September 2, 2011

Wedding Macarons

August 27, 2011: 2nd Chung Sista Wedding.  Sista Min + New Bro Chris = Married!  
Twin Sista's Summer Project: master making French macarons for wedding.  
Practice Macaron Baking Attempts: 4
Hours Spent Baking last Wednesday: 13
Total Macaron Lollipop Cookies: over 150 (which means over 300 baked)
End Result: Amazing!  
the bride + her new buttercup kitchenaid hard at work
twin sista: the master macaron piper
I swear I helped too.  I sifted flour
def enjoyed by all.
The recipe came from the blog Not So Humble Pie.  Twin Sista, the master and clever baker that she is, MADE vanilla sugar (vanilla bean + sugar) and added 1 tsp of vanilla extract + 4 drops of purple food coloring.  Perfection!  

Ms. Humble's Scatter Plot Macarons
yields 50 (100 shells) macarons (feel free to divide it for fewer cookies)
120g almond meal
200g powdered sugar
100g egg whites
30-35g granulated sugar
food coloring gel

Line 2-3 heavy gauge aluminum baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners (more on this below). Prep a piping bag with a round tip (I use a Ateco #11 for most of my macs, though I'll occasionally use a #804 for larger macarons). I place the bag into a tall drinking glass (or stout glass) and cuff the bag's opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free.

Weigh out almond meal and powdered sugar and sift together to remove any clumps. (If you own a food processor, I highly recommend blending the ingredients and then sifting.)

Weigh out the egg whites into a large mixing bowl (stainless steel or copper), if you're using stainless feel free to add a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or couple drops of lemon juice to help strengthen the whites. If you're using copper you need not and should not add any additional acid (more on this below).

Weigh out the granulated sugar. (Often I'll use homemade vanilla sugar for this.)

Begin beating the eggs on low speed. What you're doing here is unraveling the egg white's proteins (these are what will capture the air bubbles you whisk in), they're bundled up and you need to gently unwind them. A light touch does this far better than scrambling them on high speed. Once the egg whites are very foamy, begin sprinkling in the sugar as you beat. Increase the speed to medium, if necessary, and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. (If they start looking grainy, clumpy or dry... uh... you've gone too far.)

Add the food coloring (for the full recipe it usually takes 2-4 drops of gel, for a half batch 1-2 drops does the trick) and mix.

Add about 1/4 of the almond/sugar mixture and fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the almond mixture in quarters, folding until you reach the proper batter. (More on this below)

Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread.

Tap the pan on the counter to bring up any air bubbles and quickly pop them with a toothpick.

Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes. Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch. If you have problems with burst shells, you may need to allow them to rest longer or double stack your baking sheets to provided better insulation from the bottom.

While they rest, place an oven rack in the lower 3rd of your oven and preheat to 275-310°F (I've had the most success with about 285-290°F). I do not use fan-forced (convection) heat. If your oven tends to brown the cookies, consider placing a rack in the top of the oven with a baking sheet on it to shield the cookies. Occasionally my top element in my spastic electric oven turns on and browns my cookies, upsetting me greatly.    
Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes.

*The ganache was a basic ganache recipe Twin Sista found online and she added her own lil twist by infusing cardamom pods + 1 tsp espresso powder in the heavy cream before adding the dark chocolate.  Genius!  
Wedding Macarons: Labor intensive but very impressive and very tasty!    

2 comments:

  1. these look amazing!!!!! wow.

    - jason

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is great! Loved all the tips- especially toothpicks.

    ReplyDelete