Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recipe: Macarons Part 2


My second try when it comes to making the infamous macaron turned out better than the first but still didn’t come out perfect. Since I was able to find cheaper almond flour (Alpine Valley) I felt okay with using the last of my UK almond flour to make a bigger batch of macarons. I still didn’t try a Laduree recipe yet (I want to do that next time around) so I decided to try an adapted for of Entertaining with Beth on Youtube’s recipe. I wanted to make it chocolate with a chocolate ganache so I also used part of the recipe from http://www.chow.com/recipes/28339-french-chocolate-macarons-with-chocolate-ganache. Below I have copied Beth’s full recipe and instructions found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ636Y8N6E8
RECIPE FOR BETH'S FOOLPROOF FRENCH MACARONS
Makes 24 completed sandwich cookies


INGREDIENTS
3 Egg Whites
¼ cup white sugar (50 g)
2 cups confectioners sugar (200 g)
1 cup almond flour (120 g) (SEE NOTE BELOW)
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml) * You can omit if needed, just may take a bit longer to reach stiff peaks but the recipe will still work)

NOTE: If you cannot find almond flour where you live, check out this great video from my new friend Dzung at Honeysuckle Catering and she'll show you a great easy way to make it yourself!
http://bit.ly/WZQ1fZ


RASPBERRY BUTTER CREAM
1/4 cup salted butter (60g)
3/4 cup powdered sugar (75 g)
1 cup (150 g) fresh raspberries, worked through a sieve to extract 3 tbsp of juice

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 300F degrees

Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar for 8-10 mins. TIP: #1 eggwhites should be room temp. To create room temp eggs, submerge in warm water for 5 mins.

Whip until they form a peak that stands upright. Think Seattle Space needle.

Then add the food coloring. TIP#2 Color does fade as it cooks, so do a shade or two darker than you want them to be.

TIP#3 Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar. What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Just discard those, or use them to snack on :) You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.

Fold flour/sugar mixture into the egg white mixture. TIP#4 This is where all your hard work can really go wrong. Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won't have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time. But again, it can be tricky, depends on how strong you are, Ha! So it can take a few tries to get it right. But when you do, the trumpets will blare and you will feel SO accomplished!

Transfer batter to a pastry bag.

Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 


TIP#5: tap the pan hard at least 2-3 times to release the air bubbles. This will prevent the tops of your macaroons from cracking.

TIP#6 Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. This will allow them time to dry out a bit before hitting the hot oven. They should be "tacky" to the touch, but not stick to your fingertips. This is another important step to assuring your macarons develop feet! When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. That's what creates the feet!

Bake for 20 mins. DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.


Meanwhile mix the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Slowly add sugar. Then place sieve on top of a bowl the same size. Work raspberries through the sieve with a spatula, pushing them through, mashing them around until you extract their juice. You want 3 tablespoons of juice.

Add juice to buttercream, and whip until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ " in diameter)

Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. Top with the other shell et Voila! 

If not eating right away, keep refrigerated.

The recipe from Chow.com is
For the macarons:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the ganache filling:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature and cut into cubes
So, now to what I did and my result: I followed Beth’s macaron recipe with the addition of three tablespoons of cocoa powder. I followed all her tips. My problem, though, is that I piped them out a bit too big (some came close to two inches) and then didn’t add more baking time so a few stuck. I also got some cracks on the tops, so I must have just slightly under mixed. I also piped them too close.
They also got a big wrinkly on top. A website I looked out said that could be because I didn’t let them rest long enough before putting them in the oven. I think this might be true because my second try didn’t get as wrinkled.

The macarons I made had feet and some height, but also a dense, chewy center. No hollow macarons for me! Overall, I think the shells turned out well. Next time I will try to mix just a little bit longer and let them sit for like 40 minutes before baking. I also will bake for 22-23 minutes if they get large.
As for the ganache, I measured a mixture of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips into a bowl. I then microwaved the milk until bubbly, added it, let it sit a few minutes and then mixed. After it because constant I added the butter. I then refrigerated it for an hour, but it didn’t set. This recipe is on the edge of too much milk and butter. I’d advise using a little more chocolate or adding less milk/butter, or even no butter. The butter does help add fat if you are using milk instead of cream. To fix my runny ganache, I melted about 2 ounces of chocolate in my microwave, added some ganache to liquefy it more, and then poured that mixture into the rest of the ganache and mixed. Within a half hour it set. If it doesn’t set in an hour, add more chocolate!


In general these are tastier macarons than my last batch, smoother, and nicer looking. I also like the addition of the ganache. I wonder what recipe I will try next…. Any suggestions?

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