French Macaroon Challenge

Just like everyone else who has tasted this fine, soft and scrumptious mini hamburger-like meringue, I’ve fell in-love for it too… After tasting these Parisian-style macaroons not too long ago, I’ve been reading so many recipes on how to do this pastry. I do not know if it is a good thing that my first tastes of these French Macaroons were from the leading macaroon makers from Paris, Ladurée and Forrey & Galland. Good thing in a sense that I’ve tasted two of the best macaroon-brands. However, since I have a plan in trying to bake my own, my standard for a good macaroon will be quite far above the ground – which I think marks the extra-challenge for this recipe.

I’ve read some food blogs about their triumphs and failures in doing this recipe. Reading its ingredients and procedures seems not as complicated as what bloggers are briefly describing in their articles, but I guess the similarity in their struggles proves it right.
So now, I will be detailing my version of French macaroon challenge.

All set! I've got all the ingredients and utensils. This will be my first baking project in our new flat. So excited yet so sceptic if I will make this project right. Since I got my husband's full-support, he agreed to have a coffee-flavoured macaroon. OK, below are my ingredients and procedure: 

Meringue Ingredients:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup superfine almond flour
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coffee essence
For filling:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee (3-in-one coffee)
 Making the Coffee filling:
  • Heat pan in low medium fire.
  • Put butter coffee and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well blended.
  • Remove from fire and add the beaten egg while whisking.
  • When the egg is well blended put again the pan on fire and continue mixing until it becomes slightly thick.
  • Remove from fire and strain it. This is to separate the solid objects from the filling.
  • Put it inside the fridge to become thicker.
Making the Meringue:
  • Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour together. Set aside.
  • Whisk egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy.
  • Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar and coffee essence.
  • Increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  • Add almond flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny
  • Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip.
  • Pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or until a thin film-like forms on the rounds surface.
  • Preheat oven to 150°C.
  • Bake the macaroons for 10-15 minutes in 135°C.
  • Remove from oven and let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.
  • Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon of the coffee filling. 
So, here's how it goes. I had 3 batches and since I've mixed-up all ingredients already, I could not revise anything from the first part of the recipe. Hence, I just have to adjust the success of my macaroon to its cooking aspect.

I guess I should count myself to most of the bloggers who failed =(

Below are the photos of the batches I did.....

Disaster #1 - - - Burnt macaroons and messed-up fillings =(

Disaster #2 - - - Cracked-soft meringue and still messy filling =(
Fair enough I guess =/
Yeah, it was a major-major disaster for a history of macaroon recipe. =( It didn't even form its feet.....There were volcanic-like holes. I didn't got its smooth and shiny surface =( ...... My husband and friends said it tasted good even if  I failed its physical appearance. C'mon, how can someone even recognize that these are French Macaroons if I failed to get its basic looks???
Not to brag, but it really taste good, though the features were a catastrophe. I guess fair enough for my first try. Thus, I've noted down vital things to remember on my next challenge.
ü  Do not overbeat/fold the egg whites and flour mixture.
ü  Use the plain round holes for your pastry bag.
ü  Get to know your oven.
ü  Stick with the measurements of your ingredients.
ü  Take time to let your macaroons form a film-like skin before putting in oven.
ü  Do not rush!
Whew.... Now the question is, when will I get to have another guts to bake French Macaroons if I just had a major trauma on my first try??? =(

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