Macarons in my oven

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
Sorry for the recent disappearance act. Work has been pretty demanding of late. I’ve been in and out the country a couple of times and unfortunately the country I was at had blocked WordPress and several other blogging websites. T.T

I’ve been on a recent macaron baking craze lately. I have tried baking these cookies before several times but they have never turned out right. I have over and under mixed the batter, undercooked the cookies (resulting in cookies sticking to the cookie sheets and hence separating the feet from the shells), been too gentle with the batter, etc etc.. Those who have attempted macarons would know.

Tray of macarons

So I have finally succeeded in making these cookies (YAY ME!) and I am finally ready to share this recipe with you guys here.

No hollow shells!

Many recipes require aging the egg whites for at least 24 hours to get rid of the moisture, or require cream of tartar to stabilise the egg whites. But hey,.. I have tried making macaron shells without aging my egg whites and have even tried making them with eggs just out of the fridge and they turned out fine. I have never used cream of tartar to stabilise my egg whites. So there :)

What I think is the most crucial part to making macarons is the part when mixing the egg whites with the almond/icing sugar mixture – this step is called “macaronage”.

Feet!

In my first few attempts, I was too gentle with my mixture, folded my mixture slowly and with a very light hand. Little did I know.. I WAS WRONG.


Macaronage requires you to beat the air out of the egg whites (a.k.a. deflate the egg whites) while mixing the flour mixture in. If the air in the egg whites are not deflated, you will end up with cracked shells. Eeks! Been there, done that! If you over mix the mixture, your macaron shells will end up like cookies. These are a pain to make yeah?

There are many other websites that have illustrated the steps to making these macaron shells as well as providing tips on to dos and not to dos while making them. I have found them really helpful. Youtube tutorial videos have also helped me to understand the how the consistency of the batter should be like when it has been mixed.

The following websites have been helpful in my macaron journey :) these might help you guys!

http://bravetart.com/blog/MacaronMyths

http://foodnouveau.com/2011/12/destinations/europe/france/a-macaron-troubleshooting-guide-useful-tips-and-advice-to-master-the-french-delicacy/

http://thebakedroad.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/foolproof-macarons-the-how-to-guide/

http://kitchenmusings.com/macaron-faqs/

Today I will share with you guys the recipe that I have been using over and over again for the past few weeks. It is really easy to remember!

Cream cheese filling

Macaron Shells
Macaron shells recipe
(adapted from thebakedroad.wordpress.com)

50 grams almond flour
50 grams icing sugar
40 grams egg whites (at room temperature, preferably)
40 grams caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius and prepare your baking trays lined with baking paper.
2. Mix egg whites in a clean bowl using the whisk attachment on the standmixer on medium speed. Once egg whites have turned frothy from the mixing, add in caster sugar in 3 portions until egg whites have reached stiff peaks – you’ve got meringue!
3. In a separate bowl, sift almond flour and icing sugar together.
4. Mix almond flour mixture into meringue in 3 additions. As you add, flatten the mixture against the side of the bowl while mixing to beat the air bubbles out. The macaron mixture is done when you lift your spatula up and the batter falls into the bowl and forms a ribbon-ish like trail. The ribbon trail marks will slowly disappear as the batter “merges” together after a while.
5. Pipe macarons. Bang the tray on the table about 3 times to get rid of the air bubbles. If there are still bubbles on the surface of the shells, use a toothpick to burst them. Let macaron shells sit on the counter for about 20 minutes before baking them.
6. Bake in oven for approximately 17 minutes.
7. Let macaron shells cool before the separating them from the baking paper.

Notes

To know if your meringue have reached stiff peaks, it will not fall or slide off the bowl when the bowl is inverted.

If you like macarons with tall feet (I know I do!), increase temperature to 170 degrees Celsius when feet starts forming (about 2-3 minutes into the oven), decrease temperature when you’re happy with the height of the feet.

For colourings, if you are using powdered colouring, sift it together with the almond flour and icing sugar mixture. If using gel or liquid colouring, add it to the meringue when it reaches soft peaks.

If you wish to make chocolate shells, replace 2 table spoons of icing sugar in the recipe for 2 table spoons of cocoa powder.

To get even shaped shells, use a template underneath your baking paper and remove the template before baking your macaron shells. I use the one on this site: http://yumarama.com/4484/making-macarons/

For fillings, try to use fillings that do not contain much moisture. I made a bad mistake by using a paste that was really moist and my macaron shells turned soft (like cake!) the next day. It was horrible.

In the making

Making Sally from Line! :)

Bear

Random bear :)

Feet!

Sally has FEET!!! *grin*

 

Macarons

All done!

Bear faces

Piped the details on the bear using icing made with about 2 tablespoons of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and a teaspoon of milk. If the icing isnt thick enough, add more icing sugar. For coloured icing, skip the cocoa powder and replace with colouring of your choice.

In the oven :)

My first macaron with feet :)

 

Sally!

Heehee.

 

Macarons

Please leave a comment if you have any questions regarding making macarons! I will be glad to help :)

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