baking fiends unite!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mac Attack!!!

Macarons and I went back a long way... we 1st "met" each other at a taiwanese blog last year. I was really intrigued by this dessert and back then, there wasn't a macaron craze in sg yet. So I absolutely had no idea how to go abt baking these except for the instructions on the blog. Well, I thot to myself, it shdn't be that difficult rite? After all, the ingredients are pretty straightforward and I had all the ingredients needed on hand. So one nite, I set abt making these macs... and needless to say, I FAILED big-time! The macs turned out very soft and had surfaces to rival the moon's. So i told myself, "ok... macs and me dun have the chemistry ".
Until this year when macs suddenly appeared in almost every local blog! Many ppl were baking and of course some succeeded, some failed. And it's only till then that I came to know that it's actually called macarons! (the taiwanese blog is in chinese mah!). And armed with this info, I started searching the internet for mac recipes. Still I can't make myself bake a batch of these... I duno why, maybe it's the fear of failure? maybe it's just plain laziness....

Images of macarons appeared everywhere I turned... so much so that it came to a point where I felt I must really give it a try again.

Based on what I've gathered, there's 2 ways of making this tooth-achingly sweet dessert. There's the usual whip-the-egg-white way and then there's the italian meringue way, which produces a very stable batter and some even commented that it's a fail-proof method. I decided to try the italian meringue method... (no prizes for guessing why). But then I realised that it means I need a candy thermometer! After asking ard and Elyn highlighted to me that the thermometer will turn into a white elephant 'coz there's no much use of it besides making candies, I did not get one. So how would I know if the sugar syrup had reached a certain temperature, u may ask.... well, I just eye-ball it! haha.... What I did was to let the syrup come to a boil and continue to let it boil for ard 1 min. Then I added it into the egg whites. Well, it worked! Then came to the part where I started mixing the grounded nuts and sugar into the egg white. I din know how to gaudge if it's to the correct texture. I read that the batter had to be like magma! Ermm... tat's a BIG problem to me 'coz the only time I see magma was on Discovery channel! *laughs*.... so again I had to trust my instincts.... Finally I piped the batter onto the baking trays, gave it a few raps to get rid of air bubbles and left it facing a fan blowing at full speed. When the surfaces no longer feels sticky, I sent it into the oven....

You can't imagine how happy I was when I spotted the "feets"! I was so happy that I was yelping away in the kitchen! and that was 11pm at nite. DD got up from her bed, all beary-eyed and came into the kitchen and asked "Mommy, what are u doing? why are u so happy?" *LOL*
After sending 2 trays of the plain hazelnut and almond (I ran out of almonds, so I added hazelnuts to it) macs into the oven, I decided to be more adventureous and added green tea powder to the remaining batter. Topped it with white sesame seeds as I din have any black ones at home.

Here's the results of my MONTHS of research and proscrastination.....These chocolate ones tasted just like (i hope!) what a macaroon shd taste (Read somewhere that the surface shd be crisp while the insides are chewy).... I used 62% bittersweet chocolate as the filling.
The green tea ones turned out softer in texture. But I love the pastel colour.... maybe I din add enough green tea powder, the geen tea taste was not distinct. However, I liked these more than the chocolate ones!

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26 Comments:

  • Congrats on your successful Mac.

    looks yummy!

    By Blogger Ning's Mummy, at 12:21 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • well done Ida. Are you able to share you recipe?

    cheers,

    Lyn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Thanks ning's mummy....

    Lynn, the recipe can be found here:
    http://lovefood.14.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=1287

    Happy baking!

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 1:35 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Lynn,

    A similar recipe here too :

    http://lovefood.14.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=1292

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 1:36 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • hi ida, congratulation on baking such wonderful looking macs. I am still at the failure stage after so manny times.

    Ida did u use the first or the second recipe?

    If u r using the first recipe , did u bake the full recipe or half portion.
    In the first recipe it requires old eggs , powdered egg white and QS water...did u used all that?
    How much water is enough for QS water?

    thanks

    By Blogger sue, at 2:39 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Congrats Ida on your beautiful macs :-)

    By Blogger Chawanmushi, at 3:06 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Hi Sue,

    I actually used the 2nd recipe. 'coz i din have egg white powder and dun think i wan to go out and buy a bottle of tat just for the macs. And the 2nd recipe is easier to follow.

