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Madagascar Vanilla Macaron

22 Jun

Hi guys! I’d been MIA forever! What have I’d been doing? Pretty much I did anything but baking macaron. I know, it was sad. The last batch I made consisted of a little over 100 macarons for a wedding and since then, I got a little overwhelmed. As much as I love baking them, I hit a road block where I like a break to get my inspiration intact and just to make sure I still have fun making them.

Anyhow, the 100 macarons I made was a little challenging considered I made them in my home kitchen, and it was toward end of the week on top of my full time job. The batch also consisted two different flavors–Madagascar vanilla and raspberry. I will give you tips on time management and what you can do to prepare everything and get them out on time in future posts.

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In the mean time, the wedding batch consist of one of my favorites (and according to my friend, also the crowd’s favorite that night), Madagascar vanilla macaron.

The recipe is just the basic Italian meringue way, found in my earlier post hereMINUS the green tea powder and food coloring.

For the buttercream, here is the recipe:

Madagascar Vanilla Buttercream

[Ingredients]

1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups powder sugar
3 tbsp Madagascar Vanilla extract

[Instruction]
1. Sift powder sugar, and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat butter until soft and fluffy.
3. Add in powder sugar a cup at a time.
4. Add in Madagascar Vanilla exract
5. Beat until soft and fluffy. Use spatula to scrape down the side of bowl occasionally.
7. Ready to use.

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They look so simple and clean. But as always, fill with big flavor! I hope you enjoy it!

Black Sesame Macaron

26 Mar

I love black sesame desserts–ice cream, dumplings, mochi, pudding etc etc! So I figure, why not make a black sesame macaron!

You can get black sesame seeds whole or grinded already. One of the key to intensifying the flavor of the macaron is toasting the black sesame. You know they’re ready when you smell the sesame. The toasted sesame is then used for both the shell and buttercream.

So for the macaron, just use a basic macaron recipe and add 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame. For the buttercream, whipped 1 cup of butter with 4 cups of powdered sugar, and when everything is whipped. Lastly, mix in 2 tablespoon of toasted black sesame. Oh yeah, and the secret ingredient…sesame oil! Just add in 1 teaspoon when everything is blended.

Last but not least, the million dollar shot! Just kidding, but I just love the color of the buttercream against the lighter color cookies.

One More Day: Chili Chocolate Macaron

19 Mar

One more day until Macaron Day! In the mean time…

Who loves spicy food? I do!
Who loves chocolate? I do too!

One of my all time favorite chocolate flavors, next to hazelnut, is chocolate with chili. What really drawn me to it is the smokey and spicy aroma. I love chili powder in my meat marinade and on cheese and potato, but what makes the spicy chili even better is adding a sweet component to it, in this case, chocolate! A lot of chocolate brands such as Lindt and Vosges offer this flavor; and I’m glad I live near markets that sell them or can buy them on their website. So instead of making plain chocolate macaron, I want to make a chili chocolate one.

[ Ingredients ]

Shell:
1 batch of chocolate macaron shell
1 tsp red chili powder*

*the red chili powder I used contains ground chili pepper, ground cumin, ground oregano, garlic powder & salt

Ganache:
100g of dark chocolate
100mL of heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp of red chili powder (adjust to your liking)

[ Instruction ]

Shell:
1. Follow the chocolate macaron shell recipe, but also add the chili powder to the dry mixture.

I get addicted to pipping macaron batter circles sometimes. I get super excited and happy when they all line up and turn out the same size and shape!

Ganache:
1. In a pot, heat the heavy cream with the chili powder on medium heat.
2. Before it starts to boil, turn off and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate.
3. Keep whisking until chocolate is melted.
4. Add in butter, and continue whisking until smooth.
5. Set aside for later, or refridgerate if using it for the next day (thaw in room temp).

Assemble:
1. Fill a piping bag with ganache. Cut a hole 1/2 inch hole at the tip of the bag.
2. Pipe ganache onto cookies.
3. Place another cookie on top of the ganache.

