This is Part 1 of my 3 part chronicles of my macaron-making journey (think Lord of The Rings). Personally, I feel that all bakers, at some point of time, will take on the challenge of making this tempermental dessert. For me, the push factor was the price. Recently, I bought 4 macarons at Canelé. I should have stopped myself when I didn't see any price tag on them. They cost me $9.80! I just couldn't take the blow and felt like crying when I ate them. Even more heartache to come, I squashed 2 pieces during transport. I consoled myself, at least I get to taste some flavours which I might not be able to make at home, like Bergamot.
These chocolate macarons were made in February, when I had plenty of egg whites to spare and too much time on hand. The reason for not posting earlier; I did not have the confidence. No confidence to admit that this might be a fluke or that I will be able to achieve those frilly feet next time round. Reason for posting this now? Recently, I revisited macarons twice (for decorating purposes), for a cake I made for another doctor. Having succeeded 3 times with the same recipe, I would say that this recipe and method is reliable and would love to share it.
The following recipe and method is adapted from Bernice of Baking Journey. I find her methods easy and debunked some of the theories which I read extensively online. Some recipes asked specifically for how many strokes of folding. To be honest, I lost count of the strokes after a while. Some asked for the whipped egg whites to be pressed against the bowl (Don't!). Some recipes asked to wait till a layer skin to form, I lack the patience. Once something is ready on the baking tray, my instinct will ask me to pop it into the oven quick. According to Bernice, waiting for the skin to form will cause cracks. Some are using Italian Meringue and Swiss Meringue method, that I would love to try out some day as it was said that it would yield a more stable batter. But for now, we go French.
50g Icing Sugar
15g Cocoa Powder
25g Finely Ground Almond
35g Egg White (about 1 egg white, I used my stash, which I froze and thawed)
1) Prepare 2 11 x 14 inch baking tray, lined with silicon coated parchment paper (draw circles behind the parchment if required). Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
2) Add the ground almond to the icing sugar mixture, break up clumps if any.
3) In another clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg white till frothy. Add in sugar in 2 additions and whisk till soft peak.
4) Add in the ground almond mixture into whisked egg whites in 2 addition, fold till incorporated. Lift the spatula to see if it falls ribbon-like. The batter should look shiny, slightly thick, not runny. The tip of the dropped batter should flatten quite fast (hope you know what I mean).
5) Load the batter into a piping bag with round tip. Pipe into circles. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes. The feet will start to form. Lower down the temperature to 110 degrees and further bake for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool and remove from paper.
6) Pair them up and sandwich with Swiss meringue buttercream or dark chocolate ganache (I used both). Refrigerate before serving.
Happy Baking! それじゃ～～
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