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The Macarons Sequel (French Meringue) October 20, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Baking, Food.

I failed on my first attempt. There were feet, the shell doesn’t crack easily but the batter was thick when I mixed it, the macarons were wayyyy too sweet and chewy.

I failed again on my second attempt. The batter looks ok to me. Not too runny, not too thick. But there’s no feet this time! And the shell was porous (I swear I did bang the tray on the tabletop before leaving it to rest). It’s wayyy too sticky.  But mistakes I made.. I added rose liquid flavouring to the almonds so that might be one of its cause.

BUT I FINALLY MADE IT ON MY THIRD ATTEMPT! I was getting paranoid. I checked the humidity (Since it’s always humid here!) and found out that it’s always less humid around 2pm-4pm. So I started work at 2pm! Lols.

95g egg whites (3 eggs)
30g granulated sugar
170g icing sugar
117g almond flour

The steps are simple.

24 hours before baking them:

  • Age the egg whites. Cover them with a paper towel and leave it in the fridge. Make sure there’s no traces of yolk or the egg whites will go bad.
  • Measure and prepare all other ingredients. Sift the icing sugar and almond flour. I don’t sift my almond flour though cos I buy my almond flour and my mom won’t let me use her food processor though the almond flour seems a bit coarse.

On the baking day:

1. Beat the eggs at medium speed until you see lotsa bubbles. Gradually add in granulated sugar (I pour them in slowwwwwly) and beat at higher speed. For my mixer, I used speed 3 at first, and increase it to speed 5. Stop when you see stiff peaks forming.

2. Mix the icing sugar and almond flour. Then add them to the meringue (1/3 each time). Use the fold in method. I add my gel paste colouring at the same time.

I read somewhere that we should not fold it for more than 50 times. Did that on my second attempt but I failed T.T But I counted the times I folded the batter.. it’s approx 60+ times. The batter must not be too runny or thick. Everyone says it should flow like magma.. I’m not sure how that looks but I stop mixing it once all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the peak dissolves after about 30 seconds.

3. I used a disposable icing plastic bag to fill the batter. After piping them, I bang the tray hard on the tabletop and poke all air bubbles with a toothpick. I let them rest for 30 minutes to form a skin which will help in the formation of ‘feet’.

4. Bake at 150°C for 13 minutes if you’re using a conventional oven. (Not sure of convectional/fan-forced oven since I don’t have one)

I was so soooo extremely excited when I saw feet forming! And there’s a crispy skin when I popped them into my mouth. Not super chewy like the first time. Anw, macarons cannot be eaten fresh. They need to be matured for a day or two. So I’ve filled them all and they’re sitting in the fridge now 🙂

There are certain things which I changed/did this time:

  • Used a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients instead of a spoon.
  • Did not add liquid flavouring to the almond & sugar mixture.
  • Used a non-stick parchment paper.
  • Poked all air bubbles with a toothpick on the shell.
  • Age egg whites for 48hours with a paper towel covering the bowl.

A few important points bout making macarons:

  • Aged egg whites reduce the moisture in the eggs and the macaron shells will not crack easily.
  • Best not to add liquid flavouring to the batter or it might be too moisture.
  • Overbeaten batter will be runny. If batter is thick, give it a few more folds. If it’s too runny, add in some dry ingredients.
  • Use powder or gel colouring. Liquid colouring affects its moisture.
  • Macarons turn brown if baked at high heat. And it’ll turn chewy if baked too long. I’ve been trying it with all sorts of temperature and time with my oven. Diff oven takes diff time and temperature.
  • French meringue is easier but italian meringue will be better if made in large batches ‘cos italian meringue is more stable. I used french meringue and the later batches which was left too long for their turn in the oven ended up cracked.

Here are some useful links to make macarons:

Syrup & Tang wrote a very good guide on macarons (methods, troubleshooting macarons etc)

On the other hand, Food Nouveau provides a detailed, step-by-step process with illustrations (:

And Veronica experimented the outcome of aged egg whites and fresh egg whites used.

