Monday, May 14

French Macaron Journey Take Three!

I have been in the kitchen again obsessing over macarons.  Armed with more knowledge from my last trials, I felt a huge amount of confidents.

I can happily report back that there were no tears or tantrums this time around and I found them rather quick to make!! I spent a total of about 2 1/2 hours and managed to bake 3 batches of macaron shells that I was pretty happy with. {insert HUGE smile & happy dance}

I have used the french meringue technique and really find this method enjoyable to make ... well that is once you have gotten a handle on how to make them that is!!  It is least time consuming.  No need to make sugar syrup {Yippee} and my personal opinion is they taste so much more delicious.


This is one of the flavors that I made this week.  Chocolate orange and OOooo these are so good! They have such a wonderful orange flavor with the lovely sweetness of the chocolate!! Yumo!

Now! Lets got down to what I've learnt!! But before I do this I have to recommend the absolutely BEST macaron blog around!! You may already know her blog but if you haven't you MUST go over and have a good read!! She is my macaron idol and she is a wealth of knowledge!!  Introducing Ms Humble from Not so humble pie.  I have used her recipe and read up on all her tips and techniques and adjusted accordingly to what works for me.

Ms Humbles Basic macaron shell recipe:

120g Almond flour
200g Icing sugar
100g Egg whites
35 g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Food colouring gel

Technique:

Line your baking trays with baking paper.

In your food processor place your grounded almonds and icing sugar and blend well.  Now sieve and place aside.

Weigh out your egg whites {I don't age my egg whites} and place into a large stainless steel mixing bowl.  I use my kitchenaid mixing bowl for this.  Please remember you must have an extremely clean and dry bowl to have success with your meringue.  Put your cream of tartar and sugar into your egg whites.  I use my Kitchenaid to make my meringue using my whisk attachment.  Whisk your egg whites at speed 1 for a few seconds just to loosen your egg whites then increase to speed 4 and whisk for 3 minutes.  Once the 3 minutes is up increase to speed 6 and whisk for another 3 minutes.  Your meringue is know ready to add color.  Add food coloring gel to deserved tint and whisk at speed 6 for 1 minute.  Your meringue is now ready.

 Add 1/4 of almond/sugar mixure into your meringue and carefully mix using a silicone spatula.  Keep adding the almond/sugar mixture 1/4 at a time until your meringue and almond/sugar mixture is well combined and you have a lava like consistency.  Remember you don't want to overwork your batter!!! So just take your time with this step.  

Once your batter is at the right consistency spoon batter into your pipping bag.  You are now ready to pipe  your shells.  I pipe my shells to approx 3 cm.

Pick up your tray of piped macarons and tap the tray quite hard { I pick up my tray and then drop it onto the table a couple of times } to remove any air bubbles in the mixture.  Use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles.

 Now let your macrons chillax {or rest} for 30 minutes or until they are no longer sticky when you lightly touch them.

While your macarons are resting pre-heat your oven.

Ok now this is where it gets tricky! Oven temperatures.  I bake my macarons at 140 degrees for 16 minutes and I find this works really well for me BUT this may or may not work well for you.  My oven is an industrial oven which has a fan.  If you are using your home oven I would suggest trying them at 150 degrees.  My best suggestion is to trial a range of temperatures from 140 to 160 degree and time ranging from 15-20 minutes to see which works best for your oven.  I found it very usefully to write down the time and temperature you are trialling  with each batch and the finished outcome.  You will eventually find a temperature and cooking time that works perfectly for your oven.

Once they are baked leave them on the trays till cooled.  They are now ready to be filled.

Usefully tips: 

  • Buy yourself an oven thermometer - this will be one of the best things you will buy and will make a huge difference to learning about your oven.  They are not at all expensive.  You can pick one up for bout $10
  • If when removing them from the tray and they are a little sticky place the tray of macarons into the freezer for about 5 minutes and they will come away from the baking paper very easily.


There are so many different types of fillings you can make!! 

Here is my recipe for my chocolate orange ganache filling:

180g Lindt's chocolate orange chocolate {finely chopped}
180mls Cream
Zest of 4 oranges





In a small saucepan add your cream and orange zest.  Place on a stove and gently bring to a boil.  Now set aside for 15-20 minutes for the orange zest to infuse the cream.

Meanwhile place chocolate in a bowl.  Place bowl over a pot of simmer water {making sure that no water is touching the bowl and gently stir until the chocolate is melted.

