Sunday, April 06, 2014

Polly's very first French Macarons

I contemplated on making this French Macrons that looks so cute.  I have see many bloggers making them with such a ease, but I held back for a longest time.  This time I have to find a recipe that use the egg whites that got orphaned when I made cinnamon rolls, and this Macarons was a perfect choice.
To prepare for this, it's best that you have all the 'fillings' pre-made.   As with any other French recipes, the ingredients are so basic and simple, but the prep and or the baking techniques are the key to a successful product.  Sounds like an advice from an expert, but after making Canneles de Bordeaux many times, it is a things to remember.

Makes about 20 to 25 Macarons
Overnight - 2 Large Egg Whites in a covered bowl left in refrigerator overnight.

From anything you like to put in between or these:

Chocolate Mink Ganache:

Chocolate Mint:
5 oz of  Andes Creme de Menthe >>Mint Chocolate chips - finely chopped and placed in a heat proof bowl
2 tsp light corn syrup - add to the heavy cream when heating to boiling point
1/4 C to 1/3 C heavy cream or Milk - heated to boiling point

Add corn syrup to chocolate.  Bring cream/milk to a boiling point.   Removed right away and add 1/4 to finely chopped mint chocolate chips.  Stir to melt.  If it look dry, add the rest of liquid.
Let it cool a bit and pour into pastry bag.  Need a small tube tip, if you have one.  Set it aside.

To make Espresso / Coffee flavored filling, you need Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Reduce the following recipe by half or calculate into 1/4 batch.

5 Large Egg Whites - room temperature
1 C sugar for Egg Whites and 1/4 C sugar for Butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C (4 sticks) butter, room temperature

Butter Preparation: 
Whip the Butter in a separate bowl until pale yellow.  If all buttercream will be used for  a dedicated flavor - Add it now.  e.g.  Add Espresso/Coffee mixture.  Set aside.

Meringue Preparation:
METHOD - Bain Marie
Tip:  The water should be boiled and brought down to simmer.   Add egg white and 1 C of sugar into a heat proof  bowl/pot.  The bottom of the bowl/pot with egg whites and 1 C sugar should not touch the water.
Whisk egg whites and sugar and place over bain marie and whisk continuously until sugar is melted.  The mixture should feel hot, but the egg white should not be cooked.   *Close to 180'F.
Remove and transfer to a mixer bowl -  with Whisk attachment.
Whip at low speed for 2 min.   Then, at medium speed for 2 min.   Bring to High speed and whip until stiff and shiny peak form.

Add 1/2 C of Meringue into Butter, fold with spatula.  Add 1/3  of Meringue with butter; Fold.  Add another 1/3 of Meringue, fold.  Repeat.

Espresso / Coffee:
Dissolve 1/4 tsp of instant espresso/coffee with 1/4 tsp hot water.   Set Aside
1/3 C powder sugar with 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder.
Add dissolved espresso/coffee into buttercream

Pressed Maraschino Cherry:
1/4 C maraschino cherries 
Squeeze the as much liquid out as possible.

 French Macarons Ingredients:
71 g Almond Flour   or sliced blanched almonds processed into fine flour
117 Powder Sugar
2 LARGE Egg Whites (overnighted)
53 g Sugar
2 large baking sheet covered with Silipat

Grind sliced blanched almonds in a food processor until fine.  Shift it through sieve.
Return solids back into food processor to process further until fine flour forms.   Sift it through the sieve again.   Sift Powder sugar through.

 Mix almond and powder sugar well.   Set aside.

Beat egg whites and sugar by hand until combined.

Beat 2 min on medium speed -speed #4 Kitchen Aid mixer.
Then, 2 min at medium high speed-speed #6 Kitchen Aid mixer

Preheat oven to 350'F

Then, beat at high speed, #8, until the shiny stiff peak forms.

Add almond mixture and Fold to combine all well until shiny mixture forms.

Divide the paste into two bowls.

Add Flavor or color to it at this point.

Transfer into pastry bag with straight piping tip #804 Ateco, if you have one;  Otherwise, cut the tip of the plastic pastry bag to 7 mm opening.

Pipe a 2 cm round  (about 2mm less than a Quarter coin) on the baking sheet - 1 inch apart.   *It will expand.

Bake 1 sheet at a time.  Rotate the pan half way baking - moving quickly and gently.   Bake 13 min - depending on the power of your oven - *Until risen and just set.

Let cool.

Pipe the filling on one side and top with the other half.

Add pressed maraschino cherry, if desired.

Sprinkle some instant coffee or fine chocolate powder on top to decorate.
Make a great present.