Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tangy Macarons



It's official: I've caught on the macaron-craze. Last week was really a macaron week. Other than myself, many other bloggers have also made macarons. And that gave me that inpiration to make other non-chocolate macarons. Cathy's chocolate macarons with lemon curd looks so tempting, and an added advantage of cooking the lemon curd is that I will not have leftover egg yolks!



I followed the recipe on Syrup and Tang, where the weight ratio of egg whites to caster sugar to almond meal to icing sugar is 1:0.8:1.3:1.6. The egg whites are quite stable due to the fairly large amount of caster sugar. It did not deflate while folding in the dry ingredients. I thought it would be nice to sprinkle a little lemon zest on the surface of the shells, but well, it did start to burn and turn brown in the oven. Lol.



I was happy to see the feet forming while in the oven. But I realise the shells were beginning to brown even before 10 minutes is up. I was unsure if they fully dried, so I let it to bake on for a total of 12 mins. They were softer and more fragile than last week's chocolate macarons. Though I had no problems plucking them off the parchment, the shells were pretty hollow. Seems like the baking temperature may have been too low.

Cooking the lemon curd wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. But my concern is whether it will be too wet for the macarons and turn them soggy in a few hours. I reduced the sugar and the tanginess matches well with the sweet shells, although I still find them too sweet.

Ingredients (makes 10 macarons):

Shells:
32 g egg white
26 g caster sugar
42 g ground almond
51 g icing sugar
2 drops lemon juice

Lemon curd:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
20 g butter

Method:

Shells:
  1. Prepare baking tray lined with parchment and a piping bag with a plain tip.
  2. Weigh egg white and calculate amount of ingredients to be used.
  3. Grind ground almond and icing sugar in a food processor or blender until fine. Sift and set aside.
  4. Add lemon juice to egg white and beat till soft peak stage. Gradually add in caster sugar and beat till stiff.
  5. Add in dry ingredients from step 2 in two batches and fold till incorporated.
  6. Scrape into piping bag and pipe circles of about 3 cm.
  7. Rap tray on table a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Let the piped batter sit for 30 mins before baking.
  8. Bake at 160 deg C for 12 mins.
  9. Let cool completely before peeling off from parchment.
Lemon curd:
  1. Beat egg yolk with sugar in a bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Add lemon juice and zest and stir.
  4. Keep stirring while cooking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove bowl from heat and stir in butter in thirds.
  6. Transfer to a clean bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface.
  7. Let cool before piping onto macaron shells.
Recipe from Syrup & Tang and Quay Po Cooks' Lemon Curd.




MY has invited us over to her place to bake this coming weekend. One of her friends, D, requested us to teach her to bake nutella cupcakes. After doing an online search, I found this Donna Hay-inspired nutella cupcakes from Baking Bites, which is very popular within the blogosphere. Well, I myself is a novice baker, certainly in no position to teach anyone to bake. The least I can do is to make sure that I don't make any big boo-boos. So I decided to try this recipe out so that I will know what to expect.



It's a simple recipe, just the usual creaming method. But I realised that my nutella has expired. So I used peanut butter instead, which was actually what Donna Hay used in the original recipe. The outcome is pretty good, but it's very rich.

Ingredients (makes 4):

46 g butter, softened at room temperature
40 g sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
67 g flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 heaping tsp peanut butter (or nutella)

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Line 4 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light.
  3. Add in eggs in thirds, beat until fully incorporated each time egg is added. Add vanilla and beat.
  4. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.
  5. Fill each muffin liner with batter until 3/4 full.
  6. Top each cake with 1 heaping teaspoon peanut butter. Swirl peanut butter in with a toothpick (I use a chopstick), folding a bit of batter up over the peanut butter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Baking Bites' Self Frosting Nutella Cupcakes.

9 comments:

  1. those macarons look so lovely! (: even though the cupcakes recipe is simple, the cake look so soft and fluffy (:

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  2. Pretty little macs! Yeah, I think it's the macs craze now. ;)

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  3. Hey Jasmine, the cupcake recipe is worth a try. I do recommend it! ;)

    Hi Cathy, my macs are still not as nice as yours...need to improve. :)

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  4. nevermind the browning zest, your macarons looks wonderful! I love lemon macarons too :) Just made a batch on friday over class. Its official, macaron fever is on!

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  5. Yummy!!!! Pretty "Feets" for your macs. Aiyo...after seeing all the macs that u all bakes... makes me feel like baking some too :p

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  6. beautiful macs with beautiful feet!! i wana achiever that tall feet too!

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  7. Hey Alan, saw your pics on your blog...absolutely beautiful macarons you have there! I bet you had lots of fun at the class!

    Join in the macaron fever, Ellena! You won't regret it. ;P

    Hey Jess, my macaron shells are quite hollow. LOL...need to improve!

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  8. Very impressive post with lots of creations. Your macarons are so perfect.

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  9. Thank you Zoe for your kind words! I still need lots of practice. =DD

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