Hi, I'm a Mac (Daring Bakers October 09)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And I'm a Daring Baker...woo hoo! Who makes French Macarons. Yeah!

First, the obligatory words:

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.


I'd been gathering up the courage to try these fiddly french fancies and made an attempt three days before the challenge was announced. Talk about hitting the ground running. I used a recipe by Helen of Tartelette and whaddaya know - my  first ever batch of macarons had feet! You could have heard the whooping a mile away! So sure was I that my macarons wouldn't rise to the occasion, there was no filling ready for them. A quick slap of the multi-purpose chocolate ganache and we were set.




My first try : Hazelnut macarons  with dark chocolate ganache. (Subbed all the almond meal with hazelnut meal)

Then I tried this month's challenge. The DB method and ratio differed from Tartelette's recipe, but I gamely gave it a go. Umm...no feet - tasted good but not what I was hoping for. Usually, I'm quite tenacious when it comes to working my way through to the bitter end, but this time I chose to stick with the successful recipe. To be fair, many other Daring Baker's made the challenge recipe work so do check out their success stories.


DB Footless Macs- Orange and clove macarons dipped in dark chocolate. 


I kept practising with Helen's recipe and I think I am officially obsessed. Didn't realise quite how many macarons I'd made until I compiled all the photos together...errr...to avoid a massive post, I'll try to do most of it in pictures. As for the recipe and method, I urge you to visit Tartelette and follow any of her macaron recipes. I used 2/3 of the recommended ratios.




Some things I found helpful:

1) Weigh the egg whites - I found that the weight differed greatly between eggs even from the same carton. I estimated each egg white to weigh roughly 30gms or so (give or take).

2) I did age the egg whites and this seemed to have a noticeable effect on the "feet". Older egg whites - taller feet. Fresh egg whites - frilly feet. To age, I left my bowl of eggwhites in the fridge, covered loosely with plastic wrap. Remember to bring the eggs to room temperature before using.

3) Size matters! Using a thin and whippy spatula to fold the almond into the egg whites  - I seemed to go over the recommended amount of "strokes" all the time but the macaron mixture didn't look ready. Using a heavier spatula, I achieved the recommended flow much sooner. (This will make sense when you read the macaron method).


4) I didn't draw circles for the macs, instead I timed the flow when piping, counting about 10 "counts" per macaron to try and ensure all the macs ended up the same size.

5) To colour the macarons, I used a cake decorating trick to tint the sugar first. Mix some paste colour into the sugar and sieve it to get a uniform colour. The sugar needs to be really dry so if using liquid colour, make sure to spread the sugar on a tray to dry out before using.




And in case you're wondering  where all the egg whites came from? I made ice-cream (6 egg yolks), and mango and lime curd (4 egg yolks) + I already had some lurking in the freezer.






Big Macs!

Thank you very much Queen Helen, undisputed Monarch of the Macaron. And thank you to the Macaron fairy who must be hiding somewhere in the kitchen..I'm still pinching myself that my mac attempts were successful.(Edit: And d'uh where are my manners? Thank you Ami for a great challenge!)

Enjoy these flavours, I'm sure you'll see more in time to come.

Coconut macaron with mango lime curd filling 







Subbed a little of the almond meal with toasted, dessicated coconut. Made a mango and lime curd based on my favourite lemon curd recipe - and used 100ml of sieved mango puree + juice of half a lime. 


Teh-Hallia (Ginger Tea) Macaron






Based on a Malaysian beverage. Macaron shells flavoured with Black Tea. Crystallised ginger sandwiched in ginger white cocolate ganache (just add some ground ginger to the ganache).






Kheer Macaron






Inspired by Indian Rice Pudding/ Kheer. Subbed a bit of the almond meal with toasted ground rice (50g almond meal + 20g rice for recipe calling for about 70g almond meal). Flavoured the shell with finely ground cardamom pods (2). Sandwiched with some of the white chocolate ganache from above. Pistachio hidden in centre. 


This is my favourite macaron out of all the ones I made. the rice gives it a gritty but not unpleasant aftertaste.






Rose and lemon macaron 
 



 This was inspired by the Persian drink Sharbat - the shells are flavoured with dried rose petals and the filling is lemon caramel. I was really trying to make a tiny batch of lemon marmalade  but it didn't quite work out. The lemon caramel tastes fantastic though - very  tangy and complemented the rose scent very well.

Nasturtium Macaron

I really wanted to make use of the spring blooms in the garden and attempted these Nasturtium flavoured macs. I added some dried leaves and flowers plus a sliver of petal on top. The filling was cream cheese, a pinch of salt and 3 nasturtium flowers. The flavour was interesting and if you didn't know what was in them - it was quite indefinable





I air-dried the nasturtiums, then finished them off in a low oven (I put them on the lowest rack while a batch of macarons were in the oven)


 




Thanks for visiting! Have a sweet day :)

39 comments:

Ellie said...

