This is an appropriate time to mention I have a new blog design! (if you did not see it last one) However I have added a few new addition features with more to come! I am so glad to get so much feedback from you guys over the new site! I will pass it on to my brother in law and sister because they will be so happy that their hard work is appreciated.
First off, you can actually see who is this mysterious beast behind the blog and know little about why I blog, interest etc. I hope you aren’t too disappointed at what you see.
Second I have a contact page. This is where you can get in touch with me if you want to have chat about anything really. I would love to help you clear up your queries about recipes, tricks of the trade and succeeding at making great food. Also you can drop me a line if you want to work with me or use any of the images or recipe in featured post on other sources of media. I am happy to link up with you!
Lastly, I working on a filed collection of the recipes I have done here which is reaching 200 very soon 😉 and a press page where you can see where my post have been featured online and in print.
So let’s get down to it! Now that Christmas is over and New year’s fast approaching; you are either in a musing, reflective mood or panicking to get your life together to say , “I did something this year!”. I am not sure about you but I think I have accomplished enough this year to say “Yep, I used this year well”. A degree, 2 trade certificates and finally getting my shit together on this blog has got to be something. I might not have reached culinary greatest this year but I really did expect to. So here is my last” hay ho” to the year by posting the macaron recipe I have been working on for months.
For Christmas, I did a macaron Christmas tree. If you followed me since last year, you would know that Christmas is also my dad’s birthday (see this cinnamon bun tower cake). I don’t think I will ever be same since his passing. It might of have been almost a year but the pain burns strong sometimes but then I am comforted by the greatest family I could of asked for.
We grew together as a family and have become more comfortable with the idea of family bounding.This was for my memory of my dad as well. I first started making macarons over 4 years ago but even in those early days my dad would be their trying to help me any way he could. Whether it was eating the fails and making me feel better by telling me they “tasted good”, saying that the people at his work love the taste of imperfect shaped ones or buying a new oven within a week of the odd one breaking. Tricky to understand but when you do they are sweetest achievement ever. Macarons are like that too.
So here is to my dad, where ever he is. Lounging on the ancient lazy boy or falling asleep on the old desk chair. I hope you are happy with what I have achieved this year.
I know I normally post the technique of the French macaron however I went on a baking journey to find my perfect recipe for the Italian ones. Unlike the French, the Italian are a bit more time consuming and more about numbers. Both require you make an egg white mixture however the egg whites are “cooked” in a hot syrup mixture which is then beaten into the “TPT”
Note: TPT is equal parts of almond meal and pure icing sugar.
As someone who has done both successful now. I can count the differences in how you should fold your mixture. The macaronage is the result of beating the eggs white into TPT; its colour and viscosity are both indicators of whether you get fail or success here. French macarons you should fold carefully as the egg whites are less stable and with each stoke have ability to pushed in too far. The shells are also more delicate in these with a slight tan in colour. So if you leave them white sometimes they get a hint of gold on the feet.
In the Italian ones this is very different. Often quoted as the “beginner’s macaron” because of it notorious ability not to be over mixed. Even if beaten over, if you rest them enough they should rise in some fashion. I found it really difficult to over mix these. I number of failures was due to the macaronage not being beaten enough to have the correct consistency. It must flow in a 2-3cm ribbon from the spatula! No more, less. Too thick has resulted in loped side feet. Too thin and your macaron will not rise.
Another hint knows your oven well. I have to change my rack position to the upper bars. In order to get enough heat push up to make them rise evenly but not get affected by the upper element. They are cooked at a very low temp but I think this a common thing among all macarons. More vibrant in colour and chewier in texture; these macarons shells have look but are very sweet. Almost 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to other ingredients. None the less it also helps to have few pieces of good equipment. Flat carbon steel cookie SHEETS not trays, a digital candy thermometer, good small pot, a big wide brimmed steel bowl, a scale that measures to 0.1 gram and a stand mixer.
NOTE: You will also need a Styrofoam cone of 30 cm to 40cm for the tower plus 100 + sharp tooth picks. For the tree you will need to do 3 times this recipe to have enough macarons.
