4 February 2011

Macarons and Food Bloggers

Looks can be deceiving. 

Nowadays, blog events and meetups all start over a conversation on twitter.  This is how our macaron session  was conjured up.  A few of us were tweeting our fear of THE Macaron.  I had made them before but they have never come up perfect.  This is when we decided that we will form a Macaron Support Group and have a mac tweetup session where we will, together make the perfect macaron.  The Mac support group consisted of myself, Thanh, Liz, I-Hua, Penny, Agnes and Kat

Hopes were high, that day.  We all turned up with positive attitudes, determined to make the elusive perfect macron and to be able to bring home some edible ones to our partners and families.

Before getting into it tho, we fed our tummies.  We all brought a dish each and we were all full after lunch.

Kat brought Sping rolls

Thanh made lamb chops

Liz made chicken wings

I-Hua also made chicken wings

Agnes brought along lamb Biryani

Penny made beef empandas

For dessert, Agnes made custard tarts

and Liz brought along pineapple tarts.

I also brought along my daughter.  She loves to bake and she even made new friends.  **cough. Agnes. cough**  

Below are a few photos of us getting busy in the kitchen.

As you can see from the above photo, we didn't get the results we were hoping for.  After many speculations, we had a few reasons on why they didn't turn out.  We didn't mix the egg whites to the right consistency or we added too much of the liquid flavourings which made the mixture too wet or we didn't know the oven well enough that we couldn't control the temperature.  So, all or none of these could be the reason and we were disappointed but truth be told, in the end, we enjoyed ourselves and there was probably more laughter and joking around than cooking and baking. 

Having this failure hang over my head, I didn't wan't to be defeated.  The next day I decided to make more macarons but at home and with an oven I was familiar with.

I made coconut macaron shells.  One filled with pandan (top pic - filled with pandan buttercream) and the other, I called monte carlo. (bottom pic - filled with vanilla butter cream and triple berry jam).  They turned out better than the day before but as with my previous attempts, they are still not perfect.  So, I forecast more attempts in my future. 

Recipe :
Coconut Macaron shell:
4 large egg whites
120g ground almonds
220g icing sugar
40g fine caster sugar
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 tsp coconut essence

To make the shells
1.  Preheat oven to 150degC.  Finely grind the dessicated coconut, almonds and icing sugar in a blender or food processor.  Sieve the mixture over a baking tin lined with baking papar and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Let cool.

2.  In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks using an electric mixer.  When it starts to stiffen, gradually add the caster sugar, beating constantly.  Add the coconut essence.  Mix to combine.  Sieve the almond-sugar mixture over the egg white and fold carefully.

3.  Fill a piping bag using a round piping nozzle.  Pipe out 4.5cm circles onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Let it stand for about 30minutes or until a crust forms on the surface.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let the shells cool, then remove using a small palette knife.

For the butter cream, I used 1 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of icing sugar.  Mix to combine.  For the pandan one, add a few drops of the pandan essence and for the vanilla one, add the seeds from a vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste)

When the shells cool, spread the filling over half of the shells, then top them with the remaining shells.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.


Bon Appetite,


/* */ Iron Chef Shellie said...

Sorry I missed it. Looks like Deanna had a great time! xx

/* */ penny aka jeroxie said...

Looks are deceiving. We had so much fun though and you go girl for trying again and not giving up. I aint giving up either. Will be trying it out myself in my own kitchen and oven.

/* */ Sefie said...

Oi, invite me next time! Hahaha.
I think the "failure" is probably due to overstuffing yourselves on such wonderful food beforehand... who can bake while in a food coma!

/* */ Hannah said...

What a fabulous, wonderful, fun-fille afternoon of fabulousness! Yet another reason why I really should quit my PhD and move to Melbourne... You know, a part of me thinks it would be better to not quite make the perfect macaron, because then you have the reason to keep meeting up :)

/* */ Agnes said...

Your daughter is SO CUTE. <3!

Glad your home attempts were more successful - I'm going to try again at home sometime too :)

/* */ Trix said...

It's really hard to make anything in an unfamiliar oven - let alone macarons!! But it looks like you had fun and that's the main thing!

/* */ thanh7580 said...

Despite the failure, it was such a fun day. Your daughter was super cute.

Related Posts with Thumbnails