For almost a week now, some of the members in Indonesian Baking Club have been making experiments on French Macarons. We share the same enthusiast and curiosity how to make, if not perfect, better macarons. I've done my second try and I did it!
Desserts Magazine has Helen's article about making macarons and as soon as I downloaded it, I meant to try it, until Dita mentioned that she challenged everyone in the club to make macarons as to fill in the gap in between the next baking task of the club, then I just knew I have a good excuse to try my hand the second time. And this time, without doubt I follow every tip Helen writes.
I use French method which is described on the article. I use ground almond and pulse it a little while in the food processor with icing sugar until well combined. I think this part is another key point that when the almond is ground and then mixed with the icing sugar to become much smoother in texture, this will give smoother mixture of the meringue. Last time, I did not pulse this ground almond with the icing sugar but to sift it through a sieve and I think it was a mistake as the coarser bits of ground almond can still be passed through. That made the mixture heavier.
Using Helen's recipe I can feel lighter handling of the mixture. It's just like when you make a royal icing to make run outs, but this version, you fold in the mixture of ground almonds and icing sugar. The handling of the meringue is light, you can't almost feel it in your hand. When I pipe the mixture on the baking trays, I smiled to myself, broadly and said "YES! This is just right!".
In the end of piping the plain ones, I decided to give a touch using pandan paste. I was a bit worried because the mixture is runnier than before. They did not give plump dots like the ones which are not coloured. I know I should have added the colour separately after thoroughly folding the ground almond and icing sugar mixture, but I thought it would not make any difference.
Then the waiting game is just going to start for the piped meringues should be left for an hour to let the skin 'hardened'. This when it is baked will give great glossy surface. I could finish my work down at the chicken barns before continuing battling with the macarons.
I preheated the oven to 150C and I was just tempted to try out my green ones. They burned quite easily, so I had to turn down the temperature to 130C. The green colour is not what I expected, a bit faded colour-wise. The little feet are so short I almost can't expect the feet will finally be happening to the plain ones. But then, when the first batch of plain macarons removed from the oven, I believe it now that I actually did it! The little feet were formed nicely and the surface of the macarons is glossy and smooth. I wrote to Helen short afterwards, thanking her for her great recipe.
I definitely will make more macarons in the future with more adventurous colour and flavour, to entertain my guests in July. This is my second entry for Mad for Macarons in May hosted by Minko of Couture Cupcakes.