Okay guys, let’s just pretend there wasn’t summer at all and I wasn’t absent from this blog for 3 month! 🙂
Things I did last “weekend” include but not limited to – fundraising money and making desserts as appreciation for donations, running SF half-marathon, exploring California cost with our family from Ukraine and hanging out here and there. It was a great summer and now it’s time to come back to blogging!
Recently I’ve become obsessed with macarons! I made them before, but these cuties are so demanding that you need to bake them a lot of times in order to get really good result. Like with any other activity practice makes it all, right? So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. Cooper The Helper will be here to the rescue!
NB: the recipe is basically the same all over the internet, it’s the small details that make the difference. Here Cooper will show us the method which works best for him.
For the macaron shells:
makes about 60 shells
150 g almond flour
150 g powdered sugar
55 + 55 g egg whites
150 g granulated sugar + a pinch
50 g water
gel coloring (optional)
Hey-hey my dear friend, I miss you! Are you excited to try something new? I know it, you little adventurer!
Let’s weight all ingredients and jump straight into fun.
Preheat your oven to 160 C/320 F, we will use it a lot today!
Line large sheet with a parchment paper and sift almond flour and powdered sugar in there. Smooth the mixture into a thin layer and put the sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. It will evaporate all unnecessary liquid and lead to better results. Once the time runs out, transfer the mixture to a bowl and sift once again (yep, everything’s for smooth texture here!) Add the first portion of egg whites (55 g) and set the bowl aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment place 55 g of egg whites and a pinch of sugar. Start to whisk on a low speed. It will allow us to aerate the whites with small even bubbles. At the same time combine granulated sugar and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Cook the syrup occasionally swirling the pan to help the sugar dissolve quicker.
And now to a very important thing, ma friend! Remember the time I said you can make decent syrup without a candy thermometer? Forget about it, I was wrong — ultimately precise measurements give the more consistent result! That’s the lesson to learn and now you know it.
When the syrup reaches 113 C/235 F increase the speed of stand mixer. Continue to cook syrup and whisk egg whites until thermometer reads 118 C/245 F. Then immediately remove the pan from the heat, decrease the mixer speed to medium and slowly but steadily pour syrup into egg whites. Increase the speed and continue to whisk mixture until it reaches stiff glossy texture. Like this!
If you want to add color to your macaron shells, now it’s right time to do it! Add a few drops of desired gel coloring and thoroughly stir it into mixture, whisk once again. Isn’t it beautiful?
While the eggs are still whisking, using a rubber spatula make a smooth paste from dry mixture and egg whites in the bowl.
Once the meringue is ready, add 1/3 of it into the paste
and gently mix everything together.
Add the remaining meringue to the bowl and continue to stir the batter with a spatula.
And this is the most important stage in the whole macaron making process, dear! Master it and you’ll the king/queen of macarons! Here is the thing: the consistence of batter is very important. There are a lot of tricks to determine when it’s ready including:
1) the batter should run like lava when you lift up the spatula
2) the batter should completely dissolves after 10-15 seconds when you fold batter over itself
3) aka my favorite one: you can draw continuous figure 8 with the batter
Not the best picture to illustrate the consistency, I know. Sorry, dude!
Transfer the batter into a piping bag with a plain tip (remember that trick with a pastry bag?)
Begin piping circles (about 3.5-4 cm/1.5 in diameter) to the prepared baking sheet leaving enough space between them. You want to have macarons halves as even as possible, so you can either draw circles on the back side of the parchment paper or try do your best while piping. Your choice!
When the first sheet is full, take it and gently hit against the counter several times. It will allow us to release air bubbles from the batter and smooth the peaks if any. Let macarons rest uncovered for 30 minutes or until they feel dry by gentle touch. Pipe the remaining batter and let it dry as well.
When it’s time, place the first sheet into the oven and immediately reduce the heat till 150 С/300 F. Bake for 6-7 minutes, it should be enough to get nice signature ‘feet’ on your macarons. After that open oven for a second, quickly close it and continue to bake halves for another 6-7 minutes. The macarons are ready when their tops don’t “slide” from the rest of a cookie. Get the sheet out of the oven and carefully transfer parchment paper with macarons on it to a cooling rack.
Before putting the second sheet of macarons to the oven, preheat it once again to 160 C/320 F and decrease the temperature to 150 C/300 F once you place them in the oven.
Let the shells cool completely and then remove them from the parchment paper. Find the matching halves and get ready to finish your picture-perfect macarons with delicious filling!
But this, my wonderful friend, will be a topic of a completely different story…