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gfron1

Macarons – Baking

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gfron1   

This topic is being started to allow for continued discussion of French macarons (not the coconut cookies). Please utilize the index of the original topic HERE prior to posting in this new topic. Enjoy! And remember, you should always send samples of your macarons to your hosts :biggrin:

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Ok well I will kick this off then :)

Something that was only mentioned occasionally, here and there, in the other thread, is fillings...

I am not much of a fan of the buttercream ones (i find they often taste greasy or buttery and don't work well with some flavours like lemon, or a mint one that i tried to invent!) and only want to use chocolate ganache ones when I actually want chocolate.

What are people doing for their fillings? I read about great flavours like black sesame, rose, matcha, lavender etc and they all seem to be buttercreams.

Any other options for a flexible base idea that can be used across different flavours (i.e curd is nice for lemon/citrus but wouldn't work for matcha)? I did see one person doing a flavoured pastry cream, which I think appeals to me more. Or alternatively I have played with the idea of making a 'gel' kind of thing so I can strongly carry across a flavour such as mint without creaminess.

Cheers.

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JeffR   

I have used a (ganache) damming technique with semi-set fruit mixtures with varying success - The ganache provides the shell adhesion and the gel the flavour burst. I like the idea that some of the flavour of the filling should infuse the gerbets but its sometimes a tricky balancing act.

And was experimenting using a touch of xanthan with a mint puree recently - better to extract and set IMO - in terms the mararon, that is - though a gel/curd combination seems a good one.

[edit] Incidentally' I just received an order of 18 macarons from Herme yesterday (he's started delivering to the UK, at last). They arrived somewhat the worse for wear, but when informed I was offered to sent a box of 24. How lovely! The passion fruit and chocolate were sublime.


Edited by JeffR (log)

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lennyk   

I live in the hot tropics and regular buttercream just cant work

my base filling is cream cheese whipped with a touch of butter and a touch of sugar , being not sweet it offsets the sweetness of the body


Edited by lennyk (log)

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I was wondering if anyone has ever made or heard of macarons using almost paste instead of almond flour. The reason I am asking is that the macarons that we are taught at the CIA are with just almond paste. I will not post the recipe due to it being copyright. The ingredients are just almond paste, powdered sugar, and egg whites.

Here is a photo of one that i made last year.

gallery_46476_5533_14005.jpg

They have a very strong almond taste and are sickly sweet. On the other hand, they are gorgeous and bake perfectly every time.

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lennyk   

That must be troublesome to mix into the whites

I was wondering if anyone has ever made or heard of macarons using almost paste instead of almond flour. The reason I am asking is that the macarons that we are taught at the CIA are with just almond paste. I will not post the recipe due to it being copyright. The ingredients are just almond paste, powdered sugar, and egg whites.

They have a very strong almond taste and are sickly sweet. On the other hand, they are gorgeous and bake perfectly every time.

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cdh   

Recipes are not and cannot be copyrighted. You can certainly post the list of ingredients and measurements here without any worry whatsoever.

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We use different fillings depending on the macaron flavour.

Ganache for the chocolate and cocoa nib flavoured ones.

Buttercream for some.

Mousseline for some (not as stable as buttercream, but less sweet)

I've also made fillings of almond paste, butter and raspberry compound for the raspberry ones but I prefer mousseline.

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ok, here is the recipe of the macarons from the CIA cookies class.

Almond paste 8 oz.

Sugar, powdered 1 lb.

Egg whites 3 oz.

Egg whites 4 oz.

Sugar, powdered 2 oz.

Mixing

1 Mix the almond paste and first sugar with a paddle until pea sized pieces have formed.

2 Add the first amount of egg whties to this mixture and cream until just smooth.

3 Make a stiff meringue with the second whites and sugar. Stop when the whites stop climbing the bowl.

4 Fold meringue into creamed mixture. Add 20% of the merg to make it pliable using a bowl scraper, and then add the remaining meringue. Do not over mix. (often i do overmix..to get it to the right consistency)

Piping Instructions:

Using a #4 or a #6 plain tip, pipe batter into rounds the size of a nickel onto parchment paper lined sheet pan.

Make sure the bag is straight up, not at an angle.

****Allow to sit unbaked on a rack for approx 1-2 hours before baking.

Baking Instructions:

Bake at 350F until “foot” forms and product takes on color.

If using a deck oven, place a piece of foil in the door to let the steam out.

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gap   

Only being new to the world of macaroons I might be totally off-base here but isn't almond paste made from almonds and icing/powdered sugar ground together?

So, busting the ingredients down isn't the recipe just the same as a standard macaroon recipe? Pretty cool though if you have some almond paste handy but no almond powder.

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gfron1   

Except I read the recipe to say that its using the ultra refined almond paste (ie Odense for retail buyers) versus the less refined combination of almond and powdered sugar. I think I would miss that texture - it gives the cookie a bit more character.

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AmberM   

I finally made macs for the first time- overall I was really pleased with the way they came out, and it helped that nobody here had ever even seen, eaten, or heard of them so they were a huge hit! Thanks to everyone here (I have been lurking the macs thread for some time now) for all the tips and the courage to finally try, and special thanks to Helen (Tartlette) for the formula and instructions I used.

