Nothing gets me going like a good recipe and a new dish to bake. The planning, the excitement when the dish looks like its working out, the joy of seeing my family and friends gobble it up and eagerly looking forward to what I can bake next, everything about baking makes me happy (the messy kitchen counter top aside :p) Here's a peek into my kitchen, my cooking, my wonderland.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Foolproof Macarons

Peachy goodness

Owing to the overwhelming demand for my Macaron recipe on the Home Bakers Guild, I decided to blog my recipe out here, rather than emailing bakers one by one instead. I am humbled by the response my macarons got and it just drives me to keep at it. A big thank you to the members of the guild for encouraging me and patting me on my back for my efforts :) So here goes... 


Macarons: source, Ottolenghi, with a few changes here and there. 

Noir nostalgia
Ingredients:
  • 122 grams icing sugar
  • 50 grams blanched ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites (approx 60g worth, room temperature), left to age for 2 days (I use non-aged egg whites and they don't make much of a difference either way for me, so you could use fresh egg whites if you are pressed for time) 
  • 40 grams caster sugar
  • A pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
Method:
  • Sift the icing sugar and almond meal as many times as you can to get a fine mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites. Once soft peaks form, add the cream of tartar (optional) and sugar, bit by bit. Stop once you reach stiff peaks..
  • Add the almond meal/icing sugar mixture and powder food colour and fold. This technique is called macoranage. Click here to see a video I found on Youtube that shows you the process. The video is in french, but you can see the technique to get an idea if you are a first-timer at macarons. The batter should resemble lava many say. This is the tricky bit. It should fold back into the bowl smoothly when you lift your spatula but shouldn't be too runny that it becomes a puddle in the bowl. 
  • Pipe your macarons onto your baking tray lined with parchment paper and leave to rest for 20 minutes or till a skin forms on the tops. Basically, you should be able to touch the tops and they shouldn't stick to your finger. 
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 140 C, for 10 to 12 mins, or till the tops are hard and the shells don't move around when you touch them. 
  • Leave to cool completely before peeling them off the paper.. Fill with your choice of filling and enjoy :). Here's the recipe for a super-easy filling to make - chocolate ganache.
Banana split?
Macarons are very temperamental, I should know. I've had disaster after disaster. From no feet at all to feet flowing all the way out to soft and hollow shells to what now. The only way you can perfect macarons is to keep at them and learn from your mistakes. From oven temperatures to humidity, a zillion factors can contribute to failed macarons. Having said that, once you achieve perfection or are almost there, your joy knows no bounds. Most importantly, don't stress yourself out too much. I have read recipes, tips, instructions and spend many a sleepless night trying to find ways to get good macarons. At the end of the day, it was a few simple changes that worked for me and that started with the right proportions that this recipe gave me. So go ahead and try it out for yourself.. This is the one dessert that failed me the most but also thrilled me the most when I nailed it.. 
I hope to start teaching whatever I know on making them after a few members from the guild suggested I do the same. So if you are in Bangalore, I'll be holding classes shortly, soon after I get batch upon batch come out perfectly and some good fillings to go with the same. Dp contact me if you have any queries during your macaron attempts. I'm always happy to help. And do post and send me pictures of your attempts. And lastly, hope the macaron gods smile on you and you achieve smooth domes, good feet and well-baked macarons that slide off your baking sheet.. 

Till then, like I always say, Get, Set, Bake... 

7 comments:

  1. Tks so much for sharing the recipe here on your blog! Came here from HBG and have been reading lots about macarons there :) Will give it a try and buzz you back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime Shobhana :) Do let me know how they turned out..

      Delete
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  5. Can I substitute lemon juice for cream of tartar and what is the temperature and timings to bake in a microwave oven with convention mode option?? TIA

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