macaron au caramel brûlé avec espresso
Posted August 14, 2009on:
Ok, First recipe for the macarons. Of all the flavours that I had made, this one were the most popular, I have gotten rave reviews from all my tasters, and they are asking for more. Who knows, I may end up THE boutique macaron seller of Melbourne (haha, dream dream dream).
MACARON with a Burnt caramel/toffee with espresso ganache.
Now, before I start on these recipes, I just want to say that sometimes I have some pretty unconventional methods to make my life easier. It is not that I do not want to follow the proper way of preparing stuff, but for me, shortcuts is because I understand how they are, so I do all these things, especially with a microwave. So, I will share them with you should you not already realised these methods by yourself already, and to make your life easier too.
Always prepare your filling for macarons ahead. Planning is important. I like to plan. I started the filling by making a drop dead safe (no spattering sugar, this will only happened later) to make caramel. It only have 4 ingredients, and they are all dumped together and heat up. It is the same recipe from my layered banana cake post. You can half the recipe to make for the filling, because 1 cup will already make enough filling for 1 recipe of macarons.
Next up, 1 cup of the salted caramel is mixed with a coffee syrup. Use 3 tsp of espresso powder with 1 tbsp of boiling water, (yes I make them bitter, but you will understand why when you taste it). Now here come the fun part. You can microwave the caramel-coffee at a 30 sec interval on high until it turns quite dark and smelled this deliciously burnt smell (not burnt like Oh-no burn, but a desirable burn) then cool it in the fridge, and when it is almost set, give it a good whisk and transfer into air tight container and chilled overnight. If you have done it correctly (I did not use a candy thermometer, just by eye) you will get this lovely smooth paste that is reminiscent of Carambar. Do note that when you microwave them, do not do longer than a 30 sec interval because, longer than that, it will, spatter all over the place.
For the macaron shells, I prefer the French meringue method. It is quick, less hassle, and does not requires you to cook any sugar. Depends on the weather, just keep some whole eggs (in their shell) in a dark, airy, cool place. I kept my eggs like that for close to 2 weeks in this weather (Melbourne’s winter and inside our house is an average 20c). By then, the egg white is completely liquid, it will be easy to seperate and you do not even need to age it overnight. Just seperate them and leave the whites out uncovered on your table top for 2-3 hours. I will just crack mine and then proceed to sift the almond meal and sugar. By the time that painful process is over, the egg white can be whipped. To know if your egg white is aged real well, you will notice that immediately as you whisk it, it will form a lovely foam similar to beer foam.
MY STANDARD MACARON SHELL RECIPE
I shopped around for the recipes and compared them. I looked at Tartlette’s, Mercotte’s, Pierre Herme’s (I have the book) and also Stephane Glacier’s recipes.
- 90g egg white (it can be a little over the required amount, because as it aged, the moisture content will evaporate and you will get a lighter in weight egg white. Just reweigh before you whip them).
- 30g caster sugar
- 200g PURE icing sugar (those powder mix contains cornstarch in them, so its a no-no) and make sure you sift them well to get rid of all lumps.
- 110g almond meal – sift. make sure you really press into the sieve to get the maximum amount out of your almonds.
- 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp of egg white powder- this stabilises the meringue further so technically, if you failed even with this, I do not know what to say.
The thing is, you really have to sift the almond meal and the icing sugar really well. And I prefer to use them immediately after I sifted them because if you let them sat too long after sifting, they will lump up again. This is personal experience. So just sift and use immediately.
Whip egg white with the egg white powder and add your sugar in SLOWLY, I do mine tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk it well each time. This ensure your meringue be smooth and shiny and would not be grainy. Really whip your egg white till very stiff peaks. Over whipping of egg whites will actually get you very dry egg whites, but to be honest, if you add your sugar correctly, and with the addition of egg white powder, you will have a very stable meringue. VERY.
After that, always fold in your tpt (almond + icing sugar) in batches. I do mine in 4 batches and fold in in a clockwise motion scraping the bottom each time (like how you would fold the sponge) to mix in the tpt. Do not mince at the meringue, will cause it to collapse. Oh, I have seen enough apprentices “mincing” at the meringue or even batter with their dough scrapper or spatula. Regarding the over-mix under mix part, the magma flow thing, well, google a video of how magma flows, and you will understand why people say that. So, to test, just do a flow test, if the batter drop back into the rest of the batter from your spatula flows like magma, and when you pipe, it does not have a peak, and even after you whack your baking tray to flatten it and release air pocket, it still holds it shape. Then its good. I do not rest my batter as some people does to form that skin, mine is just pipe and go, and they always form skin. So yeah, maybe I am just lucky. As for the temperature, each oven is different, I have a oven that is not very strong in heating, so as mentioned in previous macaron post, after 4 batches, I baked them at 100c for 30 minutes with the door ajar by propping a wooden spoon against it. Play with your oven and test. Do some research around the web and see what people temperatures are, and these will be useful to help you. If fail, try again, because the results will be worth it.