NOTE: Please do not try to reduce the size of the recipe. I have tried numerous time but the stand mixer is not efficient at whipping less than 100g of eggwhite. Your egg white mix has to be strong to get macarons to work.
Macaron Christmas tree
Italian macaron recipe
Makes 55 whole macaron sandwich cookies
110g egg white (aging is not really important when I did it however it doesn’t hurt)
2g egg white powder
300g pure icing sugar shifted
300g almond meal shifted
110g egg white separate from the above
300g white sugar
Line as many trays as you have with baking paper. I am serious this makes a lot of single shells. If you have template place it under the baking paper of each tray or draw in a faint pencil on the FACE DOWN side of the baking paper 4cm diameter circles 5cm apart.
Combine icing sugar and almond meal in food processor and whiz until it is well combined. If your almond meal is to coarse it will show up in the macarons. Tip it out into a wide brimmed bowl and place it bake in the food processor again for a second whiz until thoroughly combined. Shift the contents in the food processer twice over on a sheet of large baking paper then tip into the wide brim bowl. Set aside. Measure out your 110g egg whites in another small bowl and place it aside for later.
In a small pot combine white sugar and water. Make sure no crystals have suck to edges, if so brush them off with a bit of water. In a stand mixer place egg whites and 2g egg white powder. Turn on the stove to high. Once it reaches 110c on the thermometer turn on the stand mixer to high. Continue to beat the eggs whites to soft peak while keeping an eye on the sugar. You are looking for 118C.
Once sugar gets to temperature (118C). Turn it off immediately and pour it in a slow, steady stream down the side of the stand mixer bowl, to avoid the whisk. Continue to beat on medium high till cool. Add your colour in the last 1 minute or so.
In the big bowl with your TPT pour the reserved egg white. Mix until it get to a paste like texture. It will be hard. Using your big spatula fold in 1/3 of the egg white until it thoroughly mixed in. You can rough here. Trust me I beat the egg white mix up against the bowl. You want to see no steaks of white TPT paste. Fold in the remaining 2/3 of the egg white. Here you can count but I found this not to be helpful ( I was folding for a good 5 minutes). I want to you scoop and fold the mixture until it reaches this viscosity. When the spatula is dipped into the batter, the mixture will coat the dipped part of the spatula and fall in thick stream of about 2-3cm stream continuously. Also any bumps in the surface should fall back into itself within 30 seconds.
Scoop batter into a piping bag with a 1.5cm round tip. Pipe to the size of drawn circles. Once the tray is finished tap the trays hard twice on each side of the rectangle. Continue until all batter is used.
Allow trays to all rest for 1 hour for until the ops have crusted over. It should be REALLY DRY. Once it does turn on your oven and move the rack to the upper part of the oven. Pre heat to 135C and leave for 20 minutes to stabilise the temperature of the oven. Once it does, place in one tray on this upper tray and bake for 17 minutes. DO not touch or open the door at any time.
Once the time has elapsed take out the tray and leave the macarons to cool completely. Before filling.
Filling – White choc ganache
5g pink sea salt
500g chopped white chocolate
400g pure cream
Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
Warm pure cream in small sauce pan over medium heat. Once under boiling point pour in to chocolate.
Allow mix to sit for 30second before stir from the inside out to combine. Once done, add salt.
Allow to chill in fridge until pipe able.
Pipe the filling to match macaron shells and sandwich them. Chill till firm.
Glue your cone on a thick cardboard base. You will need to have your filled macarons here.
Starting from the bottom work your way around the cone (I did mine from the side in any colour order because I am lazy but you can two tone yours). You can go in any direction, the most important thing is it must be in order so you can get small gaps.
Spear a macron on the flat side with a tooth pick and place it on the cone. I tend not to go all the way in for fear of poking through the whole macaron so I go in enough to hold it. Continue until you fill the whole cone.
This is where making lots come in handy eh? Cook’s treats in my words. Once assembled get the “oohs” and “ahhs” from family and friends.