samedi, février 06, 2010

Patisserie Challenge 1 - French Macarons

Two weeks ago, all of the sudden I imagine myself making the french macarons. I don't know why suddenly I had the urge to make this patisserie. If you don't know what french macarons are, then just google image it, and you will find the pictures of this delectable patisserie. Well, one might say it's a sandwich biscuit. Weeell... it's partly true. This is because it's a french recipe. The french (or known as frenchies) values their foods and arts, and thus french gastronomies are made to be challenging. I like challenge :D
French macarons can be either sweet or salty. I mean you can make as much variation of ingredients as you want to. And of course, be creative!

So here I am googling for various way of making french macarons (note that it's different from macaroons). Anyway, I searched high and low from youtube to google to recipe books at shops. I noticed that the basic ingredients are: egg white, sugar, powdered almonds. I learned also a french patisserie expression: tant pour tant. That means "tant d'amandes pour tant sucre glace" - same amount of powdered almonds for same amount of powdered sugar. :D

Finally I've settled with 2 youtube videos, and 1 recipe.
The youtube videos are:
- From Stephane L'Ecuyer TV with Christophe Morel as a guest. Be careful, Stephane is quebecois, so it's hard to get what he's saying LOL
- Macarons tutorials by Kitchen Musings

The recipe is from Kitchen Musings:
- Kitchen Musings blog: The blogger made different tests which I like. You will see afterwards that this is a really challenging patisserie. If you read the blog, she went to macaron course in Paris at Atelier Pierre Herme!!!! I wish I could go there. But the price? 760 euros for 2 days (14 hours) class.. yikes!!!!!

This is what I use:
125g powdered almond
250g powdered sugar
3 white eggs
25g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt

1. First, sift twice powdered almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Send aside.
2. Beat the white eggs with pinch of salt, and gradually add in the granulated sugar until stiff.
3. Add the dry ingredient gradually into the stiff meringue.
4. Using the 'macaronage' technique, fold the ingredients to release the air.
5. By this time the mixture should be sticky, thick and did not fall to bottom.
6. Put the mixture into piping bag and pipe out onto the parchment papers.
7. Leave them for about 30 minutes until the shells are air-dried.
8. Put into the oven (pre-heat with 150C), bake for 11 minutes.

You see I still have to master my piping skill.. LOL

I am so HAPPY that my macarons shells grew 'feet' :D

As you can see, I made chocolate macaron shells. So the middle should be filled in with chocolate ganache. I am already tired to make the chocolate ganache, though it will take online few minutes.

But here it is a sample of my macaron with nutella filling :D

However, as I said at the start of this entry, this is not an easy patisserie. That means there are some things that need practice for perfection.

Note to myself:
- Practice on 'macaronage' technique in order to get a really sticky mixture and that does not 'drop'
- Practice on piping so that the shells are of the same sizes
- Make a research as to why some of the shells wrinkle on the top
- 11 minutes can be too long with 150C. Need to see if less cooking time or lower temperature with longer cooking time
- Successful meringue! So the beater needs to put at very high level (4-5)

I'm looking forward to make a perfect macaron in the future :D

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