Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons

I always want to share with you something unique and it's always my pleasure to experiment with different flavors. The Indonesian culinary has many desserts I can choose to replicate and switch into cupcakes... so many specific ingredients with particularly tasty combinations: palm sugar, coconut and coconut milk, rice, sago, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, lemongrass, ginger, tamarind, and a lot of tropical fruits. As you know I like tart and sour tastes, and I like tamarind a lot. So... this time macarons flavored with tamarind. Tamarind is one of the key ingredients for Rujak sauce. Rujak is a different fruits' cut with palm sugar-tamarind sauce as its dipping sauce. The sauce is tart because of the tamarind, sweet from the palm sugar, and some chillis to make it hot.

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons

Tamarind, palm sugar, and pineapple. Those are the main flavors in our macarons this time. The shells is flavored with palm sugar. However, I wasn't sure whether it's possible to add tamarind into the shells, so I just leave it out for this first try. In fact, I wasn't sure with the palm sugar either, but I thought I should give it a try. So for the first try, I substituted about a third of the powder sugar with palm sugar... and it worked like magic!! Then for the filling, it represents the Rujak dessert. So, with tamarind, palm sugar, and fruits chutney or puree. For the fruit, this time I used pineapple, but green sour apple (like Granny Smith apple) will create a good combination also. I incorporated the tamarind in the buttercream filling and pipe the pineapple puree inside the tamarind buttercream.

I was pretty happy with the result. It's sour as I want it to be and since palm sugar is less sweet than the beet/cane sugar, it's resulted in a less sweeter shells. Besides, the palm sugar gives a nice soft palm-sugar flavor to the shells. Perfect.

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons
(Makes 25 macarons)

For the Palm Sugar Macarons shells:

120 gram of powder/icing sugar
70 gram of palm sugar
115 gram ground almond
100 gram of eggwhites
30 gram of caster sugar
A pinch of salt flakes

Line a baking tray with a silpat/parchment paper. Put aside.

Using a food processor blend both the sugar and ground almond until thoroughly mixed. Sieve all together if you want to have smooth shells. Set aside.

In a stand electric-mixer bowl, whisk the eggwhites until it's foamy and gradually add the caster sugar. Continue whisking to stiff-peak consistency.

Using a spatula, incorporate the sugar-almond mixture into the beaten eggwhites and fold it in in three or four additions until it's evenly mixed-in. Be careful not to over-mix the batter, which would result in a too liquid batter. It should be in a magma-like consistency... the batter falls from the spatula should forms a thick ribbon that very slowly disappear.

Fill the batter into a big pipping-bag with a round tip (I use Wilton #2A) and pipe small rounds of 3 cm on the baking tray with silpat/parchment paper. Tap the baking tray several times on your kitchen countertop to flatten the rounds a little bit and so the air bubbles would come to the surface. Immediately prick the bubbles using a toothpick. Sprinkle just a little bit of salt flakes.

Palm Sugar Macarons shells

Reheat your oven to 160 ºC / 320 ºF.
Let the surface dry for 15-30 minutes (depends on the humidity in the air), or until it soesn't stick to your finger when you gently touch it.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Let the macarons shells cool first before removing them from the silpat/parchment paper.

For the filling:

Tamarind Buttercream
(Enough for 40-50 macarons)

70 gram of eggwhites (from 2 big eggs)
80 gram of caster sugar
150 gram of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of tamarind paste

In a double boiler, whisk continuously the egg whites and the sugar until the sugar dissolved and it's hot to the touch (if you have a candy thermometer, it's about 60 ºC / 140 ºF).
Remove from the boiler, and continue whisking immediately in a stand mixer until the mixture is cool.
Continue whisking and add unsalted butter gradually spoon by spoon, until all is well-blended.
Mix the tamarind paste in until well smooth, and use as the macarons' filling. Keep the left-over in refrigerator for two weeks to be used in other occasion.

Pineapple Puree
(One medium size pineapple is enough for 40-50 macarons)

Cut the pineapple in small pieces, put in a small saucepan and add one or two tablespoons of sugar.
Cook on the stove in medium heat until it boiled. Stir occasionally. It will have liquid from the fruit. Continue boiling to reduce the liquid until you have very little liquid sit on the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn by stirring constantly and reduce the heat if needed.
Mash the cooked pineapple using a food processor or blender. Do not add any liquid.
Let it cool before put the puree in a piping bag with a round tip (or simply cut the tip off).

To assemble the macarons:

Pair the same size macarons shells.
Pipe the tamarind buttercream on one shell and pipe the pineapple puree inside the buttercream. Sandwich with the other shell.

Tamarind Pineapple Macarons

Do the same to the rest of your macarons shells.
Keep them in the fridge, in an air-tight container. They are best to be eaten on the following day or after.

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