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AmritaBala

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  1. AmritaBala

    Macarons: Troubleshooting & Tips

    Italian meringue always explode and never make feet. I read in an earlier post about temperature, but I've tried several different temps and always the same result. And I think they have a harder shell, which I don't like. That method just doesn't like me But, the French method is totally fine, with the occasional flop. Usually from over folding. I had to make 2500 of these things (took three days) back when I worked for a caterer and only had one sheet pan go bad, so I had the French method down. I just don't make them as much now, and I think I get out of practice. Down the line I hope to add them to my website as well. But that will be a while. I used to experience "exploding feet" when I cooked my syrup to either 112 Celsius, 118 or 121 Celsius. The only temperature which seems to work for me is 110, which technically is NOT soft ball stage, but it seems to work best for me. Feet exploding could also be due to drying the macarons too long. Italian method produces batter which dries faster than French macaron batter, in my opinion. 2500 macarons sounds like one hell of a feat! I probably would have dropped dead halfway if I had to make that many. But I wish you luck in adding them to your site sometime soon =o) I'm sure they'll be fantastic once you overcome the nitty gritty details!
  2. Hey everyone, I've been trying to hard to figure out a way of keeping acetate sheets curled long enough for the tempered chocolate i've spread on them to SET! They almost ALWAYS unravel and make a huge mess out of everything. (I don't have magnetic clips or anything, and paper clips just seem like a recipe for disaster). With reference to curls, I'm talking about somewhat spiraled ones, not one dimensional "curves". An example: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__5LHZr7vZYc/Sd4n8_uDczI/AAAAAAAABvc/7z4Mp2C8q_s/s1600-h/DSC09903.JPG The acetate sheets need to be twisted more than once in order to produce similar looking curls but my problem arises when I need to secure the ends long enough for the chocolate to actually set. I also live in a humid environment and the chocolate ONLY sets in the refrigerator. I could leave it out for 2 days and it would still remain liquid due to the humidity here. Hope someone can help me out here Thank you!
  3. AmritaBala

    Macarons: Troubleshooting & Tips

    Hey everyone, the whole discussion on tpt into egg white or the other way round is rather intriguing! Personally, I've always tipped my tpt into my egg whites because it requires a lot less muscle to mix everything up. Also, I use italian meringue and the tpt+egg white mixture is usually very stiff. Gives me a good work out though. RWood, what went wrong with your italian meringue macarons? I find both French and Italian methods unstable, Macarons are just like that I suppose. Some days they come out perfect, other days they flop. But I've experienced a lot more success with italian meringue. It's also easier to make a couple of different flavours with one batch of IM, instead of having to make multiple batches of FM. (IM shells also look smoother, albeit slightly drier in texture than their French meringue counterparts) Here is a photo of some of my macarons made using the sucre cuit method.
  4. AmritaBala

    Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)

    Thank you so much, Kim! I was tempted to make another 6 colors but that would end up in a disastrous number of macarons in my fridge! Your banana bread looks beautiful! The bits of chocolate look scrummy. Curls - Such cute cupcakes! What frosting did you use on themm :)
  5. AmritaBala

    Meyer Lemons: Recipes and Storage

    I am so jealous! It's almost impossible to find Meyer Lemons over here in Singapore
  6. AmritaBala

    Diet bread

    Actually, the main culprit in bread which makes people "gain weight" is white processed flour I recommend trying something like Ezekiel bread out. It's a little pricey but it contains absolutely zero amounts of flour in it and is made from sprouted grains! It tastes just like whole wheat bread but has to be kept in the freezer because there aren't any preservatives and whatnot in it However, if you're intent on making your own, there are quite a number of recipes out there. http://www.rawtimes.com/r-essenebread.html - would be an example.
  7. AmritaBala

    Macarons: Troubleshooting & Tips

    Hey Pastrygirl, I'm not sure why you're encountering these problems (since you've succeeded with his recipe in another kitchen!) but I do know that his recipe is a little off. Well, for me and some other people I know at least. Do you dry your macarons for a long enough period of time? I find it helpful to leave them in front of an air condition unit because they dry really quickly with the circulating air. I'd also reduce the amount of egg whites used instead of increasing them. If memory serves me correctly, there should be an average of aroung 100grams of egg whites to 300 grams of TPT. I hope this helps, though I doubt it will. Good luck!
  8. AmritaBala

    Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)

    Oh my, I haven't been on egullet in ages. Everyone's creations look absolutely lovely. Something I made for my grandma's birthday which also happened to fall on Valentine's Day =) Lemon White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake on an almond honey graham crust. Some macarons I made a couple of weeks ago as well. Mango, Whisky Chocolate, Jasmine, Cassis and Symphonie. Enjoy!
  9. I went to the Food exhibition here in Singapore and found this Patisfrance Macaron. The chef was Demo-ing and it took 4 minutes to whip up. I had one mac he made...it was great....chewy...not that sweet. The chef said..the company is the first to make this and one good point is that it is not as sweet as the make your own version. Amritabala...have u gone there? You can PM me if you need more info. ← iibake, no I didn't go there and I don't plan on attending, lol! =op I seem to have bought everything they have there on amazon already, silly me! One more thing, was the macaron powder pure or did it have any preservatives in it ? ) Hope you enjoyed your time there!
  10. Lisa, they dont look THHHAT bad!!!!! When I do peanut macarons, I use 100% ground peanuts, but that's cos I can actually find ground peanuts, which isn't the case with pistachios over here. Do you grind your own pistachios? I would try 50/50 next time ....I should try them out too...well, I'll have to spend some time grinding first before I can do that! =op
  11. AmritaBala

    Favorite 'Chocolates in a hurry'

    The ultimate quickie would be dark chocolate truffles tossed in cocoa I guess... Since they won't be coated in tempered chocolate, I suggest than you up the chocolate amount in the ganache, just in case it melts into a flat blob. Coat it in cocoa....nuts...the usual, I guess! ) Another option would be to flavor dark/milk/white choc with whatever pure oils you have and pour it into poly carbonate molds after tempering it. That way you would have a chocolate which doesn't have a filling, but is flavored through-out instead.
  12. That is the coolest thing I've seen in months, haha!!!! ) thanks! ANYWAY, pierre Herme is in town, people! For the world Gourmet Summit. I tried to get into his masterclass but I was too late. It was fully booked! I decided to go there anyway, in case I could see him and get him to autograph some books and take a photo with me (Yes, I carried 8 kilos worth of books around with me!!) Anyway, no luck there. I waited for 2 hours and I didn't even catch a glimpse. I then went to the hotel where he's staying, and yet again, I was too late. He checked out earlier in the morning. They are still selling his desserts, though. If it is any consolation, the girls @ the Restaurant gave me a menu which PH had autographed. Sigh. Obesession makes a person do such strange things, LOL!
  13. Thanks for the tips, lenny. Bad news : the owner of the Rez that I am working at for a month tried to force me to hand my macaron recipe over to her own pastry chefs so that they could go on making money off me long after i'm gone. After I refused, she stopped talking to me and purposely got her pastry chefs to make mini macarons for their tea menu. They even copied my flavors! How un-professional can some people get?
  14. Lenny, I don't use double sheets. I use a metal cookie sheet with a silpat..I have 5 siplats and 5 cookie sheets...and most of the time I use all sheets cos I always do large batches of macarons, so doubling up is a problem. I use fan mode, which I found gave much nicer looking feet which didn't collapse...When baked in regular mode, my macarons kept on collapsing. 245 is 118 centigrade, isn't it ? What doesnt make sense is that I used to use single sheets and they came out fine...(
  15. Oh, Lisa! Those look really good! Even the cinnamon ones look better than before! I am now having problems with both french and italian. They are as hard as rock and almost cut your gums :oO 230 is 110 celsius, right? Well, I used to use 244 and it worked really well before suddenly giving me lop sided feet and crusty macarons. Then I switched to 230 and it worked, and as u know, it suddenly went crazy. I also dont like ther distinct line and seperation between the feet and the shell of italian meringue macarons. A lot of people don't get that, but I do. Strange (
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