Saturday, January 11, 2020

Back to Italian Method, but Better than Ever. No hollows, full, and not too sweet!

Hellooo and happy new year! If you guys knew me back in 2016, you'd know that I said that I was a convert of the French method. But as a baker, you always want to improve. However, I've tried a version of the Italian method that I have grown to love and my customers do love it as well. I would love to share with you my updated Italian method recipe, as well as the French which is used in my recently published book (in the next post).




For starters, I will just use the Vanilla Bean Macarons recipe. I have adapted it from Bouchon Bakery's cookbook. If you've ever tried Bouchon Bakery, their macarons are not too sweet, slightly chewy but melts in your mouth. Paired with my delicious, fluffy, and not too sweet new buttercream recipe, it becomes a crowd favorite.

What I do like about this recipe is that it isn't too sweet (personally) and that the shells come out smooth and with smaller feet. They also tend to dry a little faster than the French method. I also have some new tips to add to help speed up your macaron making process, which I will include in another post later. I did not include a recipe for only 1 dozen, because the macarons seems to not turn out as well when I split it up in small batches. The original recipe makes 4 dozen macarons, but I'm sure most don't want to make that many. So I included this recipe for 2 dozen.

So let's get to it!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Hello I am back with lots of updates :)

Hi all!

I wonder if anyone still follows me here after leaving you all hanging for 3-4 years...A LOT has happened in that time. 

I used to have a job in commercial real estate after graduating college. I worked there for 2 years, but then my macaron business became too busy and I actually made more working for myself than my job. I also released a book on amazon woohoo! :) Check it out. 

I've also really focused on character macarons, I will be soon adding some tutorials to that. :) 

Here's some examples!  






I really appreciate you guys still following me after all these years, whoever you are! I'm so sorry I haven't kept up this blog. I do keep up my instagram however, @macaronsbynatalie and www.macaronsbynatalie.com. 

Happy new year and look forward to seeing some new recipes/tutorials from me soon! :) 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Blueberry Cheesecake Macaron Recipe (French Meringue Method)

Hello everyone! Time for another recipe. This one is a highly favorited recipe by some of my customers. If you love blueberries and you love cheesecake, this one's the macaron for you! One of my fave macaron flavors, since it's creamy and not too sweet.




Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons (makes about 12 completed macarons or 24 macaron shells)

Ingredients:
-70g almond flour
-10g Graham Crackers
-2 drops Blueberry Flavoring
-50g powdered sugar
-52g egg whites (doesn't need to be aged)
-52g granulated sugar
1 drop blue food coloring
1 drop purple food coloring
pinch of salt
Crushed graham crackers, for topping

Materials:
-Hand mixer/stand mixer
-Piping bags/tips (#12 Wilton)
-Silpat/parchment (I prefer Silpat)
-Aluminum baking half sheets (Nordic Ware/Costco/Smart and Final)
-Rubber spatula
-Bowls

1. Grind your graham crackers, almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar in a food processor. Then sift together into a large bowl. Add the blueberry flavoring. Set aside.
2. Weigh out your egg whites, and put it in a large bowl (either stand mixer or not).
3. Beat your egg whites until frothy, and slowly add in the granulated sugar.
4. Once sugar dissolves, beat at medium high speed until thick and glossy. It should look a bit droopy but that's fine because when you turn the bowl over, it doesn't come out.
5. Add in 1/3 of your almond powdered sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the rest in small additions and then fold like you normally would (shown in my videos) until thick but still flowing in consistency (like magma). Add in the drops of food coloring at the last second before you put it in the piping bag so it makes a swirl effect.
6. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out 1-1.75 inch circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Then rap the trays on the table until they are flattened to get rid of air bubbles. If you let them dry too long, they get lopsided.
7. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).
8. Let the macarons dry (with a fan or not) for about 15-20 minutes. When it's almost time to bake them, you can pipe out your next tray.
9. Bake the macarons in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.
10. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Blueberry Cheesecake Buttercream (makes enough for 1 dozen, plus a little extra)

Ingredients:

-1 stick butter, softened
-1/3 stick cream cheese, softened
-1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberries, ground
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/3 cup powdered sugar

1. Beat the butter in your hand/stand mixer for 3-5 minutes, til it is light and fluffy. Then add the powdered sugar.
2. Add in the cream cheese and beat until combined.
3. Add in the ground freeze-dried blueberries until it is a pretty purple color.
4. Sandwich two similar-sized shells together and store in the fridge until ready to eat. :)

I like using freeze-dried fruits in my buttercreams because it doesn't add moisture to the butter and it is so much more concentrated than fresh fruit. People often think contrary, but this is really the best way to get the most flavor.

Enjoy this recipe! <3

Update...where I've been and such. :)

Hi everyone! Sorry to leave you hanging for a whole year. My life has changed quite a lot! Now I am working at a cupcake shop and selling my macarons there :) I bake them there also! The tradeoff is I just bake cupcakes for free, but I also get to use the space whenever I want. So I am quite happy about my progress! My macaron instagram has grown to 6000+ followers, I'm proud of that as well. My boyfriend has been a huge help to me, always helping me bake. I get so many orders nowadays from just my business, and it's awesome. I love baking and creating new things. Here's a few macarons I've made lately if you haven't looked at my instagram. I'll post a new recipe soon...I just haven't really took detailed pictures of just one flavor. But I'm glad that my blog has helped you guys with your questions! I feel kinda bad looking at the comments and they're like from last year...but the blog is not my number one priority. I just figured when I had free time back then, might as well help others out!

I've been dabbling with making character macarons, but they're kinda difficult. Requires a lot of patience for sure!



Thanks again for all of you following me although I barely post anymore!:) I'll post occasionally, but it's just that now that I have a business I don't want to be giving out all my recipes. I hope you can understand!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Salted Caramel Macarons (French Meringue Recipe)

Hello hello hello everyone! Sorry for the very late posts. I have not posted in 6 months, wow. But you all still follow me :') So sweet. haha I have been very busy with my own business, well not really a business but selling to friends and clients. I figured I should share my very delicious salted caramel recipe that I got from Flick Your Food but I edited a tiny bit. Many people enjoy this macaron if they are caramel lovers, however this isn't one of my favorites because I'm not a fan of really sweet things. This recipe I warn you is a TAD too sweet for me, but it's very decadent. It also takes a while to make this macaron because of the filling. But it's worth it. Also I edited the recipe so that you can make only a dozen so you don't waste too much ingredients!:)


Salted Caramel Macarons (makes about 12 completed macarons or 24 macaron shells)

Ingredients:
-70g almond flour
-60g powdered sugar
-52g egg whites (doesn't need to be aged)
-52g granulated sugar
-brown food coloring
pinch of salt

Materials:
-Hand mixer/stand mixer
-Piping bags/tips (#12 Wilton)
-Silpat/parchment (I prefer Silpat)
-Aluminum baking half sheets (Nordic Ware/Costco/Smart and Final)
-Rubber spatula
-Bowls

1. Sift almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar together into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Weigh out your egg whites, and put it in a large bowl (either stand mixer or not).
3. Beat your egg whites until frothy, and slowly add in the granulated sugar.
4. Once sugar dissolves, beat at medium high speed until thick and glossy. It should look a bit droopy but that's fine because when you turn the bowl over, it doesn't come out.
5. Add in 1/3 of your almond powdered sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the rest in small additions and then fold like you normally would (shown in my videos) until thick but still flowing in consistency (like magma).
6. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out 1-1.75 inch circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Then rap the trays on the table until they are flattened to get rid of air bubbles. Only pipe one tray at a time because you can only bake one tray at a time. If you let them dry too long, they get lopsided.
7. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).
8. Let the macarons dry (with a fan or not) for about 15-20 minutes. When it's almost time to bake them, you can pipe out your next tray.
9. Bake the macarons in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.
10. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Repeat these steps until batter is finished.

Homemade Salted Caramel Buttercream Filling (makes a lot, so freeze the rest)

Ingredients:
-100g granulated sugar
-70g heavy whipping cream
-3g sea salt
-200g butter (2 sticks)

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the sugar without stirring on medium-low heat until it melts and becomes caramelized and liquid(top picture^). Careful not to overcook the caramel or it will burn and taste extremely bitter. The color should be a deep golden brown like the picture, should take a few minutes.
2. Heat the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds until warm. Then pour it slowly into the caramel. This will bubble a lot at first but keep whisking it until it is smooth.
3. Add in your sea salt and 1 stick of butter and heat until butter is all combined.
4. There may be a few hard sugar pieces that you can't get out, but that's okay, it's just like creme brulee. Put this in the fridge or freezer (I do freezer for a few hours) until it is firm.
5. Once it is firm and room temperature, beat it with an electric mixer until even more firm.
6. Add in your softened 1 stick of butter (pop it in the microwave for 9 seconds) and beat until it becomes a buttercream consistency.
7. Sandwich similar sized shells together with a bit of the buttercream and let the macarons mature in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a few hours, 24 hours is best.


This caramel is very buttery and decadent and sweet, but it is so so good. Your saucepan that you made it in will probably be a bit burnt but just boil some water in it again before cleaning to make your job a bit easier. 

