Salted Caramel (with a little twist) Macarons – Italian Meringue Method

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I’ve always been skeptical about doing macarons the Italian Meringue way, because I’ve always failed, when I tried using the huge ass candy thermometer to measure the temperature when I’m cooking the syrup.

Then, there’s the French Meringue method. I’ve always had an on off relationship with the French Meringue method, and I end up wasting more ingredients with my failed attempts. Gradually, I gave up making macarons totally, until recently, a really good friend asked if I could go for this particular macaron class with her, because she really wanted to make macarons for her son’s birthday. The course is mad crazy expensive. I wasn’t really willing to pay 3 digits to learn to make them and bring home only 12 macarons. Plus, going for these classes does not guarantee 100% success (yes, I’ve been to 1 before, and I was not able to make the macarons when I’m back in a home setting). If both of us were to go for the class, that’s a mad crazy amount we will have to pay for 24 pcs of macarons.

The class talked about how they used the Italian Meringue Method to create very successful macarons, and how the batches made at home would be more successful if you were to attend their classes etc etc etc. I thought, okay fine, let’s just buy a digital waterproof thermometer, and try once more through, and if I can’t get it right at all, then fine. We’ll go for the class. The thermometer is a $15 investment risk that I’d have to take. I’d say, I’ve no regrets since. It could also be through luck that I found myself an awesome recipe that works through every shell in every single batch. Now, the head banging part would be in trying to find awesome fillings.

I’m on a macaron baking spree. 🙂

Just to add, before going onto the ingredients used, my friends actually prefers these macarons to the French Method macarons, because they are slightly more chewy, and they hold the shape better. 🙂 A plus point is that it is not as sweet as the macarons sold outside, or those made using the French Method. 🙂

This recipe was adapted here (there are step by step pictures, which makes it very useful)

Ingredients:
Mass:
150g superfine almond meal
150g powdered sugar
50g egg whites (do not have to be aged, approximately 2 eggs)
Gel food coloring (optional)
2 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt


Meringue:
55g egg whites (do not have to be aged, approximately 2 eggs)
35g granulated sugar (to stabilize half egg whites)
120g granulated sugar
40g water

How to:

(contrary to other methods written online, make the meringue first, as the cornstarch may actually dry out the mass mixture, making it hard to mix into the lava stage when mixed together with the meringue).

1.) For the meringue, beat the 55g egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer until soft peaks form. When egg whites become bubbly, add the extra 35g sugar to stabilize it. DO NOT overbeat egg whites at this stage. After they have formed, turn down your mixer to “stir” or very low to keep them moving so they don’t deflate.

2.) At the same time, put the water and sugar on the stove over medium-high heat and attach your candy thermometer. Boil the mixture till it is 120C. Pour the sugar syrup slowly into the egg whites and turn up the speed of your mixer to high. Let it beat until the bowl of the mixer is warm to the touch (body temperature) and stiff peaks have formed.
3.) Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the superfine almond flour (if it is not superfine or extra-fine, please sift it), and 50g egg whites and mix until it becomes a dough-like consistency. (This is the time to add food coloring, remember the meringue will lighten the color of the mass) If you are adding cocoa or green tea, or any other powder, add 1 tsp – 1 tbsp to the mixture. Do not substitute the powder with the flour or sugar.
4.) Add 1/3 of the meringue to the mass and fold until you cannot see any more white streaks of meringue. After you have lightened the mass, add the rest of the egg whites and fold till lava stage.
5.) You can start piping them with your piping bag into 1-1.5 inch diameter circles, however big you like. I pipe them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I find that baking on silpat always give me very crisp top and under-baked bottoms.

6.) Leave your macarons to rest to form a film that is dry to the touch. Because there is corn flour in the mixture, you can leave it out in the open to dry, without additional support, like air-conditioning or the fan. Preheat your oven to 150C for at least 30 mins.

7.) Bake these for 11 mins. Once it is out of the oven, leave it to cool for at least 15 mins before taking it off the parchment paper.

Filling:

You can find the filling recipe used in my macarons here I’ve made slight adjustments to it.

To make the salted caramel portion, I used this recipe

3 egg whites

2TBSP granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

113g butter, at room temperature (I actually use salted butter)

4TBSP salted caramel

150g crushed oreo cookies (optional)

  1. Combine the sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar in the stainless steel bowl of an electric mixer. Bring a large pan of water to simmer, making sure that the water is a the same height as the egg whites in your stainless bowl. Set the bowl in the pan of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 70C on an instant-read thermometer. Be really careful not to curdle the egg whites– simply remove the bowl from the heat for a bit if it feels like that’s happening. Also, you’ll know when it’s getting close to 70C; the mixture will be getting ultra foamy, like the top of a latte. (A really good latte that is– one of those kinds where it has a leaf-pattern on top, you know what I’m talking about.)
  2. Remove the bowl to your stand mixer and beat on high speed for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture holds glossy, marshmallowy peaks.
  3. In the standing mixer, beat half the butter and one-third of the meringue until well combined. Continue to add the remaining two-thirds of the meringue a dollop at a time. The mixture may look curdled at this point; adding the remaining butter a tablespoon at a time will smooth things out.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the caramel and crushed oreo cookies and mix until well-combined.
  5. Pipe on the macarons. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Have fun making these. 🙂

Marian

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Green Tea Pineapple Tarts (Nastar)

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I think I’ve made enough original pineapple balls and cheesy pineapple balls. It’s time to get out of my comfort zone and try something a little funky.

If you are looking for something very fushion-y, something not many people have tried – (yet), you love pineapple tarts, balls, etc, and you must have them flaky and buttery, then this is something you have to make. This crumbles in your mouth, but not in your hands. Totally awesome. 🙂

I got my recipe here,and modified it a little. The original Creator’s recipe is perfect already, so very little modifications done.

Credits given to nasi lemak lover

350g butter
100g condense milk
2 egg yolks
450g plain flour / all purpose flour
60g Japanese cake flour
20g good quality matcha powder

1kg Pineapple filling (homemade or store-bought)

Method
1. Cream butter and condensed milk till light.
2. Add in egg yolk one at a time, and beat until combine.
3. Mix in dry ingredients, mix till become a soft and not sticky dough.
4. Roll pineapple filling into ball (8g each) and roll dough into ball (10g each). Or use the nastar pastry mould to make the nastar pineapple tarts.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 165C (fan forced) for 23mins or till golden brown.
6. Cool completely before storing.

Happy baking. 🙂
Marian