I think I was being too generous on the chocolate ganache. The macaron looked like it contained very little chocolate, but it actually had a lot when biten into it.  I’m not saying it’s bad, but I felt like I was eating a chocolate truffle. Note to self, maybe a little less next time.

Breakfast anyone? I love these with coffee. The dark chocolate and chili adds a hint of sweetness and spiciness to the coffee.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!

In celebration of St. Patty’s Day, I baked up a batch of green macarons! I was trying to steer away from making green tea ones since I’d made them many times before. Spontaneously I was trying to come up with another green flavor as fast as I can (in 30 seconds) and oh my goodness…I came up with a weird one. Then I spent another 30 seconds trying to think about what buttercream or ganarche I should make with it. It was not after I started mixing everything that I realized I should have made something more safe like mint or peppermint.

Anyhow, half way through baking, my oven turned off…and I had no idea why. So I waited forever for these to bake as I wonder if that eight minutes of decrease in oven temperature will change anything. Indeed it did a little, it created a little dent on the roof of these cookies. The decrease in heat sunk the partially harden crust a bit. Boo, but at least it was not as noticeable and as bad as it looked.

So what exactly did I make??

Ladies and gentleman, I give you wasabi macaron with ginger buttercream! So exactly how I came up with this? Well, I was trying to think of what green ingredients I have at home, and first thing that came into mine was wasabi powder, and then I figure I have ginger in the fridge. Since I mean if wasabi and ginger go so well together in Japanese cuisine, it should be good in a macaron too right?…Sweet and spicy, just a little kick.

The flavor was quite unique, and it was not bad at all. At first bite, you get that sweetness from the macaron ingredient itself, and then I can taste the ginger hitting my taste buds and lastly, the wasabi as I keep chewing. Oh and did I mention these smells exactly what it is? The wasabi smell was strong and the ginger aroma was divine.

I wore my green jacket day and night today, and I got pinched once after I took the jacket off. I hope you didn’t get pinched like I did!

Green Tea Macaron

3 Mar

I realize I choose my method of making the meringue base on the time I have. Today, I had a little more time, so I decided to do it with Italian meringue.

As mentioned in my French vs Italian post, Italian meringue involves melted sugar. Sugar works can be complicated since the chemistry of sugar changes very rapidly under heat and also, it’s very dangerous as hot sugar can burns through skin.

Photo Taken by Mei C.

Green Tea Macaron

[Ingredients]

For Tant Pour Tant:
150g almond meal
150g powder sugar
55g egg white
2tbsp match powder

For Italian Meringue:
150g granulated sugar
37g water
55g egg white (aged)

[Instruction]

For Tant Pour Tant:
1. Sift all dry ingredients.
2. Mix the egg whites in with the dry ingredients until it forms a thick paste.
3. Cover with saran wrap and set aside. Make sure the saran wrap touches the top of the mixture to prevent formation of a crust.

For Italian Meringue:
1. Bring sugar, water (and green food coloring, optional) to boil in a sauce pan.
2. Meanwhile, using the whisk attachment in a stand mixer on medium speed, beat meringue until soft peak stage.
3. When syrup reach 118C, slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg white in a thin stream.


4. Beat the egg whites until it reach stiff peak stage.

Putting Both Together:
1. Scoop 1/3 of the Italian meringue into the Tant Pour Tant mixture and mix roughly.


2. Scoop the rest of the Italian meringue into the Tant Pour Tant, and fold gently.
3. Mix and fold until the mixture reach a lava-liked consistency. You can test but gently scoop some mixture 3 inches high with a spatula and bang it against the edge of the mixing bowl, the flow should be smooth and slowly drip in a ribbon fashion like lava.


4. Pour batter in a piping bag.
5. Pipe mixture onto a Silpat or a parchment paper on a baking sheet about 1 1/2 inch diameter circle, and 1 inch apart.


