Friday, February 15, 2013

Baking French Macaron

So I baked a few batches of macarons ever since eating my first macaron about 8 months ago and I always used a weighing scale until I saw April's salted caramel macaron video:

All other blogs I checked all recommended to get a weighing scale because the measurements have to be very precise but April and whatever source she has proved me otherwise. I do have one problem with this recipe. From previous experience I made my meringue runnier after mixing the powdered sugar and almond flour which did not bid well with April's cooking time. Here is the result:
As you can see, the lighter macaron has a harder center than the darker macaron which was cooked for four minutes less.

As for the taste? I think the recipe that requires a weighing scale taste better than this non weighing scale recipe.

When you start baking macarons, you begin to realize why these little cookies cost so much in the first place. Therefore there are things to consider even before you start baking macarons.

The ingredients are expensive compared to other American desserts.
  1. Almond meal is a must for the recipe and should not be substituted at all cost. A cheaper way to get Almond meal would be to ground your own Almonds (which is recommended anyway because the almond flour bought in stores still have lumps on them). 
  2. Food coloring and flavor extract are options which costs around five dollars each.
The materials are expensive.
  1. Piping bags or a zip lock bag are necessary or else the shape would be wrong. 
  2. Parchment paper or a silicon mat is also necessary because anything else like wax paper or Pam would not give you a flat bottom.
  3. April proved that a weighing scale is not necessary, but a blender is a must. Sure, it is possible to hand whip those egg whites, it would just take a while so whip while watching your favorite tv show.
It is time and skill consuming.Do not skip these steps at all cost.
  1. Always sift the almond flour. If you don't, the macaron would have a lumpy shell.
  2. Don't substitute almond flour. Macarons are meringue based almond cookies. Replacing almond flour with plane old flour is like replacing chocolate in a chocolate cake with hard candy and calling it a chocolate cake. 
  3. Let the batch sit for thirty minutes. This develops the hard shell and prevents cracking.
Steps you may skip:
  1. I heard that macarons taste better after refrigerating for two days. I honestly can't tell because the family eats them right away. 
  2. Adding food coloring and  food extract on the shells. "Plain" macarons with nutella filling? Sounds good to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment