I got the idea to make macaron ice cream sandwiches when I ate one on my visit to Milk in Los Angeles. These are oh so perfect for this hot weather and combine two of my favorite desserts. Of course, first I had to make French macarons, which I had no yet attempted.
French macarons has been on my to-do list for quite a while, but I’ve been really intimidated. I’ve read about how difficult how they are to make, how precise everything must be, disaster stories, etc. I tried to read as much as possible about macarons before my first attempt, but the more I read, the more daunting it appeared as my head was full of so many different tips.
My first attempt turned out better than I expected, though obviously I still needed some work. My biggest problem was piping. I don’t have good piping skills to begin with, so this made trying to pipe perfect circles even more difficult. I ended up making quite a mess and having to redo most of my circles. Also, my cookie sheet is a bit smaller than my silpat mat. This is normally not a problem with my cookie dough batter. But with these circles, the fact that the sheets were not perfectly flat caused problems with my piped circles, making them weird shapes. The same problem occurred with parchment paper. I buy the rolls, and so it doesn’t lay perfectly flat.
Well my first attempt wasn’t perfect, at least they came out resembling macaron shells. And since I was planning on making ice cream sandwiches with them, they still worked. I’ve since made macarons again and was much more successful in my second attempt, which I’ll blog about later.
I haven’t really made ice cream sandwiches before. I took a container of pistachio ice cream and let it melt enough so that I could easily scoop it out and spread it to a thin layer on some parchment paper. Then I used a circle cookie cutter and made cuts into the ice cream. I immediately put the circle ice cream cuts in between two macarons and put them in the freezer. If you are stacking the macaron sandwiches, make sure you put parchment paper in between, or else the macaron shells may stick together.
I don’t know if there is an easier way to make ice cream sandwiches. I’ll have to do some research because this process took me a while and it was really messy. A lot of melted ice cream. At one point, BF asked me what I was doing. “Making a mess,” I informed him honestly.
These came out pretty tasty. They did take a while to make. It helps that these freeze well, so you can make a lot at a time and keep them in the freezer.
After two macaron attempts, here are some tips I think are important:
1. Make sure you use a scale to measure out your ingredients. This is something I kept reading about over and over again. You want precise measurements.
2. Age your egg whites. I aged mine for 48 hours at room temperature. When I first read about having to age egg whites, I was a bit taken aback about this, but I was reassured by reading this on other blogs.
3. Here is a great video showing you the different steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDo0SgDKLVw&feature=player_embedded
Matcha Green Tea Macarons (adapted from Food, Je T’aime)
200 g powdered
110 g almond flour (I used JK Gourmet Almond Flour), which I thought was great. It was ground extremely fine)
1 tbsp high-quality
90 g aged egg whites (about
30 g fine granulated sugar
1.Put almond flour, matcha powder and powdered sugar into a food processor and grind together.
2. Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin whisking on high, gradually adding the granulated sugar little by little until you form a stiff meringue
3. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue in two installments. Fold until the ingredients are just mixed in, and you can no longer distinguish meringue from dry ingredients–until there are no noticeable streaks of white or green
4. Place batter into a piping bag and cut half inch tip at the bottom
5. Pipe batter onto silicon or parchment paper lined baking sheets in 1 1/2 inch rounds, about 2 inches apart, giving them room to spread
6. Let macarons shells sit for 30 minutes.
7. Bake in 300F convection oven for about 15 minutes depending on your oven
8. Let cool on baking sheets and once cooled, place ice cream inside.
9. Freeze after putting in ice cream. Place parchment paper in between each sandwich so the shells won’t stick together.