Enjoy :3


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vanilla Bean Macarons with a Light and Fluffy Vanilla Bean Buttercream (French Meringue Recipe)

Vanilla bean is probably one of my classic flavors that anyone will like, but is not very adventurous. It is a safe flavor that everyone will enjoy, from adults to kids. This macaron is so light and fluffy and delicious. :) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Vanilla Bean Macarons (makes about 24 completed macarons or 48 macaron shells)

Ingredients:
-138g almond flour
-125g powdered sugar
-105g egg whites (doesn't need to be aged)
-105g granulated sugar
-scrapings of 1/2 vanilla bean
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Materials:
-Hand mixer/stand mixer
-Piping bags/tips (#12 Wilton)
-Silpat/parchment (I prefer Silpat)
-Aluminum baking half sheets (Nordic Ware/Costco/Smart and Final)
-Rubber spatula
-Bowls

1. Sift almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar together into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Weigh out your egg whites, and put it in a large bowl (either stand mixer or not).
3. Beat your egg whites until frothy, and slowly add in the granulated sugar.
4. Once sugar dissolves, beat at medium high speed until thick and glossy. It should look a bit droopy but that's fine because when you turn the bowl over, it doesn't come out.
5. Add in 1/3 of your almond powdered sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the rest in small additions and then fold like you normally would (shown in my videos) until thick but still flowing in consistency (like magma).
6. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out 1-1.75 inch circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Then rap the trays on the table until they are flattened to get rid of air bubbles. Only pipe one tray at a time because you can only bake one tray at a time. If you let them dry too long, they get lopsided.
7. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).
8. Let the macarons dry (with a fan or not) for about 15-20 minutes. When it's almost time to bake them, you can pipe out your next tray.
9. Bake the macarons in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.
10. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Repeat these steps until batter is finished.


Vanilla Bean Light, Fluffy, Not-Too-Sweet Buttercream
Ingredients:
-1 cup milk
-4 tbsp flour
-1 cup of butter
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 tbsp vanilla bean paste or scrapings of 1 whole vanilla bean

1. Heat milk and flour in a saucepan while constantly whisking over medium-low heat until it becomes thick like a paste.
2. Let it cool down until room temperature.
3. Grind sugar in a food processor until powdery (a few seconds).
4. Beat butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer for 4 minutes.
5. Once flour and milk mixture is cool, add it to the butter and sugar. Beat for 4 more minutes.
6. Add in the vanilla bean paste or beans and beat until smooth.
7. Fill macarons shells and let mature in the fridge for 24 hours for a better taste experience. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

I really really love this buttercream. I found it from yoyomax12 on youtube! So light, fluffy, and does not taste buttery at all. It also is great for absorbing moisture like when you add fruit puree or extracts. I use it for everything now!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

French meringue recipe!:O *gasp*

You know how I said before that I'll NEVER go back to the French method? Well, I was curious yesterday and wanted to see how I could make macarons less sweet. I noticed that since Ladurée, the well known founder of the cream-filled macaron, always gets such rave reviews I should try out their recipe. I was hesitant at first because I hate French method, most recipes I've used are terrible. But this one that I found from Not So Humble Pie was so good!!! I even ordered the Ladurée Sucré cookbook on amazon after I figured this out. The recipe is not too sweet at ALL. There is no sweet aftertaste, and it doesn't make you want to drink water. Probably because it is more airy and light. I thought that I would never like French method macarons, but good thing I tried this recipe. Of course, since Ladurée is the best of the best.

This method is almost like a hybrid of French and Italian methods! I've never seen a recipe this good. I'm so glad I tried it out. I'm surprised that not too many people tried out this recipe when it's on Not So Humble Pie's blog and it's been there for a year. Thank you Ms. Humble! <3

Please check it out! I'll post it here again but I'll link you to her page just so you know. It is SOOOO EASY AND FAST OMG. And there's so little ingredients. They dry really really fast by the way, so you don't even need to add cornstarch (maybe if you're in a humid climate you should). You can also make this using a hand mixer so easily! They also are not completely hollow! They may have a couple air pockets but they usually go away when you mature it. They are pretty crunchy though, so I recommend you don't serve them the day that you make them. Wait a day for it to mature.

And I'll even split it in half to make a small batch :)

http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/2012/02/macarons-framboise-ladurees-recipe.html

Basic Macaron Recipe (Adapted from Ladurée and Not So Humble Pie) makes about 24 completed macarons

Sorry for not so presentable picture, I just made this in a hurry haha.


Ingredients:
-138g almond flour
-125g powdered sugar
-105g egg whites (doesn't need to be aged)
-105g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
food coloring

Materials:
-Hand mixer/stand mixer
-Piping bags/tips (#12 Wilton)
-Silpat/parchment (I prefer Silpat)
-Aluminum baking half sheets (Nordic Ware/Costco/Smart and Final)
-Rubber spatula
-Bowls

1. Sift almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar together into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Weigh out your egg whites, and put it in a large bowl (either stand mixer or not).
3. Beat your egg whites until frothy, and slowly add in the granulated sugar.

4. Once sugar dissolves, beat at medium high speed until thick and glossy. It should look a bit droopy but that's fine because when you turn the bowl over, it doesn't come out.

5. Add in 1/3 of your almond powdered sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add in the rest in small additions and then fold like you normally would (shown in my videos) until thick but still flowing in consistency (like magma).

6. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out 1-1.75 inch circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat. Then rap the trays on the table until they are flattened to get rid of air bubbles. Only pipe one tray at a time because you can only bake one tray at a time. If you let them dry too long, they get lopsided.


7. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).
8. Let the macarons dry (with a fan or not) for about 15-20 minutes. When it's almost time to bake them, you can pipe out your next tray.
9. Bake the macarons in the middle rack of your oven for 15 minutes.
10. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Repeat these steps until batter is finished.
11. Fill with your favorite buttercream, ganache, or jam (not recommended) and let mature in the fridge for 24 hours for a better taste experience. Let it come to room temperature before serving.


These are nice light and fluffy. They taste sooooo much better once you mature them. They do have some air pockets, but see they go away once you put in the filling. It kinda sucks that there's a gap of air between the shell and foot...-_- but oh well. That's why it's more airy! Try it out.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pistachio Macarons with a Pistachio Custard Buttercream (Italian Meringue Recipe)


Hi guys! I figured this flavor of macaron is the one that really defines your macarons because many places that I've went to who had pistachio macarons did not taste like pistachio at ALL. I've worked pretty hard on this recipe, so enjoy and please credit me :) I just want everyone to taste the true nature of a pistachio macaron. It has a great nutty creamy flavor, with salty elements that keep it from being too sweet. My mom loves them, and she hates sweets. That tells you something. :O

What really irritates me the most is when online bloggers/instagrammers/tumblrers/random people don't give out their recipes. I know damn well that you looked this recipe up on google too ok?! You should be grateful to people who give out recipes. I had to take an $80 class to learn this sort of recipe, but I kept modifying it to my standards and tastes. It was similar to notsohumblepie's recipe, except for a few slight sugar reductions. Listen, if you're not a worldwide business and you are just a home cook, why the hell not would you give out the recipe? You damn well got it from someone else. If no one gave out recipes, then no one would know how to cook at home. Ok. end rant. On to the recipe :)

Pistachio Macarons with a Pistachio Custard Buttercream (Italian Meringue Recipe), makes about 24 completed macarons or 48 shells

Ingredients:
Mass:
-120g almond meal/flour (I use Trader Joe's Blanched Slivered Almonds and grind them in a food processor)
-30g shelled pistachios
-150g powdered sugar
-50g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-Gel food coloring (optional)
-2 tsp cornstarch (if weather is humid)
-pinch of salt
-1/3 cup ground shelled pistachios, for sprinkling (optional)

Italian Meringue:
-120g granulated sugar
-55g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-40g water

Materials:
-Candy thermometer
-Kitchen/postal scale
-Piping bags/large round tip (These give the most perfect results if that's what you're going for)
-Good insulated baking sheets (I use Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet)
-Parchment paper or silpats (I prefer silpats but parchment is nice too)
-Stand mixer (recommended, but it is possible with a hand mixer, just takes longer)
-Rubber Spatula/pastry scraper

1. Process together your almond flour, pistachios, and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift together into a large bowl.
2. Add the 50g egg whites and mix until it becomes a dough-like consistency, and add in your food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. (or you can do this after your meringue is made so you don't have to put plastic wrap over it)
3. For the meringue, beat your 55g egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer until frothy, then add a pinch of sugar if you'd like to stabilize the egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form, then turn the mixer down to low or 'stir' so that they don't deflate. DO NOT OVERBEAT EGG WHITES AT THIS STAGE. VERY IMPORTANT...if you do, your macarons will be hollow.
4. At the same time, put the water and sugar in a small saucepan over the stove at medium-high heat and attach your candy thermometer. When the mixture gets bubbly with no spots of unboiled sugar or 240 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer, take the sugar syrup off heat and slowly pour it into the egg whites, while turning up your mixer to medium-high speed. Let it beat until the bowl of the stand mixer is body temperature, and holds a nice 'beak'. The meringue should be stiff, shiny, and smooth.
5. Then add 1/3 of the meringue to the mass just to lighten it up, making it easier to fold into the meringue. Fold with a rubber spatula just a bit until no white spots are showing. Keep folding until the batter is thick but still flowing.
7. Once the batter will fall of the spatula with a thick ribbon-like consistency, you are ready to pipe them. Pipe 1-1.5 inch diameter circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Once you are done piping, drop the sheets a couple times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and flatten out any peaks on your macarons.
9. Now let them rest for 15-20 minutes, or until the macarons are dry to the touch.
10. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on how solid you want your macarons. I recommend 12. Also only bake one tray at a time so that it is baked with even heat.
11. Let them cool completely before taking them off the baking sheets with an offset spatula.