    Both recipes uses the italian meringue method which is rather fail-proof.

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 3:13 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Thanks Cecily. :)

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 7:43 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • I'm the lucky one who got the chance to try her MACs and I like them much better than the ones I bought from B*K**. The sweetness is just nice, even my colleague who have tried B*K** also say yours is better :) I like the chocolate one better.

    Congrats on your success!

    By Anonymous Elyn, at 8:36 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Thanks Elyn! :-)

    I shd go buy a commercial one to try!

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 9:04 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • thanks ida, did u find the macs overly sweet, because i tried eating some macs from storebought , my teeth hurts when eating them LOL

    Ida, the filling looks yummy as well, is it ganashe or buttercream and what flavour is it?

    By Blogger sue, at 10:09 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Congrats Ida! Your macaroons are beautiful!

    By Blogger Little Corner of Mine, at 10:30 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Your macaroons look so beautiful - the photos are stunning as well!

    I have never made or eaten them, but I've seen them everywhere - yours are truly inspiring!

    By Blogger Patricia Scarpin, at 10:47 PM, July 26, 2007  

  • Hi Ida, congrats!! your mac look really good...and u did it within your 1st attempt :)

    By Blogger Happy Homebaker, at 6:58 AM, July 27, 2007  

  • Wow Ida, well done. I have yet to perfect my "smooth" mac. Don't know why mine is so ugly. Now you are urging me to go for my third tries.

    By Blogger Precious Moments, at 7:41 AM, July 27, 2007  

  • Hi Sue, yes, these macs are sooo sweet. I forewarn everyone that is tooth-achingly sweet b4 they took a bite, and suprisingly, after they've tried it, most still found it acceptable! For the chocoate ones, I melted a bar of 62% bittersweet choco with some milk as filling. The other was buttercream mixed with ground black sesame. Are you gonna try this soon? Do report back on the results!

    Thanks Ching, it was a fun experience...

    Hi Pat, thanks for yr kind words. Wish I can DHL some to u. :)

    Thanks Happy Homebaker, this is actually my 2nd attempt. Altho' I rather forget wad happened to my 1st! *lol*

    Edith, you shd give it a try again.... using this italian meringue method.

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 10:59 AM, July 27, 2007  

  • Nice macs!

    By Anonymous reena, at 8:58 AM, July 28, 2007  

  • I see these macs in stores but never tried. Your mac's looks awesome. I noted the websites you gave in your comment. Hopefully, one day I'll try :) Thanks!

    By Blogger Minik Kus, at 8:22 AM, July 29, 2007  

  • your macarons are really pretty!

    By Blogger evan, at 6:08 PM, July 30, 2007  

  • Thanks reena, mini kus and evan. :)

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 8:01 PM, July 30, 2007  

  • Wow.. Ida,

    So you are also a fan of macaron making! Your macaron look great too! So did u still carry on to experiment with different flavour. :)

    By Blogger Ellena Mummy, at 8:37 PM, July 30, 2007  

  • Hi Ellena,

    Thanks for yr kind words. This is my 2nd attempt on macaroons and I do love to try out different flavours... but the family has some problems finishing them! LOL...

    Have in my mind to do a rose flavoured one (which you had attempted)...

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 8:40 AM, July 31, 2007  

  • Wow.. Ida,

    That rose flavour is nice and fragrant.. so far that is one of my favourite too... rose shell with rose butter cream.. wow... heavenly.. :) Hope to see your new bake soon... :)

    By Blogger Ellena Mummy, at 11:44 AM, July 31, 2007  

  • those are really great photos!
    look tasty!

    By Blogger missnoma, at 4:15 PM, August 05, 2007  

  • hello ida, How long did it takes to dry the macaroon?

    I think i'm going to fail again because the macs are now drying in an aircond room for 4 hour and its still feel sticky.

    Did u use pure icing suger?

    thanks

    By Blogger sue, at 6:26 PM, August 15, 2007  

  • Hi Sue,

    The drying part was pretty fast. wad I did was on the fan full blast, but I didn't check on how long it took tho'.

    By Blogger Baking Fiend, at 9:28 PM, August 15, 2007  

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