Yesterday was my younger brother's birthday, and I've told myself to make something out of the league *at least out of MY league*. It was not another cake or another cupcakes like I made last year which turned out so great with his friends. And of course not another chocolate chip cookies. Remember I told you I'll challenge myself to make something more elaborate in the effort department? Well, this one sure exerts every ounce of my concentration and patience!
Refers to as 'Delicate French Cookies', I decided to make chocolate macarons. The myth has it that this temperamental cookies need to be done exactly as the recipe calls. You mess one step, you mess it all. *A total challenge for me right? I thought so too...* But I'm not deterred. Arm with a recipe I prayed wouldn't let me down, I started working on the ingredients.
It doesn't required much. For a basic recipe, it only calls for powdered sugar, powdered almonds, egg whites and granulated sugar. Only addition to the one I'm making was cocoa powder. Very easy right? *Oh, not so!* First thing you need to do, make sure the egg whites were in room temperature. If you store the eggs in the fridge, take it out and left it on the counter for a few hours before separating the whites and yolks. Or you can separate it first (easier this way), and let the whites stay outside on counter. You can use the yolk to make pastry cream perhaps.
Combine powdered sugar + powdered almond + cocoa powder together and pulsed it in food processor to thoroughly mix them and to get rid of any lumps. Don't ever skipping this if you want a smooth surface macarons!
Then, take out your stand mixer and start whipping the egg whites. Start on low, and whip for about 2 minutes. When it looks foamy and yellowish, switch to medium speed and beat for another 3 minutes and while whipping, sprinkle in granulated sugar. Whip on high speed for 2 minutes more until the meringue was stiff and firm.
Next, dump all of dry mixture at once and start folding into the meringue. Using a large rubber spatula will helps a lot. *But I still manage with my reliable medium size one...heheh* The batter should be somewhat between stiff and runny. When you draw a line on the batter, it should come back to the previous state on the count of 20 or 30. Now, it's ready for the piping.
|Just before taking out|
Lined baking sheets with parchment papers, and pipe one inch round or whatever shape you desired with about one and half inches interval in-between the batter. Let the batter dry-off on the counter for at 30 minutes to one hour. The batter should look a bit matte as it lost the glossy look of meringue. Heat up your oven to 180 C, 15 minutes before you start to bake. Turn down the oven to 150 C, when you start baking the first batch. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cookies cool totally on the baking sheet before carefully removing them. And you can sandwich them with your favorite fillings. I used the leftover buttercream I had in the fridge. Scrumptious! I used a recipe from David Lebovitz and now I know it's a keeper! ^__^
|Not all were perfect. Don't worry, nothing was wasted here!|
|Filled with vanilla buttercream...Oh yeah!|
|Camera worthy but blurry...Urgh!!!|