Strain your cream, making sure to get all the cream out from the orange zest.  Place cream back onto the stove and bring back to a gentle boil.  Add to the chocolate and stir until well combined.

Place your ganache mixture into your fridge until it is at the right pipping consistency.  This should take about 20 minutes.

Now pipe onto your macaron shells.  Place your macarons into an airtight container and put into the fridge for 24 hours and let the maturing beginning.  Your macarons are now ready to be enjoyed.

Here are the other 2 batches that I trialled this week:

Introducing My Lemon & Blueberry Jelly Macarons


Lemon zest infused shells with a lovely lemon ganache


with a lovely homemade blueberry jelly center!


The homemade jelly was so fun to make!!


And now introducing my Green tea and passion fruit macarons


Ooooo these are so so so so yummy!! A green tea infused shell with a sweet and tangy passion fruit swiss meringue buttercream.  When you bite into these little morsels you first get hit with the lovely tanginess of the passionfruit and towards the end you get the soft flavor of the green tea!! They are pure dreaminess!

Please Please Please! remember that I am by no means a macaron maker!!  I am just obsessed with these little beauties and really love the challenge of making them.  My best advice is to keep at it! Like me I have been through lots of tears and tantrums to get to a place that I am happy with.  

Please go and read Ms Humble's Macaron 101 : French Meringue post.  I have learnt so much from her and I'm sure you will too.



Happy Macaron baking!!








8 comments:

  1. Oh wow they look so beautiful !! I wish I'd seen earlier that you had been on this journey - I made my first Macaron attempt for this Mother's Day and encountered all your earlier problems too. I've just updated my Mother's Day blog post with a link to your post to be sure my friends have advice from the very best!!(http://ourwindyspot.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/very-mint-mothers-day.html). I think I'm going to have to get back into the kitchen at some stage and try and master these - I have the bug!! Thanks :)

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  2. Hi Olivia,

    I've just popped over to your blog and your mother's day table was gorgeous!! :) Aww thank you for adding a link on your post ... however I wouldn't say that I've perfected them just yet!! hehe lots still to learn. I do love a challenge!! My friend and I are totally OBSESSED with these little beauties!! Yes get back in the kitchen!! Once you make a few more batches you'll start to get some confidents and I think it is well worth the tears and tantrums!!

    Vanessa xx

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  3. Thankyou so much for this! I am rather obsessed with Macarons also and was all set to bake four batches this afternoon for my first attempt. I was going to try the Italian method, but after reading this I am going to try the French method. I have read literally dozens & dozens of blogs on Macarons & discovered Ms Humbles blog last week, it's a fantastic resource! Fingers crossed mine turn out ok. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences x

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  4. Hi Vanessa - great post!

    Have you ever made chocolate macarons where the baked shells are dull and matte? I have great results with all macarons, but not with chocolate so far. I read all the trouble shooting steps I can find, but they still come out dull. I wonder if others are using photo enhancing software because I've made batch after batch of chocolate macarons, with different recipes, and they all come out matte!

    Would appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks!

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  5. Dear Vanessa, I LOVE all your work. I think you're incredibly talented. So I have to tell you, it was such a refreshing thing to read your blogging about the frustration of Macarons! I became interested in these things after MasterChef 2011. Then I freaked out-too hard. Then my friend made them... first pop! So I tried. THREE TIMES I failed! But 4th attempt after watching an awesome video tutorial, and watching said friend make hers and I had success! So thank you for your honest blogging - you gave me the gumption to keep trying and not to sit in a corner thinking I can't cook... ;o)
    www.mogslee-tiger.blogspot.co.nz

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  6. Dear Vanessa

    Amazing colours! I am completely smitten with your macarons! I am addicted to matcha and would love love love to know your recipe for the green tea passionfruit macaron, if you would please be so kind to share! Also, does not ageing the egg whites make much of a difference? Thanks for all the inspiration your posts give! :)

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  7. Oh, one more question please - I'm from the UK - which food colourings do you use to achieve that brilliant pastel colour, like the lavender/blueberry macaron? Any specific brands and measurements? Thank you again!

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  8. Hi Vanessa,
    I just want to say that you are sooooooo talented. I wish I had such talent:)
    Love your macarons and everything you create too! I do have one question, how or when do you add the chocolate specks on the macarons? I will be making some but I want the specks on them. Thank you and keep up your BEAUTIFUL WORK OF ART!!!I TRULLY DO ADMIRE YOU:)

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