Pistachio Custard Buttercream
Ingredients:
-2 egg yolks
-1/3 cup sugar
-7 tbsp milk
-7 tbsp butter
-1 1/2 tsp almond extract
-1/3 cup ground shelled pistachios

1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a small saucepan.
2. Add the milk and whisk to combine.
3. Turn on the stove over medium-low heat and cook until thick while stirring continuously.
4. After it thickens, strain the mixture through a sieve to catch any curdled egg yolk and transfer to a mixing bowl. Let it cool down to room temperature.
5. In the meantime, grind your pistachios in a food processor pretty finely almost like a powder.
6. Once egg mixture is cooled, beat in your softened butter, pistachios, and almond extract until smooth.
7. Now sandwich similar sized shells together and store in the fridge at least 24 hours so that the flavors meld and softens up the shell a bit. Serve at room temperature for a better taste experience.

I really enjoy this macaron! It definitely tastes like pistachio, and of course you can tell it is a pistachio macaron because of the pistachios on top and in the filling. I just hate when macarons don't taste like what it's supposed to. :( This is probably my most popular flavor among my customers :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Macarons with a Pumpkin Butter Filling (Italian Meringue Recipe)


Oh delicious, autumn-y pumpkin. I love pumpkin, I actually used to think it tasted weird as a kid but now I have grown to love it. The yumminess of this macaron comes from the spices and real pumpkin used in the filling. I used to only make pumpkin spice without any pumpkin but I feel it's better to put the real thing in it. So here is my recipe, I kinda winged it on the filling...so probably just use a swiss buttercream or even better, an egg yolk or cooked frosting. I'll give you three options at the end :P


Pumpkin Pie Macarons with a Pumpkin Butter Filling (Italian Meringue Recipe), makes about 24 completed macarons or 48 shells

Ingredients:
Mass:
-150g almond meal/flour (I use Trader Joe's Blanched Slivered Almonds and grind them in a food processor)
-145g powdered sugar
-5g pumpkin spice
-50g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-Gel food coloring (optional)
-2 tsp cornstarch (if weather is humid)
-pinch of salt

Italian Meringue:
-120g granulated sugar
-55g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-40g water

Materials:
-Candy thermometer
-Kitchen/postal scale
-Piping bags/large round tip (These give the most perfect results if that's what you're going for)
-Good insulated baking sheets (I use Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet)
-Parchment paper or silpats (I prefer silpats but parchment is nice too)
-Stand mixer (recommended, but it is possible with a hand mixer, just takes longer)
-Rubber Spatula/pastry scraper

1. Process together your almond flour, pumpkin spice, and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift together into a large bowl.
2. Add the 50g egg whites and mix until it becomes a dough-like consistency, and add in your food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
3. For the meringue, beat your 55g egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer until frothy, then add a pinch of sugar if you'd like to stabilize the egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form, then turn the mixer down to low or 'stir' so that they don't deflate. DO NOT OVERBEAT EGG WHITES AT THIS STAGE. VERY IMPORTANT...if you do, your macarons will be hollow.
4. At the same time, put the water and sugar in a small saucepan over the stove at medium-high heat and attach your candy thermometer. When the mixture gets bubbly with no spots of unboiled sugar or 240 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer, take the sugar syrup off heat and slowly pour it into the egg whites, while turning up your mixer to medium-high speed. Let it beat until the bowl of the stand mixer is body temperature, and holds a nice 'beak'. The meringue should be stiff, shiny, and smooth.
5. Then add 1/3 of the meringue to the mass just to lighten it up, making it easier to fold into the meringue. Fold with a rubber spatula just a bit until no white spots are showing.
7. Once the batter will fall of the spatula with a thick ribbon-like consistency, you are ready to pipe them. Pipe 1-1.5 inch diameter circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Once you are done piping, drop the sheets a couple times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and flatten out any peaks on your macarons.
9. Now let them rest for 15-20 minutes, or until the macarons are dry to the touch.
10. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on how solid you want your macarons. I recommend 12. Also only bake one tray at a time so that it is baked with even heat.
11. Let them cool completely before taking them off the baking sheets with an offset spatula.

Pumpkin Butter Filling (Version 1 Swiss Meringue Buttercream)

Ingredients:
-2 egg whites
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
-1/3 cup pumpkin butter/puree
-1-2 tbsp pumpkin spice
-1-2 tbsp flour (optional)


1. Set up a water bath over medium-low heat. (a small amount of water in a pot, with a smaller bowl over the pot)
2. Add the egg whites and granulated sugar into the smaller bowl, and whisk constantly to prevent mixture from cooking.
3. Once the mixture reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit on your thermometer or if you put your fingers in the mixture and rub them together, no sugar crystals remain, take it off heat.
4. With a hand or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they become thick and white.
5. Now add in your butter a stick at a time (if it is not softened, heat it up in microwave for 8 seconds). Beat for about 2 minutes, or until the buttercream has become a light and fluffy texture. It may look curdled while beating, but keep beating until it becomes smooth.
6. Add in your pumpkin puree and spice until smooth. If too runny, add some flour (like 1-2 tbsp) to soak up the excess moisture.
7. Now sandwich similar sized shells together and store in the fridge for at least 24 hours, so that the flavors meld and it softens up the shell a bit. Serve a room temperature for a better taste experience.