This is Ms Humble’s troubleshooting guide which is pretty good too!


Macarons – Phailed! October 1, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Baking.
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I’ve been in love with these french desserts ever since I tried Sadaharu Aoki and Laduree’s macarons! (Btw, I tried this french macaron in Spain and it’s not nice at all!) And so, I’ve decided to try baking them myself!

I did lotsa research and freaked out a little when I read lotsa bad review on it. I saw people attempting to make them and still failed after 3 tries! But they didn’t give up (and I really salute them). I saw people complaining that their batter is too runny.. or the macarons don’t form feet, or the macarons ended up hollow, or having their macarons rising and then slumping in..

Oh boy, macarons are like women! I read that the measurement must all be accurate otherwise you’ll fail. Or the batter cannot be over beaten or under beaten, either one yields the same result – FAIL!

My story.. is different from the rest. Most people complain about having runny batter.. BUT MY BATTER’S NOT RUNNY! It’s a bit dough-like! And I freaked out. Couldn’t find the solution when I googled “Troubleshooting macarons” But I remember reading that overbeaten batter will be runny. So I kept beating them.. but not much help.

So I gave up and see what will my batter make.

It has feet! (: The shell doesn’t crack easily and it’s crispy! Lols. But the problem is that it’s chewy inside.. must’ve been because the batter was too thick. And it’s SUPER sweet! I mean FREAKING sweet! Anyway, since it has already gone wrong, might as well I do some experiments.

I first used 150°C for 14 minutes.. My macarons were pink (I added colouring) but chewy inside.
Then I tried 160°C for 15 minutes.. My macarons were light brown and ended up like cookies! ^.^

I prefer having them cookie-like than chewy. Lols. Anw, I think I know what to do next time. I need to reduce the dry ingredients and the sugar! Rawr. Oh. I didn’t make the filling in the end cos the shells alone was sweet enough. Lols.

Here’s the recipe I used (So NEVER use this recipe unless you intend to fail XD)

140g almond flour
225g icing sugar
100g egg white
40g granulated sugar

Next time, I’ll try to reduce to 25g granulated sugar, 180g icing sugar and 120g almond flour. Huhu. Will definitely post it here to announce my success or failure. Lols.

Chick Cake Pops May 2, 2010

Posted by blackpumpkin in Baking.
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I finally tried my hands on making some Cake Pops (: It was fun to make but very time consuming, especially when it’s done all by myself. Alone.

Instructions can be found here. It’s pretty hard to find some of the ingredients in BolehLand and it can get pretty pricey too ): I baked a butter cake myself instead of getting cake mix.

Anw, I got Betty Crockers Vanilla frosting from Jusco (RM8.80 for 16oz), White Chocolate Carats (RM13.60 for 1kg) and AmeriColor Candy Oil Colour from City Bakers, and Wilton’s Sparkle Gel from Wisma ICCA. That’s about the stuff I used, if I’m not mistaken. Oh! And those candy chips! I’m not sure what they’re called. But I used heart-shaped chips for the beaks and star -haped chips for their feet.

Cake Pops

Flower ChickI made the flower for my cuppies and have some spares (: It’s made of Choc too. I just add some colouring to it and with the help of a candy melting bottle.

Cherry ChickMy mom suggested I put a cherry on its head! Haha. She said it looks BALD!

Baby Chick“Chick’s supposed to have HAIR sticking on its head!” so my mom complains.

Angel ChickStar star star~ I thought of making something like a headband.. or well, maybe halo XD

Love ChickLast minute inspiration when I thought of Madu and remembered I have love-shaped chips.

Yellow Chick

Of course, they can’t be compared to bakerella’s but I’m still happy for what I’ve made! ^.^ Some doesn’t look really smooth ‘cos of the choc texture. When it starts to cool down, the choc forms clump. But think of it this way, chicks aren’t smooth and round to begin with! XD