banana in a food processor and place in a saucepan with the cream. Put the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Bring the banana mixture up to the boil and then pour over the chocolate, leave it to sit for 2mins. Stir until smooth and then set aside to cool completely and get thick enough to pipe.
Pipe the banana ganache onto half the macarons and sandwich together with the remaining macaron shells, pressing slightly until the ganache just meets the edges. Be warned, the ganache is very sticky. Pop the macarons in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight. Take the macarons out of the fridge and bring up to room temperature before serving.
A couple handy tips for perfect macarons that I’ve learnt along the way…
– Use a metal bowl to whip your egg whites, plastic can be porous and any oil or grease will affect your egg whites from whipping properly. And always whip your egg whites on a medium speed, if you mix on a high speed you can burn your egg whites and therefore they won’t whip properly.
– Be careful not to over whip the egg whites, some recipes can say 10mins of whipping, but if you are using a hand mixer like me then it can take much less time. Use your judgement, the egg white mix should be glossy and stiff, its the old rule that you should be able to tip the bowl upside down over your head and the mixture doesn’t fall out. Its better to under whip the egg whites than over whip them.
– For a smooth top, it’s best to whiz up your almond meal and icing sugar in a processor to make the mix really fine. However be careful not to over process the mix as that can release the natural oils in the almond meal. Sieve the dry ingredients after processing, and discard any large pieces that do not go through the sieve. If you’re short on time you can skip the processor, but be sure to sieve the ingredients twice. Your tops will be a little bumpy (kind of like mine) but the taste will be just fine.
– When you mix together the dry ingredients with the egg whites, you actually want to knock out the air from the mix. Use a folding action but keep mixing to knock the air out, and until the mixture has a nice drop consistency. That means that when you hold up a spoonful it shouldn’t fall off the spoon too easily, it should drop off after a second or two, and when it hits the rest of the mixture it should hold its shape momentarily before falling back into the mix after about 30seconds. This is the correct consistency that you want for perfect macarons.
– Make sure you leave the macarons out to form a skin before cooking. This is what creates the ‘foot’ of the macaron during cooking. When the skin has formed you will see a change in the appearance of the surface of the macaron, and it shouldn’t be sticky to touch.
– To check if the macarons are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and see if you can gently lift one of the macarons. If it comes off the baking paper and the underneath of the macaron is not sticky then it is cooked. If the macaron does not lift it means it is still a little undercooked, just pop it back in the oven for another 30secs or so, and then check again.