Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pistachio macarons with chocolate malt buttercream

Oh the humble macaron..
To this day, I'm still the annoying one out of all my friends, who corrects the spelling and pronunciation of macarons. I exclaim "IT'S MACARON WITH ONE O NOT TWO O's" Macaroons are coconut kind of biscuit!

Sorry. I can be a tad obsessive and annoying sometimes.

I think I've finally managed to handle the macaron. The first time, I made it with my mum and my aunty, it completely failed. It was like 'Je ne comprend pas pourquoi!!'- I do not understand why. Why were there no pied (feet) in the macarons? Why did they just deflate when they came out of the oven?

But they say practice makes perfect! So, here's some little tips I have

1. Use a macaron template as a guide. Just Google it, and you'll find plentiful. Draw the circles underneath your parchment paper. This really helps with getting the shape consistency right, and also the appearance! A few tries ago, I never used a macaron template, and I had all shapes and sizes of macaron shells, and it certainly did not look pretty.
2. Let it sit for long. Like I mean REALLY long. The macaron batter itself, does not take a long time to make. But letting it sit, you have to be patient. I usually let my macarons sit for an hour, although you could do half an hour. The longer, the better.
3. For some reason, I find that after filling the macaron, and leaving it overnight in an air-tight container, the flavour and texture is better than the day it was baked. It's probably due to the time overnight, letting it 'mature'.

I've also heard of the Italian meringue method, which is supposed to be more reliable.. But I have yet to try that. I will once I have all the time in the world (holidays). I mean you have to have hot sugar syrup, measuring with a candy thermometer, this that.

I really liked the buttercream I made with this. It's the same chocolate buttercream I used for my Nutella cupcakes, but I added some Milo (chocolate malt), which gave it a really interesting texture and taste.

I still have to get better and better with macarons. These are still not perfect, but they're nearly there. I just wish they looked as good as Tartelette's :(
Pistachio macarons with chocolate buttercream
For the shells
90 g egg whites (preferably ages overnight in the fridge)
30 g granulated/white sugar
200 g icing/powdered sugar
55 g almonds
55 g raw pistachios
Powdered green food colouring (I used a bit of green tea/matcha powder, but I didn't put a lot, because I did not want the shell to taste like green tea)

1. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam. Gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Whip until stiff peaks, but be sure not to overbeat it. You should be able to spoon some meringue out and turn it upside down, without slipping.
2. Place the powdered sugar and all of the nuts in a food processor. Give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
3. Add them to the meringue, along with the colouring. Give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes, this should not take more than 50 strokes.
4. Test a small amount on a plate: if the top flattens on its own, you are good to go. If not, give it another couple of turns.
5. Fill a pastry bag with a plain circular tip, and pipe small rounds onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
6. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to a n hour to harden their shells.
7. Preheat the oven to 280 F (about 140 C, but I used 150 C). Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on their size.
8. Let cool.

Chocolate malt buttercream
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar (more if you want it to be sweeter), sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (125 g) bittersweet chocolate ( I used dark), melted and slightly cooled.
2 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp Milo or chocolate malt powder

1. In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine icing sugar and butter together and beat on low for about 1 minute.
2. Add vanilla, and beat on low speed until well combined. Add melted, and slightly cooled chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the Nutella, milk and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
4. Pipe icing onto macaron shells.

Macarons adapted from Tartelette, frosting adapted from Sweetapolita

1 comment:

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