Exciting Day!

A week filled with activities and bakings! I was rather busy this week with my own activities, in the office and at home baking. However, of all the happenings, the best was today's bake: Macaroons! I've finally found the right recipe to bake the macaroons. I've not dared to try so far, after my one failed attempt. I didn't have the guts to try again. However, when I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart's website, I thought it sounded easier than my previous attempt. So I decided to give it a try again since I have some whites in the fridge after my Orange Lapis Cake some weeks back! :p

I am very happy with what I've gotten for my macaroons! Here is how I've made it.


Thursday's Bake: Sardine Puffs & Some Vol-au-Vents'




Friday's Bake: Yam & Corn, Sausage and Cheese & Sugar Buns



Saturday's Bake: Parisian Macaroons


Here is the recipe for Parisian Macaroons, extracted from Martha Stewart's Website.
Ingredients:
Makes about 16 filled macaroons [I made double of this]

1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Macaroon Filling (Recipe below)

Directions:
1. To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 180C. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
[For me, the batter was quite stiff, it doesn't spread at all! I also didn't have the "soft skin" form on my macaroons, though the top was dried after 15mins.]

3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
[For me, I only baked each batch for about 10mins or lesser. My macaroons' size were rather small. When the top starts to brown, I'd take them out from the oven. The macaroons came off very easily from the baking paper!]

4. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
[For me, I use teaspoon to fill up the fillings. I half the filling recipe and still left quite a lot. I divided the fillings into four to add flavours-Chocolate, Green Tea, Orange & Coffee.]

Variations:
1. To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling.
2. To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling.
3. To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.

Macaroon Fillings:
Ingredients:
Makes 3 cups [I halved this recipe & still have half leftover]

3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar [should reduce]
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

Directions
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.

3. Variations: To make hazelnut-honey filling: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of macaroon filling with 1/3 cup finely ground hazelnuts and 2 tablespoons good-quality honey.


I hope those of you who likes macaroons would give this recipe a try. Or those who is like me, fearful of failing, should try too! It was really a great achievement for me!

9 comments:

Fiona said...
October 20, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Wow, Macaroon!! Very pretty!
Something I will never ever to made cos the ingredients sound greek to me!

Your cake is very pretty! I must say your decoration is getting better! Keep it up!

Yuri said...
October 20, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Great bake results, and good job on the macaroons!

Passionate About Baking said...
October 21, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Hi Fiona & Yuri,
Thanks for the encouragements! I'm pretty happy with what I produced lately too! However, the standards are quite difficult to sustain most of the time! :p

tazyspin said...
April 14, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Hi JJ,

How do u make e Macaroon looked so smooth? How big shld we pipe the macaroon?

Cheers!

Jackie

tazyspin said...
April 14, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Hi JJ,

Sorry, I hv another qs. I realised that cups & tsp has got in US & UK measurement. In this case, which contries measure shld we adopt?

Cheers!

Jackie..again!

Passionate About Baking said...
April 14, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Hi Jackie,
I'm not very good at macarons. I think when you fold it, it should already be smooth. Or you can use your wet fingers to gently press down the peak.
The macarons should be piped about 1.5" in diameter.
As for the measurements in tsp & cups, I usually convert using US metrics to grams. I'm more comfortable to use grams than tsp and cups.
Hope this helps.

tazyspin said...
April 15, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Thanx for the tips. As for the measuring, I agree it is easier to convert to gram. But sometimes, tbsp and tsp are quired so that's where the confusion comes in. And those recipes book don't usually tell you they are using US or UK measurement. I've come across Aust measurement too...fainz!

Cheers!

tazyspin said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Hi JJ,

How do u make e Macaroon looked so smooth? How big shld we pipe the macaroon?

Cheers!

Jackie

Fiona said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Wow, Macaroon!! Very pretty!
Something I will never ever to made cos the ingredients sound greek to me!

Your cake is very pretty! I must say your decoration is getting better! Keep it up!

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