Salt and Serenity
Hazelnut Macaron Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 10 ice cream sandwiches.
1. The day before you plan to make these, separate 4 large eggs. Freeze or discard
the yolks and put the whites in a bowl in the fridge overnight to age and dry out
somewhat. Remove them from the fridge about 2 hours before you plan to make
them so that they can come to room temperature.
2. A scale is necessary for measuring out the ingredients. There is too much margin
for error when scooping into measuring cups. Macarons are finicky!
3. If you can’t find fine ground granulated sugar, just give regular granulated sugar
a whiz in the food processor for 30 seconds.
For macaron shells:
100 grams egg whites (about 3 egg whites, aged for about 24 hours)
130 grams hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
160 grams icing sugar
80 grams finely ground granulated sugar
I 500-ml. container coffee ice cream
1 500-ml. container vanilla ice cream
1. Find a drinking glass that measures about 2 1/2 inches across. Using a sheet of
parchment paper measuring the same size as your baking sheets, trace out
staggered rows of circles, spacing the circles about ½ inch apart. This will be
your template to help you pipe even sized macrons. If you have 13 x 18 inch
baking sheets, you should be able to get about 12 circles (3 across and 4 down).
2. Lay the circle drawn sheet on stacked baking trays and cover with a second
piece of blank parchment. You may want to paperclip them together so they do
not slide when piping. Set aside.
3. In the food processor, grind hazelnut meal and icing sugar until they resemble a
finely ground powder, about 2 minutes. Transfer ground almond mixture to a
sieve, set over a large bowl and using a rubber spatula of back of a spoon, push
the mixture though the sieve into the bowl. This process ensures a smooth and
shiny macaron shell.
4. Using an electric mixer with a very clean bowl, beat egg whites on low speed and
gradually increase to medium speed until egg whites are foamy and soft peaks
have just started to form. Gradually add in castor sugar, a tablespoon at a time
and continue beating on medium speed until whites are glossy and form a stiff
5. Fold the egg whites into the hazelnut mixture. You don’t have to worry about
being too gentle here. You are making a cookie not a meringue. The best way I
have learned from is to mix quite vigorously for the
first 10 strokes and then lift the mixture with spatula, turn and push it against the
bowl. Lift, turn and push, lift, turn and push, until you achieve a well-combined
and shiny mixture. The finished batter will be thick and smooth and flowing. Be
careful not to over mix or your meringues will be flat.
6. Fit a disposable piping bag with a ½ inch plain round piping tip. Stand pastry bag
with tip in a tall glass or pitcher and fold down top of bag, over sides of pitcher.
Fill pastry bag about 2/3 full. Twist top of bag closed. Pipe batter onto prepared
baking sheets, using circles as a guide. Most likely your piped macarons will
have a little nipple or peak on them. Tap the tray on the counter to slightly flatten
them out.
7. Put rack in middle position in oven. Preheat oven to 320ºF/350ºF (convection
/conventional oven). Let the macarons sit at room temperature for about 30-60
minutes so that the tops can dry out a bit before baking. This will help them rise a
bit better. After 30 minutes, touch the top gently with your finger. If it does not
stick to your finger, they are ready to bake.
8. Just before baking, reduce oven temperature to 275ºF/320ºF
(convection/conventional). Bake, one sheet at a time for about 12-14 minutes,
rotating the tray after 7 minutes for even baking. You will notice after about 5
minutes, little feet will start appearing as the macarons begin to rise. This is the
mark of a well made macaron. You will know they are ready if you are able to
slightly nudge the macaron with your finger and it slides. If they do not move at
all, they need a few more minutes.
9. Set baking sheet on a cooling rack and let cool for a few minutes. Remove
macarons from parchment paper and set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Let the coffee ice cream sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Line a
baking sheet with plastic wrap. Spread coffee ice cream over baking sheet in an
even layer, about ¼ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for another
few hours. Let vanilla ice cream soften for 15 minutes. Spread vanilla ice cream
over coffee ice cream. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours.
11. Remove ice cream from freezer. Select a cookie cutter the same size as
macarons and cut out circles. Sandwich between 2 macarons. Store sandwiches
in an airtight plastic container in the freezer until ready to serve.