French Macarons

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Type of dish : sweets
Level of difficulty : so difficult
Mood : challenged!

I finally nail it, the holy grail of sweets, M A C A R O N S…
This is my second attempt making macarons. The first try was a total disaster, lack of prep and research (yes you really need it, I’m not kidding).

After gone through a lot of readings, I choose French Meringue technique rather than Swiss or Italian. The reasons are :
1.  French technique is the original one to make macs
2.  Much more simple than Swiss and Italian
Let me do a quick recap. Swiss technique include a step of double boiled sugar and egg whites in a certain temp. While the Italian one need hot sugar syrup pourred into egg whites. I learned a lot from Helen Tartelette, her tuto and 101 article are the best. But I take the recipe here, which is from the same source.

Before u start, preparation is the ultimate key. In a humid weather like Indonesia, aircon room is a must. Make sure you already turn it on. Prepare every ingredients and utensil in your reach because this is a fast work, you’re dealing with meringue!

Flag is up, shall we…

Tartelette’s Macarons
(with slight modification)

For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites), must aged 48hrs min
35 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr almonds meal
Food coloring

Sift powdered sugar and almond meal a couple of time to remove bits and pieces. You skip this, you’ll have pimple on your macs. Rub them in between your fingertips to break the bigger pieces.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, (think bubble bath foam) gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy
meringue (think shaving cream). Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
Add the nuts and powdered sugar to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give
quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
(My way : give it 20 strokes first. Divide the batter into 3 portion. Start coloring, powder is the best. Continue 30 last strokes. Run a knife, if the line is dissapear in 10 secs you’re good to go)
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (didn’t use) with the batter and
pipe small rounds onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Tap onto your kitchen top 3 times. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. Skip this step, feets gone, like my second batch huhuhu… 😦
Preheat the oven to 165C. When ready, bake for 18 to 20 minutes depending on their size. Let cool.
(My way : heat the oven using top heat. Bake for 4 mins. Rotate the pan in order to get heat consistency. Bake again for 4 mins. Switch to bottom heat, continue for 8 mins until you obtain those lovely feets.
If your macs get sticky, spray the bottom of your parch paper with little bit of water.

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My first batch is a sucess. But the second one turns into cookies sob sob…
The lessons so far :
1.  Fold throughly. Meringue cause your macs cracking.
2. Decrease heat to 150 C. If it’s undercooked, bake longer.
3.  Use powder coloring. Mine is liquid so the macs went pale.
4.  Pipe all batter and rest in a aircon room 40 mins max. This way the surface will equaly dried. My second batch only rests 20 mins, that’s why the feets won’t come out.
5.  Pipe little sizes, more cute in appearances.
6. Pipe dot shape rather than circular shape.
7. Doubled baking sheet.
8. Tap the pan numerous times.

O ya, I get a strange feeling when piping my macs. I went to tears realising this is what i wanted to do in life, this is my passion, baking. May God allow me to pursue it.

I’ll deffinetely making macs again. I got orders right away soon after I write status on fb. Yeayyyy…. 🙂

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