So i’ll be honest, this dish today was originally going to be a full dish with lots of components. However it somehow turned into just trying to get the macarons done how I wanted. I have never done them before so I figured it would be a good learning day. I am trying to improve my desserts because baking was always something I shunned growing up as a cook. I used to call it devils magic. I think what always turned me off from it was the fact that I couldn’t deviate from exact measurements. When it comes to cooking you have a flexibility to try and season, try again and adjust or tweak. But now that I have been making more desserts and trying to nail those recipes it has been kind of enjoyable. Like a new challenge. There are so many techniques when it comes to baking and pastries that I have never done before but I want to perfect. The possibilities when it comes to baking and pastries are a new and fun frontier for me so I look forward to doing more of it.
Lucky for me I date a pretty amazing baker who has all the gadgets and books when it comes to this stuff, so I am trying to take advantage of her knowledge and literature. The book I used for this macaron recipe is called “Sugar Rush” by Johnny Iuzzin. It has some really great recipes and does an excellent job of explaining and giving some pointers. Looking at the recipe and consulting with my baking guru it seemed the key for these cookies was going to be to not over mix and keep it light. If you have done meringue before and know what to look for with what the book is saying you’ll do just fine. When it came to piping the book said to do a circular motion clockwise, which I did a couple of and wasn’t happy with, need to practice on that. So instead I just did a top down and pulled up while squeezing, seemed to work pretty well. After piping it is absolutely crucial to let the macarons sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. This allows a shell to form on top and stay smooth and form that crisp outside. I put the fist batch in for 8 minutes, spinning the tray around half way through. This was definitely not enough time. They were under cooked and sank, in the bin they go. The second batch I did 14 minutes spinning halfway through and they turned out great.
- 185g Confectioners’ Sugar
- 185g Almond Flour
- 65g Egg Whites
- 185g Plus 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 75g Egg Whites
- Pinch Cream of Tartar
- Food Coloring (If Desired)
Sift together confectioners sugar, almond flour and cookie flavoring in large mixing bowl. Add egg whites and stir until evenly moistened.
To make meringue put 185g of sugar in a small sauce pot with 2 tbsp of water. Mix with finger until wet sand consistency . Put pan on stove and bring to a boil. Meanwhile put egg whites, 1 tbsp of sugar and cream of tartar in stand mixer and mix on low speed. Once sugar has come to 244º add to egg whites slowly . Whip the whites and sugar on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. The whites should be firm and glossy but not dry.
Add a third of the meringue to the cookie mix to soften up. Slowly fold in remaining meringue to mix with food coloring. Do not over mix this stage or cookies will not rise. Pipe onto silpat in circles about the size of a quarter. Next let the batter sit out for 10-15 minutes to form a shell on top before baking. Put in oven at 350º for 12-14 minutes spinning halfway through.
When it came to the filling I knew I was going to do a buttercream but wanted to do a certain flavor. So I did roasted pink lady apples and ginger. For the apples I put in the over at 400º for an hour and 15 minutes. After they cooled I pureed the apple with some juice to help thin it out. When the buttercream was finished I mixed in 1 cup of the roasted apple puree and 2 Tbsp. of ginger juice. Then it was just assembling and taking pictures!
I had a couple missteps doing this recipe but it was an easy enough fix. The next dessert will be the finished dish that I had originally intended to do but that will be something for later this week. As always if you have any questions feel free to ask!