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Macarons for the win!

Posted by on Sep 1, 2011 in Macarons | 4 comments

Today ends my nosebleeding and headaches after going through almost 2 months into them! I finally finished the translation project! Yaay! I actually thought that everything’s finished yesterday so I went with the boys to McCafe, our favorite hangout because they could do some crafts while I do some blogging (free wifi) and we get to eat our favorites too! There’s macaron, cupcakes, cake slices and donuts, all tailored for our sweet tooth.

Now that I finished the project, I hope to make macarons with them. It costs a lot when we eat them out. :D

 

 

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Perfected Macaron (procedure)

Posted by on Jun 26, 2011 in Baking, Desserts, French, Macarons | 11 comments

macarons andco

pink

In making macarons, you need to start at least 3 days before…or longer. The eggs should be aged, leaving it in the fridge for at least 24 hours will make it more elastic – less air makes for smoother crust.

There are discussions about how eggs are aged. There’s either you put in the fridge upto 4 days or you leave it covered outside the fridge but  the salmonella-could-be-a-problem is brought up. So I chose the fridge as it has been becoming warm up here. I left the egg whites there for 2 days. The egg yolks are yet to be made into leche flan. :)

Macaron is rightfully derived from meringue, alright – it could be French, Italian or Swiss. French meringue uses fine white sugar which is beaten into egg whites. Italian meringue is made with boiling sugar syrup, instead of caster sugar. Swiss meringue is whisked over a bain-marie to warm the egg whites, and then whisked steadily as it cools. During our last attempt I used Italian, this time it’s French and I like the outcome.

macaron flat

on baking paper

 

For the ingredients please refer to previous post. For making macarons you’ll need a digital scale, mixer, bowls, spatula and scraper, piping bags and a round nozzle, baking tray and papers.

- Make circular patterns on baking papers – where you pipe the batter later. You can buy a macaron template too for this, at the moment I don’t know where to buy them.

- Sift 180g almond meal and 270g icing sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar) together (this is your tant pour tant). Set aside.

-In a mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed slowly reducing to medium speed. Add in the caster (refined sugar) while the mixer is at medium speed, beat until stiff (this is your meringue).

- Fold the tant pour tant and meringue. At first I did a method of folding them in with counting…that was before a kind soul posted a comment with a link on the video of how Jill Collona, the author of Mad about Macarons. In the video, Jill showed the secret to making smooth macarons by removing oxygen in the batter with the use of a scraper. True enough these batch despite me not using a nozzle and piping bag turned out smooth enough.

macaron row

with cream cheese filling

- Put the batter in a piping bag with  a  small tip nozzle. Pipe the mixture onto the baking paper, not exactly the size of the circle as it will “run.” Leave the macarons aside so that they dry up a bit and that they form skins, about 30 mins or so.

- Depending on your oven, bake the macarons. I said depending because I’ve tried a lot of times and though some said to leave the door ajar, mine turned out hollow when I do that. So what I did was to keep the door closed but I lowered the oven to 150°C. I baked them for around 12 minutes, taking them out once to turn the tray. You can also check by touching a piece and you’ll know  that it’s ready when it’s dry.

- When they’re ready get them out of the oven and leave to cool a bit. Slide them off the baking paper, find matching pieces and turn upside down (at least half of them). They’re ready to be filled in.

macarons inchoco

with chocolate ganache

For the chocolate ganache:

Put chopped 230 grams chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 180 ml cream to a boil and pour on chopped chocolate. Put 30 grams butter and combine well. Let them cool and have them fill in two shells.

For the confectioner’s icing:

Combine 4 cups confectioners sugar with 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, mix them in together and slowly put in 4 tablespoons milk or light cream until you achieve a buttery consistency. You’re ready to fill them in to.

Let the macaron cookies, fille up anf all rest and put them in the fridge for a day. This will make the filling put more flavor on the shells. Let them out at least an hour before serving.

macaronplate

Chocolate ganache or cream cheese? You choose! :)

For: Yummy Sunday, Weekend EatingIt’s a KeeperRecipe SwapFat Camp FridayFriday Potluck.

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Macaron Perfected!

Posted by on Jun 23, 2011 in Baking, Desserts, Featured, Macarons | 12 comments

Finally, I can proudly say that after a lot of trials and using different recipes, we did it! We’ve made macarons and it’s easier than before, they developed lovely feet and were crunchy outside but very soft in the inside. We tried both ganache and confectioner’s frosting for filling…both tasted awesome!

Again, let me differentiate that this macaron is almond cookie as there is macaroon – made of coconut.

choco macaron

for the ganache

We always get excited when we see these cookies develop feet. It’s about the 5-minute mark when they appear and it means that I have to turn the tray – for them to be baked equally on each side.

For this batch I used the following recipe – the site I forgot to bookmark. :(

Ingredients for the macaron shells:

150g egg whites, aged

100g caster sugar (Superfine Bakers Sugar or Granulated Sugar)

180g almond meal

270g icing sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar)

red food color (powder)

macaron in oven macaron with feet

we got feet!

The photo above reminds me of one of the funniest quips I ever read.

“This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women… poof! he turned into a box of chocolates.”

—-

macarons2

with choco ganache and cream cheese filling

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache filling:

230 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces

180 ml heavy whipping cream

30 grams unsalted butter

For the confectioner’s icing:

4 cups (460 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or light cream

For now, I’d just be teasing you with that – the ingredients. Tomorrow, I’d be posting the procedure on how these French cookies are made. ;)

 


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Carpe Diem!

Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Desserts, Macarons | 3 comments

 

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. ~Erma Bombeck

My son and I – eating all the macarons we can! :)

 

—-Post for:

and  

 

 

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Macaron Adventure continues

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Baking, Macarons, Weekend Eating | 9 comments

Like I haven’t told a thousand times how we love macarons. Here is another attempt of a different recipe and though the shells weren’t as shiny as the last time, they definitely developed lovely feet and they grew! For the recipe I followed Honey and Soy‘s religiously except for the meringue. It tends to be a bit runny if I put all of the meringue so I put in a bit at a time getting a feel of the texture of the batter to the right consistency.

For the macaron shells the standard ingredients would be:

First group ingredients:

600g sifted TPT (tant pour tant = 300g Almond meal with 300g icing sugar)
120g egg whites (aged overnight)

Second group ingredients:

300g Caster sugar
75g water
120g egg whites

You’ll need:
mixer
spatula
baking tray and paper (it’s nice if you can get a macaron template or you can draw circles on the paper)
oven
pans piping bag, nozzle
kitchen thermometer

1. In a mixer, combine TPT and egg whites, mix with a spatula to achieve a smooth paste. There are tips given by experienced macaron makers (chefs) that about 50 times only should the batter be mixed. More than that and it will make the batter runny. So I didn’t mix it that well as I still have to put the meringue later on.

2. Heat oven at 160°C/325°F. Place the egg whites (from the second ingredient group) in your mixing bowl.

In a sauce pan, mix sugar, water and food coloring and bring to a boil. Honey and Soy specifically said that when the mixture gets up to 115° you should start mixing the egg whites to soft consistency. Continue mixing, when the sugar and water reaches 118° pour it on to the egg  whites and continue mixing for 3 minutes. Let the meringue cool, Honey and Soy suggested 50°.

3. When the meringue is cool enough, combine it with the tpt-egg white mixture. Mix with spatula from the sides going to the middle. (This could be heavy for my arm lol). Mix until you reach a shiny mixture.

4. Put the batter in a piping bag with  a  small tip nozzle. Pipe the mixture onto the baking paper, not exactly the size of the circle. Leave the macarons aside so that they dry up a bit and that they form skins, about 20 mins or so.

5. Depending on your oven, bake the macarons. I said depending because I’ve tried a lot of times and though some said to leave the door ajar, mine turned out hollow when I do that. So what I did was to keep the door closed but I lowered the oven to 150°C. I baked them for around 12 minutes, taking them out once to turn the tray. You can also check by touching a piece and you’ll know  that it’s ready when it’s dry.

6. When they’re ready get them out of the oven and leave to cool a bit. Slide them off the baking paper and turn upside down (at least half of them). They’re ready to be filled in.

 

For the filling, I made chocolate ganache. For this you’ll need:

200g Fresh Cream 200g chocolate, chopped 75g butter, cubed

Put chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a boil and pour on chopped chocolate. Put butter and combine well. There’s of course a much delicate way of doing this but will do. :) It’s better to do the filling first so it will set before you put them between your macaron shells.

When you put the filling on top of one, make sure that it doesn’t get to the edge…sandwich the ganache being careful not to let them out…Let the macarons stand a few minutes then put them in the fridge and let to room temperature before serving.

Additional notes.

-Have someone help you if you’re not using a stand mixer.

-I should have remembered that I lend my nozzles and fixer to a friend. I improvised this time.

Her favorite treats.

Related story and more photos here.

A post for Weekend Eating, Tuesdays at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday.

 

 

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French Macarons

Posted by on Apr 15, 2011 in Baking, Dessert, French, Macarons | 11 comments

IMG_0024

I finally got the courage to make my own Macarons. I subscribed to HoneyandSoy’s macaron mastery course and am trying to follow their footsteps. I however followed this recipe from Gourmettraveller. :)

Macaron batter:

130 gm icing sugar
110 gm almond meal
105 gm eggwhites, at room temperature, left out overnight
65 gm caster sugar
yellow food colouring

Buttercream Filling:

1/4 cup butter softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups (approx. 1 lb.) confectioner’s sugar sifted

you’ll need ahead: baking paper drawn with 3-cm diameter rounds

1. Sieve almond meal and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.

2. Beat the egg whites using an electrical mixer at high speed slowly reducing to medium speed. Add in the sugar while the mixer is at medium speed, beat until stiff.

3. Fold the meringue in with dry sieved ingredients. The mixture should be shiny. This could be tricky, too much folding will make the batter runny, less will make it hard, you have to check on what will work best as others suggest 50 folds, others; 60.

(Honey and Soy has a different method. Check it here.)

4. Put batter in a piping bag with a plain tip.  Pipe onto pre-drawn rounds and leave them out to form a skin. This may take a while, others suggest an hour or two while others say 4-5 hours would be best. This method makes the shell develop “feet” and a lovely, shiny skin.

5. Make filling by beating butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and zest; continue beating. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.

6. Preheat oven to 140°, bake macaron shells for approximately 10-12 minutes. Turning tray after 5 minutes to even out. Take them out to cool. When totally cooled, sandwich two shells together with the filling. Refrigerate before serving.

 

For other flavors, you may put in a few grams (about 8gr) of raspberry, cherry or strawberry powder plus a few drops of red food colouring to the batter. Above is cherry with cream cheese (ja, we love cream cheese!). This batch did develop feet but were not us pretty as the yellow ones. I guess 1 hour leaving them was too short.

IMG_2850She certainly loves macarons too.

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