Thursday, October 4, 2012

Macarons....and More Macarons....(II)

If you want to see the first part of this post please click here

The cold has started, and we are waiting the snow to arrive while we face the first flu of the season....

I will try to organize the ideas to better explain what I have found testing these macarons....

There are two ways to make macarons. Italian Meringue and French Meringue. I did both, but the Italian Meringue didn't work for me. Even though everybody agrees that this is the easiest and more consistent way to make macarons because it uses cook meringue, it was a disaster in my kitchen. I tried to find an explanation, and it seems that the syrup of the sugar has to be at certain temperature before adding to the eggs. It is recommended to have a thermometer, and I don't have it. Therefore, it seems that I couldn't manage the appropriate temperature for making this technique.

This post explains about the  French Meringue macarons:



Sugar: caster sugar, and powder sugar. Both are basic ingredients that we have in our kitchens, and are very affordable.

Egg whites: Aged, Frozen or Fresh? I have made the test with these three types of egg whites. In order to control the variables, I did them at the same time (difference of 15 minutes in doing the batch only), and I cook a portion of each macarons in the same tray at the same time. Fresh egg whites doesn't work, and I didn't find any difference between the frozen and aged egg whites. How long I defrost the frozen ones? I defrost them overnight in the fridge. I left it in the fridge for 24 hours, and I took them at room temperature for 6 hours before baking with them. With aged egg whites, I let them aged 24 hours in the fridge, and I took them at room temperature for 6 hours before baking with them.

Almond: I bought almond flour ready to use. Even though is more expensive, it works better. I tried to make at home almond flour by grinding almonds in either the food processor or a nut grinder that I have. However, due to the oil content in the almonds, I ended up with lumps and not a fine flour. Maybe you have a better machine to grind almonds avoiding lumps.

Copper bowl: I don't have it, and I'm not planning to buy one....well...If I but the loto, polla or similar I would love to have one!!. Instead of copper bowl, I make macarons with lemon drops, and without lemon drops and you can see the difference in height. How many lemon drops? I test 2, 4, 6 drops per 100 grams of egg whites, and the best was 2 drops only.

Colour: Never say "I will not drink from this water....." I try to cook as natural as possible, but I bought color gel....and I love macarons colorfuls!! I use gel to maintain the stability of the foam. I have not used powder or liquid colors.

Proportions: I read 37 recipes, and its seems that all of them were very similar; therefore, carefully I went to the proportions  of almond, icing sugar, and sugar related to egg whites.

Oven: A good friend of mine who is a doctor always told me that his patients need an tratamiento "encimatico"....What?....Encimatico with C and not with Z?....Yes he said you need to be ENCIMA de los patients for their recovery.......Here is the same....the first batches of macarons you will make you need to be ENCIMA (beside) your oven to adjust your time. Because these are tiny and delicate cookies, a minute more or a minute less it makes a big difference. At he beginning, some of my batches were undercooked, ot slightly over cooked. For me the most critical part was to adjust the time in my oven. After 4 batches, I know that I need 14 minutes having the first 4 minutes at 300F, and 10 minutes at 280F.


100g egg whites
125g almond flour
210g icing sugar
30-35g caster sugar
food color as you wish

Mix the almond flour with the icing sugar. Carefully sift it at least three times. In this case, what I tried is that I mix them in a food processor, and pulse them three times only. If I pulse then more that three time, then it comes the lumps from the almond oil. Pulse them three times only, and sift it at least three times. The mix that is stuck in the sift, you can use it to prepare other pastries. Set aside.

Put your aged egg whites in a clean bowl. Add 2 drops of lemon juice. Beat it at slow speed for 4 minutes. Then increase the speed at maximum for three minutes. Add the caster sugar in a rainy motion. At this point, I add the colour gel that I want (2-3 drops). Beat it until the eggs white are firm and you have a shiny meringue. 

Divide the almond/icing sugar mix in three parts. Incorporate 1/3 of the the mix of almond and icing sugar into the meringue. Fold it three times carefully in order to maintain the meringue, add another 1/3 of the mix and fold it three time, and add the final mix. You have to be very carefully to fold the mix into the meringue. If you beat it too much, you will end up with a runny mix and you will not have macarons. You have to have air  to make the macarons pop up when they are cooked.

Put your batter in a pipping bag. I use nozzle #807 Ateco. Make circles on your mat or a parchment paper that is over an oven tray (you can draw circles previously). Lightly, tap the oven tray 5 times. Let the macarons to dry for at least 1 hour. For me the best time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Preheat the oven 300F. Cook your macarons for 12-14 minutes. Remember that the first time use Tratamiento Encimatico to better calculate the appropriate time and temperature in your oven.

Take them out. Once they are cool, they came off easily from the mat. Store it in the freezer, and fill it with your favorite ganache. Eat them after 24 hours at least. Macarons need their time of maturation between 24-72 hours before eating. Take the to room temperature before eating.

I will post the fillings I have done in the next post, and the cost involved in doing these macarons...Apologies for not doing in one post, but my flu is bugging me.....

1 comment:

  1. BRAVO!!!!!!!!BRAVO!!!!!!
    Tes macarons sont magnifiques.
    A bientôt