Macarons/Macaroons and the trials of baking them Page 1 / 2

bill241, Jul 30, 6:59am
I had my first attempt at making macarons (the sandwiched French cookies) today, and it didn't go too well, because I didn't do the meringue right (actually it was my mother that did that part, I take no blame) so they turned out poorly.
I'm going to try them again but wondered if anyone in here is decent at making them and what tips they've got?
Sorry if this has been done, I did have a little search but nothing exactly jumped out.


deus701, Jul 30, 7:13am
This is my recipe, I have used it quite often.

Macaroons (70-80pcs)

125 Almonds ground
200 Icing sugar
100 Egg whites
Pinch of Cream of tartar
40 Sugar

Method:

Place ground almonds, icing sugar into a food processor and process until fine.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar to firm peaks (do not beat meringue to dry).
Carefully fold in dry mixture, stir until mixture turns glossy and starts losing volume, dropping of your wooden spoon.
 ‘Do not over mix as mixture will spread too much’
Using a plain (Ø 1cm) nozzle, pipe mixture onto a silpat (Ø 2.5cm).
Leave to dry for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes at 170ºC until cooked (try to maintain a light colour).
Leave to cool on trays.
Assemble with appropriate filling and store in the fridge until further use. Can be frozen.

Lemon/Orange
Lemon/Orange Oil (5 drops)
Yellow/Orange food colouring
Assemble with lemon/orange curd

Passion fruit
Yellow food colouring
Assemble with passion fruit Ganache

Vanilla:
Add ½ scraped vanilla pod when processing almonds
Assemble with vanilla butter cream or basic Ganache

Raspberry:
Essence (5 drops)
Red food colouring
Raspberry Ganache

Chocolate:
Replace 15 icing sugar with 15 cocoa powder
Assemble with dark Ganache

Coffee:
Diluted instant coffee paste (1/2 heaped tsp diluted with hot water).
Assemble with coffee Ganache.

deus701, Jul 30, 7:18am
Thats the basic recipe, but over time I have made minor adjustments. With the meringue, I beat it on medium speed to stiff peaks and when mixing with the almond/icing sugar, I tend to beat all the volume out (no gentle folding). My guide is to see if the mixture is stiff enough to hold itself for piping. Then I bake at 130-140 C around 20minutes. I use silpats (silicone mats) for these, but you can use baking paper. For easy removal after baking, you put them in the freezer for 5minutes.

bill241, Jul 30, 7:23am
Thanks! That's almost exactly the same as the recipe I used so that is comforting.
Mum used her old Kenwood Chef to mix the meringue and it has a plastic bowl, the egg whites just wouldn't gloss up and become stiff and bound enough.

deus701, Jul 30, 7:27am
How fast did you add in the sugar for the meringue? Maybe you can add it in thirds and let the sugar dissolve properly. If it wouldn't become stiff or meringue like, maybe you have a bit off egg/fat yolks with the egg whites or in the mixer bowl.

horseychick, Jul 30, 9:11am
You need to use a glass or stainless steel bowl, the egg whites won't mix properly in a plastic bowl :(

bill241, Jul 30, 11:28am
Yeah I told mum that but unfortunately she doesn't own a hot enough stand mixer. Next time I will just use the handheld beater in a stainless bowl.

bill241, Jul 30, 11:30am
A few people I've seen around the interwebs melt their sugar with a bit of water to make syrup instead of just usingcaster sugar so I'm going to have a go at that at some point too. Apparently that is best if you're dying the macaron because you add the colouring to the syrup.

deus701, Jul 30, 11:57pm
Thats the italian meringue method, where you heat the sugar up to around 118C. Its a much more stable method for making macaron and gives it a glossier finish with a firmer bite. The reason why its good for adding colour is once you add the colour to the syrup, the water evaporates leaving the colour behind, while for the first method its better to use powdered dyes.

waswoods, Jul 31, 12:29am
How do you make Raspberry ganache please?

deus701, Jul 31, 3:39am
Here is a recipe file for raspberry ganache. Just adjust to suit your needs, I use it for filling moulded chocolates.

http://www.mediafire.com/?jso8lc9kkfe37tp

macandrosie, Jul 31, 7:29am
In my experience in making meringue (I too have a kenwood mixer with a plaastice bowl) make sure eggs are at room temperature & don't use fresh eggs, they will not beat up to a firm meringue.

be2, Aug 2, 8:35am
hi folk, was wondering if u can help me please.I was wanting to do a macaroon stack for my step daughters birthday & was wanting to know
how long it wil keep once i have put it together?TIA

bill241, Aug 2, 8:56am
Yeah, I made sure they were a bit old and at room temp, it just wouldn't come right. I think the recipe didn't call for enough sugar but I could be wrong. Mum makes fantastic pavlovas using the mixer, complete with plastic bowl, so now I'm not sure what else it could be other than the sugar.
I'm going to have another go at them tomorrow, so hoping that they'll at least vaguely resemble proper macarons this time!

deus701, Aug 3, 2:45am
depends, are you going to use a single macaron or filled ones? unfilled ones glued together with choc or royal icing can last a long time if stored in dry conditions. Depending on the filling, filled ones can last up to two days (as the macaron will start absorbing moisture from the filling and goes soft) ..you can see suicidal macarons jumping off your stack. I will probably bake off the macarons, store them in an airtight container & fill + assemble them on the day.