Love all the flavours you have created especially the teh halia!! So going to make that. Didn't we all go ga-ga with macarons this month :p

Marcellina said...

Sooo inspiring!! They are all gorgeous! And your photography is brilliant. Great work.

thelastsparerib said...

Such interesting flavours!

shez said...

Gorgeous! You've made so many batches Shaz :) And I love the idea of the Teh Halia one. Crystallised ginger is one of my favourite things to eat (and apparently good for nausea too)!

Karen @ Citrus and Candy said...

Oh my god I love all the exotic flavours especially the mango lime curd! *drool*

Stephcookie said...

Ohh I totally love your idea of making a teh halia flavour. Ginger in a macaron would be perfect, I am going to have to try that sometime :) They all look so great!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Such a big bunch of lovely macaron flavors!! Great challenge! I, too, found more success with Tartelette's recipe.

Wic said...

this pictures are breathtaking. you went a little nuts with this. love it.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

You really nailed them Shaz! They look brilliant and what a cool flavour! :D So sad I had to sit out on this challenge but alas no oven means no macarons!

Jenny said...

Wow, such creativity with the flavors! They all sound delicious, and look it too - beautiful photos!
I agree Tartelette is the queen of macarons! We failed with the challenge recipe, so we returned to our old trusted one, which is very similar to Tartelette's.

Esther said...

Woo what a fabulous selection !! Such great flavour ideas too. Wish I had though about doing curd with my egg yolks thought crème briulees are always good to.

maybelle's mom said...

i'll have one of the kheer and the nastursium (sp?). and I too am officially obsessed.

Pontch said...

WOW
they are so cute!
beautiful macarons and beautiful photos!
Great job!

shaz said...

Thank you everyone - I'm so pleased that you like the photos, I'm still learning to handle the camera "properly" so it feels great to get such nice comments.
*group hug*

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! wow, I love your choice of flavors! Those macarons are fabulous!

Cheers,

Rosa

MeetaK said...

oh my look at all those flavors. the ginger ones are attracting me the most. brilliant job on this!

Rochelle said...

Wow so many macaroons! And they all look great! Should sell 'em or send a dozen to every friend :)

Audax said...

YOu are a master macaron maker and these are your first attempts. Well done and I'm so impressed. The flavour combinations are delicious. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Hungry Dog said...

You are amazing! Your macarons look fit for a french patisserie...so beautifully done! I'm totally impressed! Beautiful photos too.

Lauren said...

Wow!! All of your flavours sound perfect =D. Not to mention your title - the best I've seen all day!!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Shaz, well done indeed. Your macs are brilliant. WOW...love the duo tones ones too. GORGEOUS!!

Grace said...

what unique flavor choices! i won’t lie—i’m woefully unfamiliar with many of those ingredients, but i know for a fact that i’d love the coconut-lime-mango batch. excellent work!

6p01053695af5a970b said...

Thanks so much for the coloring tip! Love your post title :)

Peggy Bourjaily said...

Wow! Do you ever have feet. I didn't get feet, but will try Tartelette's recipe too!

Love all of your ideas!

Juliana said...

Wow, these macarrons and very nice...look delicious...and the pictures are so pretty :-)

Simon said...

Wow, some really nice photos.

I found I had a similar experience to you with regards to the DB recipe. I'd gone through a number of batches thinking it was something that I'd done wrong at some stage before giving up and moving on to another recipe.

Love the concept of the teh halia flavoured macaron :)

Aran said...

they turned out fantastic!!

shaz said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you - you are all way too kind. Oh, and I definitely shared these around and/or gave them away :). And I'm definitely a Mac girl ;P

culinography said...

These are BEAUTIFUL... even your footless, chocolate-dipped macarons! Well done!

kristenly said...

thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. i knew you were an aussie even before i got to your page because you called my little one a bub... my best friend calls her that too. she also lives in sydney. (i lived in newcastle for a while) :-)

absolutely stunning macarons by the way. good on ya!

Nadia said...

love the kheer flavor as i am also from Pakistani background

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Wow, look at all your flavour combinations! Fantastic. Love all the colours, too.

morgana said...

Hahahaha. I'm rather more a PC... ;-)

Your macs are amazingly perfect.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

so many people switched to helen's recipe with great results...must try hers myself. yours look fantastic, and the flavors are so insipring!

anna said...

Wow, I LOVE all the flavors you did! And the rice flour? Genius! Bookmarking this for ideas later...

Liz said...

Wow, I can't believe all your flavors! I especially love the flower petals on top of the macs--love that idea.

Lisa said...

shaz, your hazelnut macs turned out gorgeous, and the combo of hazelnut and chocolate is one of the yummiest in dessert land! I also love how you turned the feetless macs into beautiful, chocolate dipped cookies. Everything looks amazing..well done as always!!

Namratha said...

Interesting flavors and the kheer mac, totally blew me off my feet..very innovative!

gyvenimas yra gražus said...

Perfect:)