I did have problems with the shells being a bit hollow but once they were filled you couldn't really tell. Also had some trouble getting a lot of them off the parchment. Over-baked a batch, over-mixed some, but really had a lot of fun trying to figure the whole thing out.

So now I am completely addicted and will probably spend every spare moment trying to perfect them. Pictured are mixed berry (plain shell, vanilla buttercream with berry filling in the middle), chocolate, creamy earl grey (finely ground tea in the shells and tea infused white chocolate ganache), and lavender (plain shell with lavender infused white chocolate ganache).

gallery_59942_6014_60699.jpg

gallery_59942_6014_68325.jpg

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gfron1   

OMG! That's a first attempt?! Those are beautiful and darn near perfect.

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AmberM   
OMG!  That's a first attempt?!  Those are beautiful and darn near perfect.

Wow, high praise from someone I have admired lurkily (is that a word?) on these forums :wub: thank you! I am sure if you had been here to see them in person and witness the hollow, sometimes flat or otherwise malformed shells you might feel different.... They were incredibly delicious though.

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gap   

Great looking macaroons AmerM!!

By the way, for those macaroon enthusiasts who haven't seen it: Macaroon Swoon by Stephane Glacier

http://www.shopchefrubber.com/product.php?...=0&bestseller=Y

I bought the book from an Aussie stockist and its great - coffee table size (bigger than A4, not quite A3). Lots of recipes and each accompanied by a great full page photo. Even some dubious translation in the intro section :-)

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TheSwede   

There has been a lot of discussion of baking the actual macarons (which I've eagerly read) but much less so about filling/flavouring.

Anyone like to share their favourite fillings and flavourings?

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Lisa2k   

Since I didn't see this touched on in the original macaron thread (unless I missed it), I was speaking with a pastry chef pal of mine yesterday, and he uses a combination of french meringue and italian meringue in his macarons. He simply splits the whites by weight, one half done french, the other half done italian, the tant pour tant folded into the french, and the italian folded in last. He said it makes the best textured, most beautiful macarons he's ever put out. I have yet to see or taste them, so I was wondering..has anyone ever used this method, and if so, opinion(s)?

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gfron1   
There has been a lot of discussion of baking the actual macarons (which I've eagerly read) but much less so about filling/flavouring.

Anyone like to share their favourite fillings and flavourings?

I don't want this to go unanswered, but I'm certainly not making enough macarons to speak intelligently on the fillings. I have used caramel, buttercream, jams, ganache. My least favorite was an infused white chocolate ganache - just too damn sweet. I did do that celery curd with blueberries and that was yummy.

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TheSwede   

I'm sort of a pastry newbie (but still attempting macarons. right). I'm perfectly comfortable making an italian buttercream technically, but I'm not experienced enough to judge what should go where and how and what to use depending on on the circumstance.

Say I want to put some rasperry flavour into my macarons. So:

Color the macarons red, either with a bit of rasberry syrup or plain food coloring. But what is the best filling/flavour carrier for rasperry (or fruits in general)?

What is the best flavour carrier for spices or things like toasted sesame seeds or green tea?

Does anyone have generic recipe for a ganache that is spreadable, but still firm enough to hold in room temperature? What flavours works well in a ganache besides the obvious chocolate?

Bonus points if someone can tell me how to make a foie gras or oilve oil macaron that tastes good... :biggrin:

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Does anyone have generic recipe for a ganache that is spreadable, but still firm enough to hold in room temperature? What flavours works well in a ganache besides the obvious chocolate?

I will use ganache that is left from filling bonbons. Also a buttercream filling would work quite well. Buttercream= chocolate + butter + flavouring (either extract or alcohol or both!)

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TheSwede   

Thanks.

I just made my first batch of macarons today with limited success. I used the italian meringue recipe from

http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-maca...and-a-few-tips/

Half the batch was plain with some salt crystals on top for a later filling with caramel, half the batch was colored pale green and had japanese green tea added.

All in all I made four trays. The two plain trays hade a nice dome shape, but refused to develop feet (not a trace!) and the top surface was matte and sligthly cratered like a microscopic moon surface.

One of the green tea trays actually got the glossy finish and some small feet (!), but instead had cracked domes. And the last green tray was matte and too flat (stirred that one too much).

This variation is enough to drive anyone slightly crazy...

Can anyone shed some insight why some of the macarons got a matte dome and no feet?

Here is a picture:

gallery_56770_5388_515531.jpg


Edited by TheSwede (log)

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gfron1   

Definitely read through some of the troubleshooting in the first macaron topic - the index will take you right to some answers. The variations in your batches seem to have more to do with whatever you might be adding. You didn't mention, but did you let them sit out and dry a bit? Regardless of the recipe I let them sit about 2 hours. That seems to really help my feet and crack.

That said - yours are beautifully shaped.

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TheSwede   

I had them drying between 3 -30 mins. Didn't seem to affect the end result.

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gfron1   

Try drying longer (depends greatly on your humidity). The point of the drying is to form a skin which then lifts (or traps in the steam and causes lift). Don't listen to my unscientific explanation however - there are many more knowledgeable voices in the first topic. But take it longer and see what happens. Also, start playing with the type of meringue. I use Syrup & Tang's Italian meringue recipe and have good skins and feet.

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TheSwede   
I use Syrup & Tang's Italian meringue recipe and have good skins and feet.

I used the same recipe...

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