Monday, December 20, 2010
French Macarons. They're simply just amazing. With nothing but just a few easy ingredients; they are fairly easy to make. And the French method, much easier than the Italian method, and no need to fuss over cooking the simple syrup to 118C. And if you've never had a macaron in your life before, today would be a good start to treat yourself with these little bite size French sweets.
Now to start. You will need some basic baking tools. Mixing bowls, whisks, spatulas, pastry bag with round tip, baking tray, and parchment paper or a silpat which is a non stick silicone pad.
Crank your oven to 320F. You don't need a high temperature to bake the macaron shells. Most ovens is best at 320F, but if you have a really powerful oven, perhaps 310F is good enough. For convection ovens with fans blowing to better circulate the hot air, 300F is prefect.
Now. Ingredients. Simple and fast. You will need almond flour which you can usually find in your local pastry ingredient shops or high end grocery stores. And if you cannot finding, don't worry, just buy almond slivers and blitz them in the food processor until course. If they tend to clump up because of their natural oils being released, just add some icing sugar and that will absorb all the oil. Next, you will need more icing sugar along with good quality cocoa powder. And like always, I shouldn't have to remind you to don't skimp out on the good stuff. Always pay a little extra for that better quality.
Whisk all dry ingredients together, or if you are lazy and smart like me, just blitz them all in the food processor. Like so.
Moving on to our wet ingredients. Having your egg whites already aged for a day in room temperature allowing some moisture to evaporate and the proteins to relax. In the mixing bowl, whisk together your egg whites, meringue powder and sugar until stiff peak. The addition of meringue powder will help strength your meringue since you are just adding in dried up egg whites. And they will always help with the absorption of moisture. Kitchen Aid comes in really handy in whisking this up.
Next. Fold in your meringue gently into your dry mixture and careful not to whisk the mixture. It's tempting to just want to whisk it all together, but if you do so, you will end up destorying all the little air bubbles in your meringue and you will end up with a very runny batter. I would say 4/5 of the time over mixing is the cause of most failures in macaron shell making.
So to properly fold your mixture, start from 11o'clock direction, scoop down to 4 and glide across to 7 and lift up to bring over to 2.
After when your batter has been mixed to this point above. As you can see it's quite shiny and almost pudding like surface. Very glossy. The consistancy of the batter is still quite thick, but it should resemble the viscosity of a milkshake, where it should only juuuusttt slightly hold it's ripples before merging back into it's puddle. If it's too runny, and it doesn't hold it's shape, you have over mixed it.
With your macaron batter, fill it into your pastry bag with a round tip. If you are using a Wilton brand pastry tip, a size #8-9 would be good. You want to pipe out small even circles about the size of a quarter and half. And. here's a trick, if you are right handed, always start piping your rows from the left to the right. Always start from top left and pipe across to the right, and shift 1 row down after or start from the top left and pipe down, then shift 1 collum over. Making sure you stagger the spaces so they are not all the rows are right above each other or beside. Pipe each shell in between the space gap of two top shells or two side shells. This way the heat will distribute even through out the baking process.
Then we need to let these macaron batter rest. Allowing them to form a skin on the surface so when it rises in the oven, it will create a nice dome shaped shell. Also, this will help with the proper development of the "feet" which is a signature symbol of macarons. As you can tell from the picture above and the pictures below, there's a difference on the surface of the shells. The ones below have been rested for about 20 minutes in room temperature and they have formed a skin. They don't feel sticky to the touch, and they are still quite soft on the insides.
After resting, you are ready to bake. So in a 320F oven, place your macarons and bake for about 16-20 minutes depending on your oven. In convection ovens, it only takes a quick 10-11 minutes with the fan on. Another trick for normal ovens, you can preheat another tray in the oven and simply place your macaron tray onto of the hot tray already in the oven. That extra heated tray will give you an extra boost in heat temperature and also help insolate more heat.
Trust me. No matter how many times I've baked a cake, a bread or even small petits four desserts like these macaron shells, everytime when I peak in the oven to see if they have risen correctly and they have~ I get so excited and kiddish. I do a little fist pump in my mind and I smile and say to myself, "whew~ good job Jack".
These macaron shells came out prefectly with a nice even rise and very well developed "feet" on the bottom. If you end up with TOO much feet, it means you have under mixed your batter or your oven temperature is too high. If you don't have much of any feet, chances are you have over mixed and or your oven temperature is not high enough.
Allow your shells to cool to room temperature before piping your filling. Especially if you are using a buttercream filling or a ganache in this case, you don't want your macaron shells to be warm when you are filling it. It will obviously start melting your buttercream and ganache. So rearrange your macaron shells and play match maker with similiar sized shells. Then have 1 roll top facing up and 1 roll top facing down so this way you can pipe your filling in an organized manner and also assamble'em without confusion.
For this chocolate macaron, we are filling it with a chocolate ganache that is a mixture of 70% dark chocolate and 30% milk chocolate in ratio. I find this will tone down the bitterness of the dark chocolate, but still giving you a nice richness of the cocoa flavor, but not too much of the sweetness.
張貼者： Made2Order 於 5:06 PM