April 21, 2009

The Great Macaron Construction Adventures Part II (in pics)

As I mentioned, here are the pics from my last successful batch of macarons - Mango & Black Sesame flavours. Till the macaron gods smile on me again, savour these... was too lazy to set up nice backdrop...
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April 19, 2009

Macaron Failure

I know I haven't blogged about Part II of the Great Macaron Adventure cos I've been lazy about putting up the pics. Those were pretty good tho a little chewy according to the taste testers. In fact they were my last successful batch of macarons. My last 2 batches have been catastrophic failures :( Ok, the one today wasn't that catastrophic but the one before that was super runny, no feet, cracked tops, wet, blobby. Whatever could go macawrong went macawrong. Today's one was overmixed slightly and thus spread and stuck to each other but at least they had feet (phew!).

The macaron gods must be not happy with me. I just can't seem to get the french meringue recipe down. The last successful batch had ratio of 1:1.3:1.7:0.6 eggwhite:almond meal:icing sugar:granulated sugar. Since comments were that it was too cakey/chewy, I followed another recipe which was more like 1:1:2:0.5 which meant it had a lot less almond and more sugar, which would hopefully make it lighter? I'm not sure whether I'm overmixing the batter, or perhaps I've got too much wet ingredients to dry ingredients ratio. 

Ahh... this is perplexing me. I need to GET. IT. RIGHT.

April 8, 2009

The Great Macaron Construction Adventure Part I

Yes, yet another macaron post. I actually lost half of the post due to my fat fingers. Anyway no pics today cos it's only Part I.

Due to the broken state of the eggs I bought the other day, I was forced to crack them all and store them in bowls, for almost immediate usage. I used 4 eggs that very night to make a batch of simple Vanilla Cupcakes and separated the other 4 into whites and yolks for, you guessed it, macarons!

So thanks to the aged egg whites I now had on hand, I tried my hand at French meringue macaron shells last night. I made yellow and grey shells, can you guess what flavour I'll be attempting this round? The shells had good feet and rose quite nicely, although the shells came out rather large at 5cm instead of 4cm cos I was a tad over-zealous in piping them. They also were a bit burnt. I really need to work at lowering the temperature but still getting the bottoms dry somehow. Anyway, after they were done, I popped them into the freezer, awaiting Assembly Day.

Today I embarked on second part of my macaron construction adventure. Despite searching valiantly for a mango puree/compote recipe, I could not find a single satisfactory nor comprehensive one. Most just said to puree the mangoes - which I felt would be too watery. Others, if it called for cooking, was to make jam i.e. a lot of sugar involved.

So I decided to improvise and adapt a recipe from an apricot compote. I diced, sliced, and ate some, mango. Added sugar, lemon juice and stirred away by the stove. Lo and behold, it started thickening and coming together quite nicely. I resisted the temptation to experiment with the pectin that I had newly bought, as I didn't really want it to set like a jam/jelly. However, I added too much lemon (1 lemon instead of the half I originally used cos I didn't want to waste the other half) and it's a little more tart than I like it. Cooled it and then popped it into the fridge. Still thinking if I should add it to a whipped cream filling (lighter, not so sweet) or a buttercream (which version? American, French, Swiss or Italian??)

Tomorrow I shall endeavour to make the other filling flavour. I didn't manage to buy the
ingredient I needed so will have to improvise again. Stay tuned for The Great Macaron Construction Adventure Part II!
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