Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Compote Buttercream

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


Macaron shells:


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




100g sugar


25ml water



34g aged egg white (I left it in the fridge for 2 days)




Method:

  • 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.



Strawberry Compote Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

100g fresh strawberries, cut into small chunks


1 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp lemon juice

100g Swiss Meringue Buttercream (I followed Wendy's recipe to the dot, please refer to her post)


In a saucepan over medium low fire, add in the chopped strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook till the strawberries has soften and juice that oozed out has thicken slightly, about 5 to 8 minutes. Let it cool completely before mixing in the buttercream. Scoop the buttercream into piping bag a pipe on to the cooled macaron shells.




I realize I always overfill my cookies. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, in fact I find it tastier, lol! Indeed a pretty addictive cookie to bake once you attain some good results. The possibilities of flavors....mmmm! But in the meantime, I'll just stick to these chocolate / strawberry flavor since these are my kiddos favorite. My kids said "Mummy, these are the most delicious cookie in the world!" Hmmmm.....(^_^"). Although the macarons are still sweet to me, I find that with berry compote buttercream, it sort of mellow out the overall sweetness. :)





 



I want to thank Swee San and Eelin whom took the time to write to me to explain a thing or two about macarons. ;) Okay folks, thanks for staying and reading my post. Hope you all have a great day! Cheers!






24 comments:

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

oh yes, it doesn't taste as nice without the cream.
the cream really does mellow out the mac.
And I love ur macs... the other day I was asking Swee San, whether she likes her feet straight up or protruding. she likes it straight whereas I like mine to be protruding, just like urs, but unfortunately mine are all straight. When it protrudes, they look like lettuce in a burger, which is why I like them this way! LOL, just like yours!

ReeseKitchen said...

Oh my you did it!!!! Beautiful leh. I still don't have the confidence to do it..haha! Infect I did order some for my sister and nieces from Swee San...LOL!. You did a very good job!!!! Can make some for us this Dec???

edith said...

I am doing it again today. Swee San's recipe is definitely a keeper.

Swee San @ The Sweet Spot said...

Oh yeah you did it!! Good job Bee Bee :) Looking forward for more experiments from u :)

DG said...

You are great, first attempt already successful! Like you, I also find it so expensive to be sold outside, but me ... still have no confidence doing it. Maybe one day, I will be a member of "mac fever" group :)

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...

你好厉害哦:P
马卡龙对我来说很有难度:P

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Wendy, heehee. (^_^) yes it does look like a piece of patty or lettuce in a burger, lol! You know the trick is to let it rest up to 30 mins or more, then you'll get that protruding effect. Try it, I think it should be that.

Thanks Reese! You know what, you SHOULD totally try it! Not that I'm not going to make it for you ladies but just that you should try baking it yourself. It's so expensive outside and when you get the trick, it's not that hard. But you do need to get a candy thermometer to play safe. :) furthermore, you meet up with Swee San & Wendy so often, what's better then to seek advice from them?

Edith, looking forward to seeing more of your creations!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Swee San! You have very helpful and thanks again much for the great mac recipes!

Doris, I was lacking confidence too just a couple weeks back. But you know what, you just have to try it, and follow the recipe to the dot. You're such a great baker, I'm so sire you can do a great job my friend!

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝, I'm not that good lah, heehee! Just die die try it and see how it goes. I was lucky it went well.

neyeeloh said...

Totally agree with you, baking macarons is quite addictive, once you succeed, you will fall in love with this little cute thing ^_^

ICook4Fun said...

I like your macarons. How did you get the top to be so smooth? The one I made you can see some uneven tops.

Kitchen Corner said...

WOW!! That's really yummy! What can I say, you're becoming a great pastry chef!

lena said...

bee, i'm so jealous of all of you..not doing any macarons yet but i really enjoy looking at all of you gals doing it and reading abt your experinces!

Elin said...

Your macarons looks really good...like those pro people :) well done..I wish I dare take up the challenge but I just don't have the skill at piping them out and have them all of the same size hahaha so I chicken out I could try making them :p Thanks for sharing the recipe. I hope to try them out one day :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Talk about the perfection! You definitely have mastered the skill of baking perfect macarons!

Veronica said...

The macs were very good. Ash said it's heavenly! Thanks for sharing.

CaThY said...

pretty macs :)

pigpigscorner said...

Looks so good! The Italian meringue method makes macarons that are less sweet.

My Little Space said...

Bee, congratulations! Your macs look terrific. I love the flavour of your cream as well. YUmmmm....
Kristy

Alan said...

Hi Honey Bee,

Many thanks for the receipe and links, i tried making those last week, end result is pretty good.

Just that most of my shells are hollow or have gaps inside. Any ideas how to avoid this?

Any help is appreciated!
Thanks

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Alan, I think you might have either rested the macs too long before baking them or your temperature is too low while baking. That's my best guess, happy troubleshooting!

Alan said...

Thanks Honey Bee!

will try to bake at a higher temperature next time.

Regards
Alan

Anonymous said...

Hi Honey Bee, lovely macarons!! Can I know where to get the Swiss Meringue Buttercream in Spore? Thanks =)
Kris

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Kris, I'm not sure where u can buy Swiss meringue buttercream. But why not give it a try and make some yourself? Making from scratch might not be as hard as it seems. Good luck! 

Alan said...

Hi Honey Bee,

Thanks for your advise previously.
I managed to troubleshoot my hollow macaron problem.

http://i41.tinypic.com/j7f9k0.jpg

And many thanks again for your generous sharing of receipes, i have tried quite a number of them, all turns out great.

Keep up the good work!

Regards
Alan