Monday, August 6, 2007

French Chocolate Macarons

I'm so so so excited about this. I was really very happy to have been successful in baking the macarons. I took a long time to do my research, read from various bloggers about their experience over again and again. Finally at my 3rd attempt, using a different recipe from the previous 2 times, it was successful! Macaron is a french pastry(cookie). It it not so easy to make and takes a lot of hard work and patience (look at the procedures below (-.-''') ). I think I was quite near, should be able to do it better the 2nd round. You really need to follow every step very closely. Another thing to note, do not attempt to reduce the sugar, this is suppose to be a very sweet pastry. It is the sugar that gives it a crispy texture on the outside and a little moist and chewy texture on the inside.
Below is the ones from Bakerzin. 3 for about $4.10. Expensive hor.

For the macarons below, I just used peanut butter and nutella for the filling.

French Chocolate Macaroons
Recipe Orgin: Pierre Herme Written By Dorie Greenspan
Source: IK

140gm finely ground almond powder or blanched almonds
250 gm confectioners’ sugar
25 gm cocoa powder
100 gm egg whites (I used about 3 egg whites)

1.Line two large insulated baking sheets with parchment paper, or line two regular baking sheets and put each one on top of another baking sheet. Set these aside for the moment.

2.If you have got almond powder, just sift it with the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. If you are starting with almonds place the almonds, sugar, and cocoa in the work bowl of a good processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the mixture is as fine as flour, at least 3 minutes. Stop after every minute to check your progress and to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This is not a quick on and off operation. Although the almonds may look as though they are pulverized after a minute or so, they won’t be: The nuts really need 3 to 5 minutes to be ground to a powder or flour. When the almonds are ground, using a wooden spoon, press the mixture through a medium strainer.

3.For this recipe to succeed, you need 100 gm of egg white. The egg white need to be brought to room temperature so they can be beaten to their fullest volume.

4.Beat the egg whites at low to medium speed until they are white and foamy. Turn the speed up to high and whip them just until they are white and foamy. Turn the speed up to high and whip them just until they are firm but still glossy and supple – when you lift the whisk, the whites should form a peak that droops just a little. Leave the whites in the mixer bowl and add it the icing sugar mixture in 3 separate additions. It will seem like a lot of dry ingredients to go into a relatively small amount of whites, but keep folding you will get everything in. Don’t worry if the whites deflate and the batter looks a little runny – that’s just what’s supposed to happen. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, the mixture will look like a cake batter: if you lift a little with your finger, it should form a gentle, quickly falling peak.

5.Spoon the batter into the pastry bag and pipe it out onto the prepared baking sheets (to keep each sheet of paper steady, “glue” it down by piping a bit of batter at each corner of the baking sheet): Pipe the batter into rounds about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) between each round. (Because you are going to sandwich the baked cookies, try to keep the rounds the same size) When you have piped out all the macaroons, lift each baking sheet with both hands and then bang it down on the counter. Don’t be afraid – you need to get the air out of the batter. Set the baking sheets aside at room temperature for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.

6.Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 220°C.

7.You should bake these one pan at a time, so dust the tops of the macaroons on one pan with cocoa powder and slide one of the sheets into the oven. As soon as the baking sheet is in the oven, turn the temperature down to 180°C and insert the handle of a wooden spoon into the oven to keep the door slightly ajar. Bake the macaroons for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are smooth and just firm to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Repeat the same steps for the rest of the batch.

To remove the macaroons from the parchment – they should be removed as soon as they come from the oven – you will need to create moisture under the cookies. Carefully loosen the parchment at the four corners and, lifting the paper at one corner, pour a little hot water under the paper onto the baking sheets. The water may bubble and steam, so make sure your face and hands are out of the way. Move the parchment around or tilt the baking sheet so that the parchment is evenly dampened. Allow the macaroons to remain on the parchment, soaking up the moisture, for about 15 seconds, then peel the macaroons off the paper and place them on a cooling rack.

No comments: