I can’t recall the first movie I ever watched, but I can definitely remember the thrill of going to the cinemas. The memories of red velour flip-flap seats that had a tendency to clip the inexperienced user on the bottom, and carpets that crunched underfoot from discarded melon seed (kuaci) shells still spring easily to mind. Not forgetting the excitement I felt as the curtains parted to reveal the big screen, and the odd scary distraction - cockroaches scurrying away from the light when the feature started. This was movie watching as I knew it, in Malaysia over 25 years ago.
The chairs have gotten comfier since then, I’m no longer too short for the seat (only just), and cockroaches are a rarer occurrence, but the magic still prevails.
So I approached this month’s Macattack 10 with much excitement, although it took a long time to decide which movie to pick, I had too many favourites. But based on the number of times we’ve watched it, and how often we reference it in family conversations, and amount of paraphernalia owned, Star Wars turned out to be the obvious choice. (edit: when I say Star Wars, I really mean ep IV, V and VI. Sorry Mr. Lucas, we watched ep I and couldn't go near II and III)
Yes, I went there - please accept these Yoda macarons. The shells were flavoured with green tea powder, and the filling is a white chocolate/sour cream ganache. I painted the features onto the macaron shells while they were drying (before baking), using some very lightly diluted gel colouring (a mix of brown and green). (edit: I piped circles from a 1/4 in tip for the faces, and freehanded ears using a piping bag made from baking paper with the end snipped off.) I was aiming for Yoda, but they do look a little like Shrek. Ah well, at least that’s a movie too ☺
The recipe is based on the Italian meringue method, and is from Adriano Zumbo (here’s the link, I made 2/3 the amount and added about a teaspoon of green tea powder to the almond meal mix). I thought I’d also share some of the things I do when making macarons, which may or may not help in the process:
1) Dry the almond meal in a low oven and let it cool before using. Don’t let it brown, it’s just to remove any excess moisture. Start with room temp egg whites.
2) Process the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor, then sift well. If you look at the recipe, it calls for equal parts icing sugar and almond meal. I’d made up a big batch last time round, then stored the excess in an airtight container at room temperature. I used this mixture with a little bit more added to make up the correct amount.
3) When I made the sugar syrup for the meringue this time, I didn’t use a sugar thermometer, I just cooked the sugar until it reached firm ball stage.
4) I used the baking method described in my last mac attempts : preheat the oven to about 190˚C – 200˚C . When hot, place the macs on the oven rack 2/3 of the way down, then turn off the oven for about 6-7 minutes. Once the macarons have risen and show feet, turn the tray if necessary, switch oven back on to about 150˚C. Bake until firm. To test, touch the macaron, the tops should feel dry and solid, and it doesn’t wobble on the feet. If it moves, bake for 1 or 2 minutes more until firm.
5) Let cool on the tray, peel carefully off the baking paper (I line my trays with baking paper)
For the ganache, I put about 70g white chocolate and 3 heaped tablespoonfuls of sour cream in a microwave safe jug and gave it a quick turn in the microwave. I stirred it well then stored it in the fridge (covered) overnight. The texture is very slightly grainy but melts easily on the tongue. I really liked it because it wasn’t too sweet.
A stack of the clones
Thanks for sharing my adventures in macaron land again. Don’t forget, if you live in Australia, you have until midnight tonight to leave a comment here and stand a chance to sample some chocolate biscuits.
May the force be with you ☺