6. Gently tap the bottom of the baking sheets to rid air bubbles.
7. Let them dry for 20 minutes until crusts form or until the macaron batters are dry to touch.
8. Bake macarons at 325F for 15 minutes. If the oven interior looks steamy, prop open the oven door a bit.
9. Remove baking sheets, and let macarons cool on Silpat or parchment paper on a wire rack.
10. When cool, aseemble macaron by piping filling onto one macaron shell, and turn secure with another by twisting them together gently.


11. If you have time, store macaron in the refridgerator for 24 hours and let flavor develop. Bring to room temperature before consumption.

Green Tea Buttercream

[Ingredients]
1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups powder sugar
2 tbsp matcha powder
1 tbsp milk

[Instruction]
1. Sift powder sugar, and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat butter until soft and fluffy.
3. Add in powder sugar a cup at a time.
4. Mix matcha powder into milk until a paste form.
5. Add matcha powder paste into the butter and powder sugar.
6. Beat until soft and fluffy. Use spatula to scrape down the side of bowl occasionally.
7. Ready to use.

Fourth Time A Charm Too?

27 Feb

I’m not sure, but even though the raspberry ones I’d made last time was good. I really like the poofier Nutella & Irish cream macaron I’d made this time. It also looks rounder, thus cuter.

I wanted to make some macaron for my friend’s dinner party, but I was super pressed for time. So I wanted to make one with a simple flavor but complicated when combined with others. The first thing that came into mind was nutella since it comes in a jar. After thinking about it for a few minute, I’d decided to make a chocolate shelled macaron since I just need cocoa powder. Lastly, I want to mix the nutella with some cream cheese Irish cream filling. Each ingredient is simple and can stand on its own, but also tastes great when combined with each other.

[Ingredients]

Shell:

85g almond flour

150g powdered sugar

3 tbsp cocoa powder

3 egg whites (aged, optional*)

5 tbsp granulated sugar

Filling:

8oz cream cheese

3/4 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup Bailey Irish Cream

[Instruction]

Macaron Shell/Cookie:

1. Prepare baking sheets by stacking two together and top it with parchment paper or silpat.  Preheat oven 375 degree.

2. With a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy.

3. Add granulated a little at time, and whisk egg whites until stiff peak stage.

4. In another bowl, sift all the dry ingredients for the shell.

5. Add them to the egg whites by batches and mix by folding.

6. Mix all the ingredients together until a lava-liked smooth consistency is reached.

7. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 1 1/2 inch circle worth of batter about one inche apart.

8. Air dry the macaron until when you touch the top of the shell, it does not stick to your finger. Should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

9. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate the baking sheet 180 degree half way through baking.

10. After 10 minutes, open the oven door a little bit to let air out, and keep it open a bit and bake for another 2 minutes.

11. Let macaron cool before adding the filling.

Filling:

1. In a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until soft.

2. Meanwhile, sift powdered sugar. Add it to the creamed mixture a little at a time.

3. When sugar is combined. Add the Irish cream.

4. Pour filling into a piping bag.

Assemble:

1. Spread nutell on one of the cookie shell.

2. Pipe a bit of Irish cream cheese filling, just enough at the center. It will spread once you put the second cookie on.

3. Place another cookie onto the filling.

Viola! Chocolate shelled macaron with nutella and Irish cream cheese filling!

*Tips for Making Macarons:

  • Aging the egg whites decreases some of the moisture content. I tried both aging and non-aging, both yield a little different but still good macaron.
  • Sifting the dry ingredients helps with light and chewy texture.
  • Air drying the macaron before baking allows a crust to form for that crunchy outer layer.
  • Using silpat or two baking sheets help even out temperature, so the bottom of the cookie won’t burn as easily.
  • Letting oven door open at the last two minutes helps let out the steam and also decreases the temperature by a little so won’t overbake or brown the top.

Good Luck!