Frankly speaking, up to a week ago, I was no fan of macarons. But if you offer me those from Canelé Pâtisserie, I'll gladly gobble them up lol! But seriously, a small cookie that probably fills a third of your mouth cost around S$3? If you don't want to pay that kind of money just to have an exquisite cookie, baking it yourself will be a wise alternative. Since my "not so good" experience more then 2 years ago, I've shelved the idea of baking a macaron. But lately the "mac fever" seems to be back again and I began to feel a little envious of all those beautiful macaroons my fellow bloggers baked. Then Wendy justified that the recipe from Swee San was not overly sweet and tasted wonderful, I decided to give it a go...again. :) Good thing I did!
What you see is actually my first attempt using Italian Meringue method, not bad huh?To prevent any failures, I literally had to study the recipes way ahead and seek advice from the experts before baking it. Fortunately it turned out well. This shows that preparation work is needed, don't just plunge into it. Although my macs may not look as nice as some of the other bloggers', it still look decent enough. :) But I find the colour for the chocolate shells a bit weak, have to up some more of that cocoa powder. :P
Prior to this, I did bake a batch of Dark Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream using the French technique by David Lebovitz. It came out "feetless" and with cracks all over. I was pretty disappointed but figured its because I didn't let it rest and the oven temperature was way too hot (David's recipe stated to preheat oven to 180C ?!). But my family some how just loved those cracked macarons to bits, lol! I guess crack or no crack, feet or no feet, it still tasted good. :) But to satisfy my "needs" to get it right, I did the Italian Meringue method. (^_^)
Here is the recipe for my future reference:
(For detail pictorial steps, please refer to Swee San's post)
Ingredients for Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Compote Swiss Buttercream
100g finely ground almond
100g confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp Valrohna cocoa powder (I will up this to 2 tbsp next time)
40g fresh egg white
pinch of salt
34g aged egg white (I left it in the fridge for 2 days)
In a blender, finely ground the almond powder and confectioner's sugar together till powdery like. Then pour it into a bowl and sieve in the cocoa powder. Then mix in the egg white and salt. Stir and mix well. Mixture will be thick.
In a saucepan placed over medium fire, heat up the sugar and water. Once the sugar has all melted, place your candy thermometer in and monitor it till it reaches ~108C. Once it reaches 108C, beat the egg white at high speed till it reaches soft peaks, which by then the temperature should be close to 118C.
Slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg white while the mixer is still at medium speed. Once all the syrup is in, continue to beat till the meringue is glossy. (Mine was a little "slacky" as Wendy mentioned in hers too, lol!)
Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the almond meal mixture. Since the almond mixture is thick, you'll need to stir harder to incorporate it well. Repeat the other 2 portions and fold in gently.
Scoop the batter into a piping bag with an 10mm nozzle. Pipe out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper. Let rest for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 150C with fan off.
After 10 minutes, bake the cookies in the oven for 14mins.
After baking, remove from oven and let cool completely before peeling off.