Peanut Butter Jelly Macarons....
Hmmmm...you don't know how excited I was last night to "achieve" those beautiful macarons (because them macarons wear their skirts!)! But, it was already past 1 am and I really had to retire after I made those finicky gems and baked cakes for my orders....so, while running around stopping Hajar from touching my scale and thermometer and whisking my meringue...I forgot to colour the shells...and because my selimut busuk (smelly duvet) was already calling....I only smeared the shells with peanut butter jelly...Goober Grape to be exact!
And with that, and my recent purchases of a candy thermometer, heat-proof spatula, Kenwood food processor and two Silpats, I am happy to announce that I will move on with my quest to make more macarons...next up will be Green Tea Macarons! I loike!!!
The batter on my new Silpats....
I can't remember why I started attempting them, but I remember vividly that I was attracted to the myriad of colours and endless possibilities of flavours and fillings that these gems could have...so when I stumble upon Rima's blog about French Macarons, I decided that I have to give this a go...of course that time I didn't have a candy thermometer and all, but I already had purchased this book I-Love-Macarons-Hisako-Ogita from Delicious Ingredients, and have been studying the book!
My first attempt...FAILED miserably...they cracked, they didn't have the feet, they were matte....now I know that that could be due to a hot oven, poor macaronnage (ie wrongly mixing of the meringue and almond icing sugar) and not drying the shells properly.....I was disheartened, but my spirits was high....I kept looking (googling that was!) for the answers.....I bumped into Tartelette who has a wonderful write up, a step by step guide on how to make macarons using the French Meringue method....and then, there was Aran's tips also! I made Chocolate Macarons last Sunday, but they didn't last the time for me to get any photos or filling them with any Chcocolate Ganache!
Aren't they lovely!
So, after Raya Aidil Fitri, and with the leftovers of abundance of egg whites from the Kek Lapis that I made, I gave Rima's recipe another go.....and they jadi...you all!! The Swiss Meringue method requires double boiling the egg whites and sugar, but I didn't own a candy termometer yet, then! I estimated the heat...can you beat that! And, the result was the Macarons below! I filled them with Chocolate Ganache, but you can notice the oil spots under the skin, that could be due to using almond meal that has been left a long time on the shelve...the shells were also somewhat hollow, could be due improper heat during baking...and I didn't use Silpats! Haish....but I was on the road to success, I thought....NOT!
After that, I looked for a sifu to learn the techniques....there's nothing rocket science about macarons other than the technique, and there are only FOUR ingredients in making macarons....almond meal/flour, caster sugar, egg whites and icing sugar....so, one stroke extra and there goes your thing!
During the class, my Chocolate Macarons turned up well, he had already prepared the ingredients, I just whisked the egg white and mixed them all up and he baked for us......
My Chocolate Macarons...waiting to dry....
Mine had Buttercream and a drop of Strawberry Buttercream....will repeat this later!
Here were the macarons that we made that day...but when I tried them at home, the exact recipe, the same technique, mine failed miserably...I didn't like his baking method, so I have decided to give his method a rest, for now........
So, after I obtained all the necessary gears, and with all the failure ....at least 5 tries that went right into the bin....and equipped with the online tutorials (Tartelette's and Aran's) and tips (last was from Rima...tq Rima!), I knew last night everything will be fine! And I decided that I should stick to the Swiss Meringue technique that I learnt from Rima before I move on to try the French Meringue or the Italian Meringue.... and here goes:
80g egg white (at room temperature, I used egg whites that was aged in the fridge since last Friday)
65g caster sugar
80g ground almond (I grind this almond meal with icing sugar again, and sieved before using them)
140g icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice, I used a pinch of cream of tartar
colour powder....errr...I forgot!
100g dark chocolate
50g whipping cream
I used Goober Grape Peanut Butter....all ready to be used :p
Swiss Meringue Macarons:
1.Line 3 or 4 baking trays with silicon sheet, I used 2 Silpats and 2 baking trays.
2.Sift icing sugar and almond meal, sieve and set aside.
3.Pour sugar and egg white into a heat proof bowl, place on a simmering water over medium fire (double boiling method).
4.Slowly dissolve the sugar, until the mixture gets to 50C, or warm to touch.
5.Remove the egg white from fire, add in the lemon juice, and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks (buih buih gitu), add in the colour powder. I used my humble hand mixer from Tesco you all!
6.Continue to beat until the egg white cools down and it look smooth and shiny (yes, Rima, I know what you mean...medium peak but not dry!).
7.Fold in the sifted mixture (almond meal and icing sugar) in 4 portions...I just dumped the meringue into the sifted mixture and started mixing them, not gently, to incorporate them, and to break the air in the meringue...and stop to check the consistency... I thought this is the tricky part, you either get it here or not! The consistency should be like a flowing ribbon ripples but not runny....
8.Pour the batter into a piping bag, and pipe into a 50 cents size circles. Once done, tap the baking tray gently on your work-top, this will help the shells to develop their feet, skirt.
9.Let dry for about half and hour....err I don't have any air conditioned room at home, so, it took about 40 minutes to dry in the humid weather last night. The batter should be dry when you touch them.
10.Preheat oven at 150C, and I turned my oven to 130C when I put the trays in, so there were no cracks, and the feet/skirt came after about 15 minutes of baking. I baked mine for 25 minutes.
11.Remove macarons from the oven to cool. I placed a damp tea towel under my Silpat, and the gems lifted from Silpat very easily!
1.Heat up whipping cream.
2.Pour into dark chocolate that you have finely chopped.
3.Leave it aside to set for about 10 minutes before smearing on the macaron shells, or you can pipe them!
....the end of my Macaron 101...see you soon!