Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lovely Macaron & Cake Stand

So the question is making the macaron really difficult ? The answer is no, if you know the simple science behind making this intimidating 'lovely sweet'.

When I tried making the macarons for the first time; I was so frustrated and dissappointed and told to myself; "I will never be able to make this macaron!"

Not until I found this website www.giverslog.com, it was downed on me the secret of making a successful macaron. so I tried and to my disbelieve, I did it. I was very excited that I made macaron 3 days in a row.

My recipee

Basic ingredients for macaron shells

1 cup convectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour, mine is from
2 large egg whites, room temperature over night
Pinch of cream tartar
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Method; 1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times. 2. Whisk white eggs with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add powdered sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form (about 4 to 5 minutes)If you are going to add color, I added food coloring towards the end of whipping my whites. I used water color based food coloring. 3. Pour sifted flour mixture over whites all at once, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny. I found the amount of folding to be crucial. (Please read my trouble shooting no. 2 FOLDING THE BATTER) 3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a no. 10 plain round tip. 4. Pipe 1-1/4 round on top parchment paper. (Please read trouble shooting no. 3 PIPING and no. 4 AFTER PIPING) 5. Turn on the oven to 350 deg. and lower it to 285 deg. (Please read trouble shooting no. 5 BAKING. 6. Let macarons cool (please read trouble shooting no. 6 AFTER BAKING.

Note:if you want to make ROSE flavor macarons, on method no. 2 after egg whites became stiff peak form add 2 tbsp. rose water available at grocery store or online store Kalustyans and add 1 teaspoon red water base food coloring.

If you want to make CHOCOLATE flavor macarons, on method no. 1, substitute 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder for 1/4 almond flour. Pulse and sift all together.


 Recipe for Filling

Rose Filling
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoon rose water.
Method: In a bowl beat cream cheese and sugar with a electric m ixer until smooth and add 2 teaspoon rose water and beat again until smooth and spreadable.

Chocolate Filling/Ganache
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup heavy cream
Method: Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a boil in small sauce pan, and pour over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes whisk until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally until thick enough to spread about 30 minutes.


Read the trouble shooting below before making macarons
I categorized my story of making macarons like below;

You must have all the baking tools and ingredients within reach before hand. 2 egg whites per batch making about 40 to 45 shells macarons that is makes about 22 mocarons with filling must be left on the countertop kitchen covered with plastic wrap and touched the egg for at least a night. I cracked them when I make dinner about 7 pm then I will make the macarons around 11 am the next day. If you are beginners try to make one batch first. Or cracked 4 egg if you are ambitious enough and in case you are unsuccessful for the first try.

I baked the macarons on  tray pan with parchment paper on top (you will need 2 tray pans) per batch. I drew a perfect circle (1-1/4" tracing from an art bottle cap). Then flip the parchment paper then I would pipe the batter on top the circle.

After you beat the egg whites and powdered sugar until a stiff peak form (about 4 to 5 minutes) then fold in the entire dry ingredients. This is the important part of making these macarons; some recipe said you can not fold more than 50 folds. As for me, I did not count the number of the folds but I fold it carefully and gently until the batter is well mixed and reached the right consistency. Now the question is; how do you know if the batter has the right consistency. When you fold the egg to much, the batter became very thin because the egg whites will loose the air and it will collapse and became watery. You do not want this to happen because you can not fix it. It will be wasted. It is better to have less fold at first. But you do not want the batter to have less folds either because then it is too thick. When it is too thick, when piping and after baking you will not have a nice smooth surface of macarons, it will have a rough top texture which we do not want. So DO A TEST FIRST !. Take a dollop and pipe one round perfect macaron on the prepared parchment paper. And wait for about 1 or 2 minutes. The perfect macarons and after piping, the pointy tail from lifting the piping will collapse and create a smooth and shiny top of macarons. This is the correct batter macarons. If after piping leaves a sharp pointy tail and won't collapse, you need to fold the batter about 5 to 10 folds or more to make the batter slight thinner. Then do a test again. You will get the hang of it and you will know it after a few practices.

Do not pipe a swirl piping (like a snail) but pipe at one point in the center then squeeze until it all filled the circle drawing. Sweeping the tip of the piping it helps smooth out the surface of macarons.

Leave the finished macarons tray in a room temperature for about 40 minutes - 1 hour. By now the top of macarons will form a leathery skin. You can gently touch and it won't stick to your finger. Then it is ready to bake.

While waiting for the macarons for 40 minutes you can turn on the oven to a 350 deg. F. When the tray is ready to go in, turn the oven to a 285 deg. F. Bake for about 4 to 5 minutes. If this is your first time making the macarons you must stay in front of the oven door to watch it. The truth is there is no same oven temperature; they are all different. My 285 deg oven is not the same as yours. So your best bet is turn on the oven light and watch it for the first 4 minutes. You do not want them to became brown color and start to burn. After about 3 minutes they will start to form a "feet". This is because the air inside the macaron is being  trapped on top and escaped in the bottom that create a rough texture bottom part of macarons which they call "foot" or "feet" If you see this is happening then you are successful in making the macarons. If one or two of the macarons became cracked (like mine does) lower the temperature to 260 deg. or open the oven door slightly ajar. Then rotate the tray; by now your oven is 260 deg. then you will bake for more time instead of 4 to 5 minutes, make it for 6 - 7 minutes.

Now they are perfectly cooked. Leave them for about 20 to 30 minutes. Gently pick peel one macarons from the side. They should easily come off. If not leave it for more time. Maybe the center is still wet. Wait for until it is dry. If until later is still wet, you can dab water with a finger on the back of the macarons on the parchment paper and gently peel off the macarons. Believe me; they aren't all perfect. But most of them are ! You will be a master after several practices.


NOTE: I found reading what people has commented on a macaron blog topic is very helpful. So my suggestion is do the reading before you make them. Then you will have a better understanding about making macarons. Making macarons is not like making your grandma's chocolate chip cookies. Anybody can follow the recipe and be very good at it instantly! Well, not with this cookie! But once you understand and yes after several failures, you can make the most beautiful and perfect macarons. So don't be afraid of failure because I failed about 6 times before I successfully made this 'oh so cute little macaron'.

Here are some pictures from my own experiences in making the macarons.

Tea stand/cake stand available at Ellya's Etsy store; click below,

Vintage Scroll Dresden Flowers Motifs Tea Stand by Ellya, Vintage Limoges Tea Stand by Ellya, Vintage Rose Pattern Tea Stand by Ellya, Tea stand and cup 'Rose pattern' by Ellya

Have Fun Everyone...!!


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