Macarons are delicious, small, sometimes bite size meringue base cookies. They come in a variety of colours and flavours. One of which is now my favourite – passionfruit, which I think is rather strange because I don’t normally eat passionfruit. It’s not something I usually think about eating or buying so enjoying this macaron flavour is a little odd, but I digress.
As the title suggest, these macarons are made from a packet mix. Adriano Zumbo’s latest creation. – For those that don’t know, Adriano Zumbo is a renowned patissier here in Australia-. These packet mix have now been out on the market for a few months and I’m so glad. Now we can have a little bit of Zumbo magic at home. The macaron mix comes in passionfruit and also in salted caramel flavours.
Macarons are not usually cheap. They’re priced somewhere between $2.50 – $3 each, sometimes more. For a packet mix that can create about 30 macarons and cost lest than $8, I think it’s worth trying.
I love macarons. So when I saw this at Coles, I wanted to road test it. I road tested Donna Hay’s Macaron Mix sometime ago and I was very impressed. So as you can see, I had to try this one.
Firstly, this packet mix from Coles were on sale for $6.20 (normally $7.80 I think), so another reason for me to try it. Secondly, I think the box art is rather cute and it has helpful hints and tips which is great for us novice. There’s even a QR code on the back that can be scanned to watch a video tutorial. Anyway, enough about that. What’s in the box?
The box contains a meringue mix, almond meal, passionfruit filling, 2 piping bags (for the biscuits and filling) and a cutout ring template. I really think it was a clever idea to have included those last 2 items into the packaging.
The first step is to pre-heat oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan forced). I usually pre-heat my oven just before I’m ready to bake so I skipped this step). Then tracing the inner circles (from the cutout ring template) onto the back of baking paper for 2 trays. The circles are the guide to get the correct shape and size for the macarons.
In a bowl, and with an electric mixer, the meringue mix and 1/4 cup of water is combined and mixed until thick. Once thickened, increase mixer speed to maximum (I actually had mine set to maximum throughout) and continue to mix for 4 minutes or until stiff peaks. My meringue mix took about 8 minutes to get to stiff peaks.
At this stage, the almond meal is sifted into the meringue and combined thoroughly with a spatula. As with the directions on the packaging, pulse the mix just for a second. The batter should slide very slowly from the beaters. If you find that your mix is already the right consistency (from combining with the spatula), I think you should skip this step. However, as per the directions, if batter is still thick, then pulse again. I over-pulsed mine just a tad.
Transfer the batter into the provided piping bag and cut off the tip. Pipe onto the circles drawn baking paper (remember to do it on the back) and leave them for about 10 mins. This is when I pre-heat my oven. As my macaron mix were a tad runny from over mixing, I decided to set them aside for about 30 minutes to make sure that they had dried properly. Bake in the oven for 14-18 minutes.
I baked my macarons for about 16 minutes on 140ºC. Even though the batter was a little bit on the runny side, I was glad they turned out great. Sure they don’t have that beautiful dome shape like the picture on the box but I was pleased they had “feet” and no cracks. Whew! I always get nervous when making macarons. I never quite know how they turn out.
Slide the baking paper onto bench top and leave macaron shells to cool completely. To make the filling, it’s simply combining the passionfruit mix and 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Place in piping bag. I thought the passionfruit filling was really yummy.
Pick out the best looking macaron shells and match them in pairs. Pipe the filling onto one macaron shell and sandwich it with its other shell.
The packet mix is supposed to make at least 40 macaron shells but because my batter was a little runny, I only managed to make 34 shells.
So what did I think?
It’s very simple to make and reasonably cheap and I think a great start for those that are wanting to try their hand at macaron making. Macarons from scratch is not easy. The packaging looks attractive and gives clear directions and also provide helpful hints and tips. I did find that there isn’t enough filling. I made 34 shells but just managed to pipe enough for about 16 macarons. My last macaron had a very small, shy amount of filling.
Personally, I really like it. A little bit on the sweet side but I think it still tastes great. Normally my little girl doesn’t like macarons but she was going back for them quite a few times. I think I’ll be making these again. Perhaps I’ll try the salted caramel next time.
Have you tried this packet mix – what did you think of it? Do you prefer to make your own? Buy your own? Or experiment with packet mixes?