Pumpkin Butter Filling (Version 2 Egg Yolk/Milk Buttercream) - adapted from Yoo Eatz

Ingredients:
-2 egg yolks
-1/3 cup sugar
-7 tbsp milk
-7 tbsp butter
-1/4 cup pumpkin butter/puree
-1-2 tbsp pumpkin spice

1. Cream egg yolks and sugar together until light in color in a small saucepan.
2. Add in the milk and whisk until well combined.
3. Turn on the burner and cook egg yolk, sugar, and milk mixture until thick in consistency.
4. Strain mixture through a sieve to catch any cooked/curdled egg yolk and let it cool to room temperature.
5. Add in your softened butter (if not softened, heat it up in microwave for 8 seconds) and beat until smooth.
6. Add in your pumpkin butter/puree and spice and beat until desired texture.
7. Now sandwich similar sized shells together and store in the fridge at least 24 hours so that the flavors meld and softens up the shell a bit. Serve at room temperature for a better taste experience.

Pumpkin Butter Filling (Version 3 Cooked Frosting) - adapted from yoyomax12 

Ingredients:
-4 tbsp flour
-1/2 cup milk
-1/2 cup finely ground sugar
-1/2 cup butter
-1/4 cup pumpkin butter/puree
-1-2 tbsp pumpkin spice

1. Cook milk and flour in a saucepan until it is like a thick paste.
2. While the paste is cooling, beat butter and sugar for 4 minutes until light and fluffy.
3. When flour paste is cooled, add it into butter sugar mixture and beat for another 4 minutes until consistency desired.
4. Add in your pumpkin butter/puree and spice and beat until satisfied.
5. Now sandwich similar sized shells together and store in the fridge at least 24 hours so that the flavors meld and softens up the shell a bit. Serve at room temperature for a better taste experience.


Want to make different flavors in one batch?

Hi guys, many of you know that my recipes that I give out are usually too big for anyone to eat by themselves for just one flavor. Of course I usually never make my recipes that big unless someone wants to order 24 of them. I split them up either into 1/2's, 1/3's, or 1/4's of a recipe. That way I can make a full batch but have up to 4 flavors. The way you do this is very simple, some of you may have figured it out already.

For two flavors, you would do my usual recipe, but you split it in half. If you're making mango for example, you split my mango recipe in half. So the recipe would look like this:



75g almond flour
68g powdered sugar
7g freeze dried mangoes
25g egg whites
pinch of salt

And you put this in one bowl.

For another flavor, for example red velvet, you would split my red velvet recipe in half as well. So the recipe would look like this:



75g almond flour
73g powdered sugar
4g cocoa powder
25g egg whites
pinch of salt

And you put this in another bowl.

For the meringue, you would make it as normal, but instead of putting the whole meringue in one bowl, you divide the meringue into two portions: 80g and 80g. The total weight of the meringue is 160g or so, so just weigh your bowls, tare it, and then put in 80g of meringue. Then bake as normal!:)

For three flavors in one batch, you would do my usual recipe, but split it in thirds. So if you're making three flavors: mint chip, red velvet, and mango, the recipe would look like this split in three bowls:

50g almond flour
50g powdered sugar
17g egg whites
small amount of mint extract
pinch of salt

50g almond flour
47g powdered sugar
5g freeze dried mangoes
17g egg whites
pinch of salt

50g almond flour
48g powdered sugar
2g cocoa powder
17g egg whites
pinch of salt

Make the meringue as usual, and weigh out 55g meringue for each one.

Simple, right? And for four flavors, just split the half recipe in half. :) So you would be making about 38g almond flour, 38g powdered sugar, and about 12-13g egg whites. And for meringue, it would be 40g.


Hope you find this useful!:D

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Red Velvet Macarons With a Cream Cheese Filling

Hi everyone! I think it's about time I bless you guys with a new recipe. LOL just kidding. But yes I will share a recipe today since it's been awhile.

I seen a lot of red velvet recipes online but they don't really seem to have that 'red velvet'-esque flavor. Probably due to too little cocoa powder or not enough cream cheese. I think mine is pretty good now that I've tweaked it a bit. Before when I was testing out this recipe, someone thought it was too buttery. So I cut down the butter and added more tangy cream cheese and just the perfect amount of sweetness. Hope you enjoy :) (P.S.: Usually I take a picture out of a bite of the macaron, but these were for an order so I didn't want to waste one. I will put one up eventually!)

