1 Cut butter into pieces ¼ inch/5 mm thick and place in a heat-resistant bowl. Heat in a microwave oven for 10 seconds.
2 Take the bowl out of the microwave oven and check the hardness of the butter. If the pieces are soft enough for your finger to press into them, the butter is done. If they are still hard, heat them for another 5 seconds.
3 Stir the butter with a spatula until it becomes smooth and creamy like mayonnaise.
4 Put water and granulated sugar in a heat-resistant container and stir well. Heat mixture in microwave oven for 1 minute. Remove from oven and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Heat for another 4 minutes. Remove from oven and stir with a spoon. Pointer: Wear oven mitts or glove
5. Scoop some syrup with a spoon and drop it into a small amount of water. Then try to scoop the syrup out of the water and make a ball using your fingers. If you can do this, the syrup has the right amount of density.
6 While heating the syrup, break an egg in a bowl and beat it lightly with a hand mixer. Drop the syrup, like a thread, into the bowl and whisk it at a high speed. Change the speed to medium and then to slow, continuing to whisk until the bottom of the bowl is no longer hot and the mixture becomes white and heavy. Pointer: Place a wet cloth under the bowl so that the bowl does not move when you whisk.
7 Divide the butter made in step 3, adding it to the syrup in 2 or 3 batches. Whisk with a hand mixer at medium speed each time you add butter. When the butter is well mixed, the process is done
Pointer: While whisking the butter and syrup, bubbles may appear that seem to separate the butter from the syrup. You may think you have made a mistake but just continue whisking until the butter becomes creamy.
8. Stir a drop or two of vanilla extract into the mixture until blended. Spread the cream between the cooled puffs. Cover the remaining cream with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for future use. Write a date on the package. It can be frozen for one month.
Macarons troubleshooting tips:
-If the macaron shells are cracked and have no feet it means the batter was overmixed. The batter should have the consistency of “molten lava.” It should form a ribbon when dropped from a spoon but not be too fluid. One too many strokes with the spatula and it’s game over.
-If the macarons do not spread out but retain their pointed tops, the batter was undermixed. Keeping in mind the note above, there should be no streaks of unmixed almond powder in the batter. When dropped from a spoon, the batter should quickly absorb into the mass of batter in the bowl.
-If the macarons have no feet it may be because the egg whites were not aged and the macarons were not allowed sufficient time to form a “skin.” Always used egg whites that have been aged at least 24 hours, and always allow the macarons to sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes until they are dry to the touch before putting them in the oven.
-If the feet of your macaron spread out sideways, that means the oven is too hot. Turn down the temperature slightly as soon as the feet start to form and keep a close eye on the macarons. You may also open the oven door at regular intervals to keep the temperature from getting too high.
-If the macaron shells are hollow, the egg whites were overbeaten. Beat them at low, then medium speed, and don’t overdo it.