samboy, Aug 3, 4:13am
Hope I am not showing my ignorance but is that for real "100" egg whites, and the icing sugar, is that grams?I want to try this but not sure about it.

prawn_whiskas, Aug 3, 4:20am
it will probably be 100g of egg whites.. actual chef recipes (or just plain good recipes for that matter) have the ingredients by weight.. baking is a science after all.

suie1, Aug 3, 4:20am
I as going to ask that too? I think it is probably supposed to be 100g?

willyow, Aug 3, 7:39am
Just buy them at Ma Cherie in Remuera Rd - genuineMichelin Starfrog in charge - just fabulous - specially the vanilla ones!

willyow, Aug 3, 7:44am
Here's his recipefor the Master Chef Tower- if you insist!
Macaroon Tower - How to assemble it is on the TVNZsite under Masterchef
Recipe by Guillaume Nicoli

Macaroons (makes 170 empty shells i.e. half a macaroon)
570g Homebrand icing sugar
330g almond meal
250g egg white
2 or 3 drop of food colouring

1. For the macaroons, preheat the oven to 130C. Sift the Homebrand icing sugar together with the almond meal into a large mixing bowl.

2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then add food colouring to whites as desired. Make in smaller batches if you want to make several different colours.

3. Using a spatula, add all of the whites to the almond and icing sugar mix and carefully fold together until completely incorporated.

4. Place a template with circles measuring 3.5cm in diameter onto a baking tray and cover with baking paper. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe rounds onto the templates. Macaroons will be around 7-10mm high at this stage. Remove the template from under the baking paper. Bang the tray against a bench to let the macaroons spread slightly. Allow to dry at room temperature for 40 minutes, or until they no longer stick to your finger when the tops are touched. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. Once cooked, slide the baking tray out from under the baking paper and allow to cool at room temperature.

Ganache stuffing
300g Signature Range white chocolate buttons
a few drops of food colouring
10g flavouring
120g fresh Anchor cream

1. For the ganache stuffing, place the Signature Range white chocolate buttons in a large mixing bowl with the food colouring (as desired) and flavouring (as desired). Place the cream in a medium sized saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, remove from heat, and pour over the white chocolate. Let sit for a few seconds and then whisk the chocolate until completely dissolved.

2. Place ganache in the fridge or blast chiller to cool until ready to use. Ganache should be cool but pliable for piping.

Buttercream
450g Mainland butter
140g egg white
140g Homebrand caster sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence

1. Place Mainland butter in the microwave until very soft but not melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand beater until pale and a soft, creamy texture.

2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip to stiff peaks. Now start adding the Homebrand caster sugar a little at a time to make a French meringue. Beat until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Using a spatula, fold one third of the meringue into the Mainland butter. Once completely incorporated, fold in the remaining two thirds of the meringue, then add the vanilla essence.

willyow, Aug 3, 7:47am
(Don't you love all the Brand Name Plugging from TVNZ )
Assembly

1. Lay out the macaroons on a bench. Place the ganache in a piping bag. Fill the macaroons with the appropriate coloured ganache and place another macaroon on top. Leave to sit at room temperature. Do not place in refrigerator.

2. Using a palette knife, cover a polystyrene tower with buttercream.

3. Start to assemble the tower by placing macaroons decoratively in the desired pattern, starting at the bottom of the tower. Build up the tower in such a way that each macaroon is nestled between and supported by the two macaroons below in a bricklaying pattern. Continue, moving up the tower until all of the surface area is covered.

4. Place 12-16 wire sticks into the top of the tower. Place a macaroon on the end of each wire. The wire should go through the ganache which will be the strongest point in the macaroon. Push the wire through until it is nearing the other side of the macaroon but do not let the wire pass all the way through.

be2, Aug 3, 10:42am
Gee it never fails me this TM section especially when you want help! Thanks ppl for your help with the stack. I want to try it. U no what its like when u no u can do something & want to giv it a go. I wil let u no how it goes.

deus701, Aug 4, 3:34am
lol I actually had worked for him, Guillaume (Gee-yoam) making macarons. And the recipe posted varies by 10-20g from the recipe they actually used for their macarons. I think it all lies in the technique.when you have to make 16-25 trays of macaron everyday from 9am-7pm you can do it with your eyes closed.

bill241, Aug 5, 5:15am
Had another pain-in-the-ass macaron making session today, they turned out good looking but had hollows and gummy insides.
I see that Guillaume Nicoli doesn't put caster sugar in his meringue.what do you think of this Deus! Although second-guessing a Michelin star chef is probably a waste of time, haha

From my experience, 100g egg white is about 3 size 6-7 eggs worth, give or take a bit

deus701, Aug 5, 5:44am
He does put in sugar. A container lid is used to scoop the sugar and fed into the mixer. The reasoning was 'just put abit sugar in n let it emulsify properly'. The amount looks around 30-50g but you do need sugar as it helps trap air in the meringue. Guillaume passion for pastry is real, but he is seldom in the kitchen as he is always out doing his deliveries or interviews.

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