Sunday, 25 March 2012
Fresh Mint Macarons for a 3 in 1 Birthday Celebration
One day at the weekend after the 21st of March is always chosen to celebrate 3 birthdays in our family. This year, it was yesterday. We gathered in my sister A's home, had a good Tumpeng Nasi Kuning (yellow rice in a cone shape)for lunch. For the dessert, I made Klappertaart (young coconut tart), Mint Macarons and Tamarind Pineapple Macarons. And the best was... we enjoyed all the good jokes and discussions we had there.
I am sorry that I can only share the picture of the Tumpeng Nasi Kuning and not the recipe. In fact, I've never made one. Several times I made yellow rice, but not shaped it into a cone or a tumpeng. Here in Indonesia we cook yellow rice using turmeric, and usually shape it into a tumpeng for a celebration on something as our way to thank the Lord for His blessings and for whatever good thing just happens in our lives. Such for birthday, newly born baby in a family, graduation, house warming party, etc. You see from the picture that it's not simply a cone-shaped yellow rice, but it's elaborated with so many condiments around it to eat Nasi Kuning with.
As its name, Klappertaart was introduced by the Dutch when they occupied our country. Made from eggs and young coconut (when the coconut flesh is still soft and gelatinous). However, I still need work on the recipe to make it better. I used a recipe from an Indonesian cookbook, but it's not as perfect as I want it to. So, I will only post the recipe whenever I am sure that it will make a perfect Klappertaart.
Now the macarons. You have the recipe for my Tamarind Pineapple Macarons, which is my favorite after the Lemon one (you know I like everything sour). Unfortunately, I ran out of palm sugar and used all white sugar powder instead. What a big difference it makes. Flavorwise, the palm sugar one was way much better than the white sugar one. Now I can tell you to use palm sugar for the best result. Trust me.
I decided to try baking Mint Macarons since I often see fresh mints being sold in a small vegetable and fruit store in my apartment. I like the taste and the smell of fresh mints, and imagined how if I make macarons out of it. So, there I was, baking Mint Macarons using fresh mints in its shells and its filling. However, I consider that the flavor is not strong enough, so maybe next time I will add some mint extract into the recipe. But if you like soft and mild flavor of mints... there you have the recipe.
Fresh Mint Macarons
for 25 macarons
For the shells :
185 grams of almond powder/ground
110 grams of powdered sugar
100 grams of egg whites, 1-2 days aged
35 grams of granulated sugar
10 grams of finely chopped fresh mints
Green gel/powder coloring
Prepare the baking tray by lining it with silpat or parchment paper.
With a food processor, blend almond ground and powdered sugar. Sieve the mixture for a smooth macarons shells. Set aside.
In a stand mixer bowl, whisk the egg whites until it's foamy, and add the granulated sugar. Continue whisking until it reaches a stiff-peak consistency.
Add chopped fresh mints into the almond/sugar dry mix and blend it well. Fold a third of the almond/sugar dry mix into the whisked egg-whites, and a little bit of green coloring also (be carefull not to add too much color, we want the shells to be light green so we still able to see the chopped fresh mints). Continue adding the rest of the dry mix folding the batter, a third at a time, carefully to avoid overmixed runny batter. It is better to undermix than overmix.
Fill it in a big pipping bag fitted with plain round nozzle tip, and pipe round discs of 2.5 cm diameter on a baking tray that has been lined with silpat or parchment paper. Knock the bottom of the tray onto your kitchen counter table to flatten the disc and so the bubbles would come to the surface. Immediately prick the bubbles with a toothpick. Let the surface dry a little bit for about 15-30 minutes depending on the air humidity in your place.
Preheat your oven to 160°C. Bake your macarons for 15 minutes. Let your macarons shells cool before removing them from the silpat/parchment paper.
For the filling :
Fresh Mint Buttercream
50 grams of egg-whites
30 grams of granulated sugar
130 grams of unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in small cubes
10 grams of finely chopped fresh mints
2-3 drops of mint extract (optional)
In a au bain marie, whisk the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and it's warm to the touch (about 65°C). Remove from the au bain marie. Continue whisking on high speed on a stand mixer until the mixture is cool. By that time it should reach a stiff-peak consistency.
Lower the speed setting of your mixer and add butter one table spoon at a time until it's smooth and creamy.
Using spatula, mix the chopped fresh mints in. Fill it into a pipping bag fitted with a plain round tip.
To assembly :
Pair the same sizes of macarons shells.
Pipe the filling onto one and top with the other shell. Do the same to the rest of your macarons shells.
Keep them in an airtight container and store in your fridge. Macarons are best to be eaten after 24 hours. Yumm...