Thursday, July 23, 2009

La Cerise Macaron

Cherry Macaron with Dark Chocolate ganache (with cherry bits)

I call it
La Cerise

*Macaron Shell
67g almond meal (ground to fine powder in food processor)
67g icing sugar (pure sugar, no starch) mix with the almond meal

50g egg whites (cleared and at least 24hr old)
67g caster sugar
16g water

Mix almond powder and icing sugar (called Tant Pour Tant) and sift into a big bowl. Halved the egg white, pour in 25g egg white into the TPT and mix to make a shiny goey paste (I used a wooden spatula). You can add the colouring now and flavours like vanilla bean. Takes about 4 minutes to make into a paste. Put aside.

Start whisking the egg whites in medium speed, after about 20 seconds boil the water and sugar. When the egg whites turned foamy and has bits of peaks, the sugar syrup should be around 110c, when the temp reached 116c, stop the heat and slowly pour the hot syrup into the sides of the bowl (use glass Pyrex bowl!) with the egg whites. Whisked in high speed until all the syrup is inside and whisked until it turned stiff and shiny (this mixture is called an Italian meringue (hence the Italian Method). When you lift the electric whisker, the ends of the meringue should fold down. Takes me about four more minutes to create a stiff meringue after all the syrup is in the bowl.

In two additions (if you are using less quantity of ingredients) fold the meringue into the almond paste. I use a wooden spatula and I move my bowl around so I create a circular motion while folding the mixture. Do a quick folding when you first pour in the meringue, once they are starting to blend together with the almond paste and create ribbons, fold slowly. The mixture should flow like a magma like everyone has been telling me, it should retain its shape but at the same time it should flow when you lift the mixture over the spatula. At the end of folding, I use a plastic spatula and fold one last time.

When you piped to a test first, count how long you pipe, mine is three seconds then I stop, see how it expand, if they size is good then keep going. It's trial and error and practice makes perfect...

*Cherry Dark Choc ganache
50 g heavy cream
100 g pitted cherries (blend in a blender til they become almost paste-like)
100 g black chocolate
20 g unsalted butter

Boil the heavy cream, pour to the black chocolate and butter. When they are blended smoothly, add the cherries and chill.

I have to be honest though, my macarons still come out slightly different to every batch, I made four batches today, two were waaaaaayy too stiff...the last two were better but somehow I kinda lost my magic....and patience. I guess being a full-time chef de macaron takes more than three weeks to master ey?

On another tangent, that reminds me,
Chéri the movie and the story by celebrated french writer Colette is out in cinemas. I watched it in Paris last time, it was very...well I think it is suited for someone with an acquired taste. Definitely recommended for someone who gets excited with all things french (and I'm proud of it), loves macaron (a MUST) , loveees Michelle Pfeiffer (in an awe-inspiring way) and is into movies set in classical period...well it might be just for you this weekend! and Rupert is so-darn-macaron hot!

a demain!

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