Monday, 18 April 2011

Chocolate Macarons and Matcha Green Tea Macarons



One day in 2008 I received a box full of different kind of sweets from my colleague Arnaud who finished his mission in Indonesia. It was his farewell gift. My eyes fixed on three round cookies that looked so cute and yet so appetizing. When I bit and tasted how delicate and delicious it tasted, I suddenly fell in love with those cookies. I asked Arnaud about it and he said: It's Macarons, cookies from Paris.
Being challenged, my journey began. Thanks to modern technology, we can find information almost on anything from the internet, including macaarons' recipes. Then the first attempt resulted in what I called as amoeba-type macarons. Odd shapes. My macarons' shells had protruding "feet" reaching the other shells on the baking tray... just like amoeba! No real macarons feet.

Second try. The protruding "feet" had feet!
Hah! what a strange world! (now I regret for not taking pictures on those amoeba macarons)
Well, those failures challenged me even more. In this case, the internet became so helpful giving me a lot of information for my macarons research. Hours and hours was spent to simply study macarons-making. Tartelette, Syrup & Tang, David Lebovitz..., those are only a few from so many blogs and websites I read. My big thanks to all of them.
Third try. The result? No protruding "feet"... they were round-shaped macarons with the real feet. But..., they were not perfect. The feet raised only in half part of the cookies. Again, what a strange world.

Being not easily discouraged, macarons research was continued. I cannot tell how many hours I have spent for this. Well, at least my friends in my office happilly ate all the bad and the not-so-bad macarons. I started to realise that I was obssesed to master the macarons making.

Then the bright day came when I managed to make perfect macarons on my fourth attempt.

Now, still obssesed with macarons, experiment goes on for different flavours for the shells and the fillings... all natural flavours, no chemical flavours. Chocolate, green tea, strawberry, carrot, vanilla, those are the flavours for the shells I managed to make. I want to make macarons shells flavoured with litchi, jackfruit, mango... There are lots and lots of flavourful fruits in this country all year long. Yes, I understand, we cannot add fluid to the ingredient for macarons shell, so somehow they have to be dried whitout loosing their rich flavours. I promise to tell you more about this.
For the filling, the choices are endless... and it's not as difficult as making the shells.


For this time, I am going to share the result from my experiment for Chocolate Macarons and Matcha Green Tea Macarons. Both with bitter chocolate ganache filling.
Basically, those two have similar recipes.
For Matcha Green Tea Macarons, simply substitute the 25 grams of chocolate powder with 10 grams of Matcha Green Tea powder.


Chocolate Macarons

For the shells:
(make about 25-30 macarons)

110 g ground almond

185 g powdered sugar

100 g white eggs (aged 1-2 days in room temperature)

25 g dutch chocolate powder

50 g caster sugar

Blend together ground almond, powdered sugar, and chocolate powder in a food processor, put aside. Sieve, if you want a very smooth surface on your macarons. Put aside.

Using a mixer, beat white eggs and add caster sugar gradually, continue beating until hard-peak consistency. Be careful not to over-beat.Add almond ground/powdered sugar mixture, 1/3 at a time. Incorporate until well-mixed to a lava-like consistency.Line two baking tray with silpat or parchment paper.Using pipping-bag with a round big nozzle, pipe round discs of 3cm diameter.Tap the baking tray on hard surface a couple times to remove the bubbles, and let the surface dries a little bit for approximately 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 160 Celcius degree. Double the baking tray and bake the macarons shells for 20 minutes in 140-150 Celcius degree.Let it cool before removing them from the lining baking paper/silpat.



For the filling:
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache


230 g dark chocolate (60% or more), finely chopped, put in a bowl
150 ml heavy cream
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Boil the heavy cream, and pour it onto the chopped chocolate.Stir from the center, slowly widening in a cocentric circles, incorporate all the mixture until all chocolates are melted and the mixture is smooth.Leave to cool down the mixture a little before adding butter in two additions. Stir until well-mixed and smooth.Put in a fridge to thicken before putting it in a pipping bag for your macarons filling.

To assembly :

Pipe the filling on the flat side of the macarons' shell and top with other shell.
Put in an air-tight container and keep in your fridge for 24 hours before eat or serve them. That way, the filling flavor will nicely blend in the shells, and the shells will have a better texture.





And below is the step-by-step picture to help you visualise the above recipe.

macarons - step by step

2 comments:

  1. It feels nice to read this cause I'm not the only one. I've had pretty much the same experience with macarons....pages and pages of reading on the internet, trying different recipes (which were all the same ingredients in slightly varying proportions), different temperatures and baking time, 2 failed attempts (one set didnt come off the parchment paper, another coloured in the oven before they were baked) and a 3rd semi-decent attempt (they looked perfect with the feet etc from outside but were too hollow inside) and the 4th attempt was good and I was so excited.....unfortunately the 5th set didnt turn out as perfect though I have no idea what I did different from the 4th :(

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sneha, Some says that the hollow inside the shells (air pocket) happens mostly in italian meringue method, but I did it with my mango macarons using french meringue method. I think that was resulted from the manggo bits in my macarons shells that still had moisture in it. The moisture evaporates and creates the air pocket. I've learned also that slightly different proportions in many recipes doesn't really a big matter. First thing that matters is the macaronage (it counts the most) knowing when to stop folding the batter. Second, the heat in the oven and how it circulates (in other words, how we know our oven). I know you would never give up knowing that you've tried so many times.., so master those two things and perfect macarons is yours! Bon courage..

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