Red Velvet Macarons with a Cream Cheese Filling (Italian Meringue Recipe), makes about 24 completed macarons or 48 shells

Ingredients:
Mass:
-150g almond meal/flour (I use Trader Joe's Blanched Slivered Almonds and grind them in a food processor)
-145g powdered sugar
-5g cocoa powder (usually more than that makes it hollow and wet inside)
-50g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-Gel food coloring (optional)
-2 tsp cornstarch (if weather is humid)
-pinch of salt

Italian Meringue:
-120g granulated sugar
-55g egg whites (do not have to be aged)
-40g water

Materials:
-Candy thermometer
-Kitchen/postal scale
-Piping bags/large round tip (These give the most perfect results if that's what you're going for)
-Good insulated baking sheets (I use Nordic Ware Baker's Half Sheet)
-Parchment paper or silpats (I prefer silpats but parchment is nice too)
-Stand mixer (recommended, but it is possible with a hand mixer, just takes longer)
-Rubber Spatula/pastry scraper

1. Process together your almond flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift together into a large bowl.
2. Add the 50g egg whites and mix until it becomes a dough-like consistency, and add in your food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
3. For the meringue, beat your 55g egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer until frothy, then add a pinch of sugar if you'd like to stabilize the egg whites. Beat until soft peaks form, then turn the mixer down to low or 'stir' so that they don't deflate. DO NOT OVERBEAT EGG WHITES AT THIS STAGE. VERY IMPORTANT...if you do, your macarons will be hollow.
4. At the same time, put the water and sugar in a small saucepan over the stove at medium-high heat and attach your candy thermometer. When the mixture gets bubbly with no spots of unboiled sugar or 240 degrees Fahrenheit on your candy thermometer, take the sugar syrup off heat and slowly pour it into the egg whites, while turning up your mixer to medium-high speed. Let it beat until the bowl of the stand mixer is body temperature, and holds a nice 'beak'. The meringue should be stiff, shiny, and smooth.
5. Then add 1/3 of the meringue to the mass just to lighten it up, making it easier to fold into the meringue. Fold with a rubber spatula just a bit until no white shows. Keep folding until the batter is thick but still flowing.
7. Once the batter will fall of the spatula with a thick ribbon-like consistency, you are ready to pipe them. Pipe 1-1.5 inch diameter circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Once you are done piping, drop the sheets a couple times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and flatten out any peaks on your macarons.
9. Now let them rest for 15-20 minutes, or until the macarons are dry to the touch.
10. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on how solid you want your macarons. I recommend 12. Also only bake one tray at a time so that it is baked with even heat.
11. Let them cool completely before taking them off the baking sheets with an offset spatula.

Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients:
-8 oz cream cheese
-very small amount of butter (1-2 tbsp)
-About 3/4 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Whip cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Put into a piping bag and pipe a good amount of filling onto one macaron shell and sandwich together.
4. Store in the fridge for at least 24 hours for a better taste experience (flavors meld and softens the shell a bit) and serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cracked Macaron Shells?

Many people have been asking me why they have cracked macaron shells. 99.9% of the time it is because you did not dry the macarons out long enough. The 0.01% is that you overmixed or undermixed the batter.



Now, there are four factors to consider in why your macaron shells are not drying...

  • Overmixed the batter
  • Humid weather conditions
  • Did not use a fan
  • Too impatient and put them in the oven while not completely dry (me sometimes)
Now here is a correct consistency of the batter piped into circles. See how they are not too thin yet not too thick? They have a small shadow around the curve of the circle (this is how I check to see if it is overmixed or not).


If they are not getting dull and dry like this, PLEASE DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE OVEN. They will crack and look ugly and won't be macarons anymore. If you touch it and it wiggles around a bit, leave it to dry longer.

I have two tips that will surely help dry out your macarons (provided you didn't overmix):

1. Use a FAN to dry out your macarons. It will speed up the drying process! I would say by the time you're done doing the dishes, and preheating your oven, the macarons will be dry.
2. Add 2tsp corn starch or potato starch to the batter if it is humid in your area. This will add some extra tackiness to your batter and should dry out your macarons if you use it additionally to the fan.

Now if you undermixed your batter and they cracked, it will look like this...

See how it is lumpy and bumpy? You didn't release most of the air in the batter, making large air pockets.

Now if you overmixed your batter and they cracked, it will look like this...

These are more flat and look like chocolate crinkle cookies. You released too much air in the batter, causing the shell to collapse onto itself and crack.

I hope this helped, and now you should be able to tell the difference :)





Thursday, June 20, 2013

What To Do With Leftover Egg Yolks

Hi guys! I know after making macarons, there are oh so many egg yolks leftover...sigh*. So I've come up with several different ways to use up egg yolks. Hope you find this post useful ^_^

1. ICE CREAM!!!!!
I made this fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream recently, and man is it good. I purchased an ice cream maker not too long ago, because I was tired of eating egg yolks in scrambled eggs. The taste gets repetitive, you know :(. It was only around $35, and it is worth my money. I loooooove ice cream, so this gives me a good excuse to make ice cream. Here's the recipe. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Isaac-Mizrahis-Mint-Chocolate-Chip-Ice-Cream-240235 I used 2% milk because that's what I had in the fridge, but it still tastes good, just a bit of ice crystals. That means there's less fat hehe. 

2. Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Over Rice)
This is a really tasty dish, a Japanese style egg and chicken omelette over rice. It uses dashi, sake, soy sauce, and mirin for flavor. That way you don't have tasteless eggs. It's a simple, easy dish that always usually uses up my egg yolks. I've included the recipe for your convenience.

Oyakodon (adapted from Cookingwithdog's youtube)

Ingredients (Makes enough for a couple days)
-However many egg yolks are leftover from macarons
-1 packet of granulated dashi mixed with 1/4 cup water
-1-2 Chicken breasts or thighs
-Cooked Rice
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1/2 tbsp sake
-1/2 tbsp mirin
-Mitsuba parsley or green onions for garnish

1. Cut up chicken and onions into small pieces.
2. Put dashi stock, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and onions in a large pan and cook until onions are translucent.
3. Add the chicken and thoroughly cook.
4. Beat the egg yolks until one solid consistency, and then drizzle over the chicken and onion so that it connects them.
5. Cook until solid, and serve over hot steamed rice.

3. Steamed Eggs (Chinese Style)
I sometimes am really lazy and want a tasty savory egg custard to go with my meals. This is a good answer to that, and uses up my egg yolks. I do add one or two extra whole eggs so that it becomes more fluffy, but it isn't necessary. The egg yolks make this custard very firm and solid, not runny or watery at all. Still just as tasty :)

Steamed Eggs (adapted from my mother's cooking)

Ingredients:
-However many egg yolks you have leftover from macarons
-1-2 whole eggs
-1 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 cup water
-A steamer (or a deep pan like a wok filled with a bit of water)
-Oyster sauce to garnish and add flavor
-Green onions for garnish, chopped

1. Beat egg yolks and eggs until foamy in a large heatproof bowl.
2. Add the water and vegetable oil and whisk with a fork until bubbles form.
3. Put the bowl in the steamer and cover on medium-high heat for 25 minutes or until firm.
4. Garnish with oyster sauce and green onions if you like.

4. Egg Drop Soup
I'm pretty lazy when it comes to using up egg yolks, so sometimes I just use them to make egg drop soup or something similar. I am not too fond of the texture of egg yolks, so sometimes I add a whole egg to balance it out. But this is a quick and easy way to get rid of them, and they're not too rich while in soup. If you want you can add meat like shrimp or chicken.

Egg Drop Soup (adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
-4 cups chicken broth, divided
-A pinch of ground ginger
-Chopped green onions for garnish
-A pinch of salt
-1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
-However many egg yolks you have leftover
-1 whole egg

1. Pour 2 cups of the chicken broth in a saucepan, and heat on medium-high heat.
2. Add the ginger, salt and green onions and bring to a rolling boil.
3. In another bowl, mix the 2 cups of chicken broth with the cornstarch for thickener.
4. Beat the egg yolks and egg in another bowl with a fork and slowly drizzle in the mixture into the soup in a circular motion so that they cook evenly.
5. Add in the cornstarch and mix well.

5. Chicken Noodle Soup with Eggs
Sometimes when I'm feeling under the weather, I make this soup to boost my immune system. It's super easy and it can use up your egg yolks for sure :) I don't really measure out my ingredients for this because I just make it up as I go. It's a little bland, but I just add some pepper and salt.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Eggs

Ingredients:
-However many egg yolks are left over from macarons
-A good amount of chicken broth mixed with water
-Pasta noodles
-Water
-Salt
-Pepper
-Celery or spinach
-1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
-Pre-cooked chicken pieces (frozen or fresh)
-1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Pour chicken broth and water into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
2. Add in the carrots and celery/spinach.
3. You don't have to cook the pasta in a separate pot, so for convenience I just boil the pasta noodles in the same saucepan as the soup. So add in the pasta and cook for about 7-10 minutes.
4. Add in your chicken and cook until soft. Add in your garlic and cook until translucent.
5. Beat the egg yolks, and drizzle in the egg yolks until it cooks, like the egg drop soup.
6. Add in the salt and pepper to taste, and you're done.

6. Creme Brulee
This isn't really a dish that I eat on the daily, like the ones above. So you can make it for a special occasion, because it makes quite a lot and it's rich and creamy. Recipe is here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/vanilla-bean-creme-brulee-recipe/index.html.

7. Lemon Curd
You can use this to make a flavor of macarons if you wish, but I never really use this recipe...just something to keep in mind.http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/lemon-curd-recipe/index.html

8. Chocolate Pudding
Haven't tried this recipe yet, but it uses 2 egg yolks. Try it out if you want :) http://www.cooksunited.co.uk/recipes/584111205244570/Homemade-Chocolate-Pudding.html

9. Earl Grey Pot de Creme
Haven't tried this either, but give it a shot :)http://www.canadianliving.com/food/earl_grey_pot_de_creme.php

I got some of these from this website, so check it out. :) I hate wasting egg yolks, so try to make something delicious out of it! Have fun!

(P.S.: Most recipes that call for eggs you can substitute egg yolks :))