Sunday, November 30, 2008

French Macaron



Not to be confused with macaroon, macaron is a French-type of pastry made with egg whites, almond powder, powdered sugar and granulated sugar. It is then sandwiched together with ganache, buttercream, or cream-like filling in between. While macaroon is a type of cookie made with shredded coconut.

There are two ways to made this macaron, the italian meringue method, which involved cooked sugar or the regular meringue method, the simpler one. According to what I read, macarons made using italian meringue method, will yield a more stable batter and different texture. Either way, the texture of a macaron is supposed to be crispy on the outside, a little chewy on the inside.


The way you can tell that your macaron is a success is by the "feet" it formed while it's baked. When it's baking, you batter will rise slightly and formed what we called "feet" around the bottom of the batter. I made an attempt to macaron once last year. After a week or two of research, I settled on one recipe that seems reliable from a French blog I read. But it failed successfully. It was just like a round meringue with a taste of almond (which is wonderful), although they are SUPER sweet. I was traumatized since then and afraid to make another attempt, especially since almond powder is really expensive. I thought I would rather make joconde for opera cake or other cakes than wasting it on another macaron experiment :).



After looking at yossi's successful macaron, I felt the urge of making another try. Besides, I have a bag of fine almond powder I bought online specially for macaron, that has been sitting in my pantry for a while now. So I gather all my strength and hope and tadaaaa.......It has feet!!!! I was so excited and couldn't stop smiling when I checked the oven window after about 8 minutes of baking time. It's not as pretty as others', but hey, it's a start.

I've been wanting to make lots of colorful macarons filled with different things, just like what you would have seen in French patisserie window. It looks like a little jewel packed in a pretty box. I was a little skeptical when I about to try it, because I know it would be REALLY sweet that it would hurt my teeth. But I was pleasantly surprised that it actually wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be. It is still really sweet but not as sweet as the first one I made last year. It would be perfect if it's filled with bittersweet ganache or some sort of cream cheese filling to cut down the sweetness a little. The almond provides a really nice taste and texture to it. I wasn't planning on sandwiching this macaron as I was too lazy to make special filling just for a few macaron, so I froze it of course! Been wanting to make decoration on a cake using this little beauty. I just wish that the color is stronger. I'll try to fill them with ganache or something if I have leftover filling and I'll update you on that :)



There are a couple of them that were broken. I think part of it, it's because it was baked on a lower rack and therefore it has less heat distribution. Another reason is because I was so impatient that I try to remove them carelessly :(. But that's a reason so that I can munch of them whenever the sweet craving starts to hit (which is often) ;)

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