08 July 2015

Geen Tea Macarons with Azuki Cream Cheese(Matcha Macarons 绿茶红豆乳酪马卡龙)


I lost count of how many times my macarons was without feet. For the past three weeks, everyday the first thing I had to do after breakfast was baking macarons, on some days I  baked three batches. The unsuccessful attempts were not due to problem with the recipe but the baker (Me). I come to realize baking macaron is not so simple, beside the feet, a macaron should has minimize hollow shell, there are tons of reasons, the list go on never ending. Of course, after the successful baked it doesn't means that unsuccessful attempts no longer going to haunt me again. Well, my macarons is yet to reach the signature stylish smooth top it should have, a long way to go.

After all these experiments, I come to like the crunchy chewy texture of the macaron, the filling play an important role to tone down the sweetness of the over sweet macaron shell. 

Quantities
There are lot of myths for this little round pretty monster, one thing I can bust is the quantities of the ingredients, the ratio of ground almond, icing sugar and egg are not really important. Therefore when you sifted the icing sugar and ground almond, you can dump that chunky bits. 

Colour
There are many little things that cause an unsuccessful macaron, such as the dye that you add to the meringue. It is a sure no to add liquid colour, it'll makes the meringue soaking with that extra bit of water which result the macaron can't form a dry shell. I have try a few types of dye and come to satisfy with AmeriColor. However, if you don't have one, you can use any powder food colouring or the Wilton icing colour. 

Folding Meringue
Folding the meringue during the macaronage is another crucial factor, I tried my very best to fold as what the experts said, about 30-40 folds, then come to realize it's depends on the quantities of meringue you have. What Stella of BraveTart said in her blog made me realized I no need to be too gentle in folding the meringue, what we really need to do is incorporate the ground almond, icing sugar together with the meringue, and most importantly deflate the air in the meringue. So scrape the mixing bowl, fold the macaronage until "lava stage" which mean the mixture should be able to ooze a bit but not runny. Yes, if the ground almond is not incorporate properly to the meringue, it may cause crack or may contribute to a not smooth top for the macaron.

Temperature
Thanks to my friend who saw my crack macarons and told me it could be my oven  temperature was too high. I always set my oven temperature on 150C but until I placed the oven thermometer inside the oven then I realized the temperature inside my oven is way higher than the 150C, from that onward, every times the oven thermometer will be inside my oven when I bake the macaron, as this little monster really very sensitive to heat. However, I discovered that the temperature between 140C~150C is good for macarons. If the temperature is too high, the macarons may rise too fast and causing the hollow shell too.

Dry out the Macarons
Do you believe this is the most challenging part to me after all? I'm not that patient in waiting the macarons to sit out and dry by itself, so many times my unsuccessful macarons were due to this factor. I didn't wait long enough to let it form the dry shell and just pop them into the oven, of course the result was macarons with no feet. So until yesterday, I discover there is a technique used by lot of bakers, heat up the oven, leave the oven door open and let the baking tray sit close to the oven for about 10 mins. This will dry out the macarons the faster way. 

Lastly, I want to thanks Anncoo Journal for her Matcha Macarons recipe, all my experiments on macarons are using her recipe as my guide. The small quantities of the ingredients is just right for me to try out my experiments on macarons. 

Below is a video and a good article on Macaron which I find them useful, hope it's useful for you to see "feet" too! ^^ Happy Baking! 

Videos:
Blog:





Yield: 8 pairs of macarons
Ingredients:
37g ground almond 
5g green tea powder (matcha powder)
40g icing sugar
30g egg white (~1 egg)
40g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
a few drops of green food colouring (AmeriColor)

Filling:
100g Philadelphia cream cheese 
150g homemade azuki paste

Method:
1. Prepare the filling: Cream the azuki paste together with cream cheese. Mix it well, place in the fridge for later use.
2. Heat up the oven at 150C. 
3. Sieve the ground almond, green tea powder and icing sugar, twice. Set aside.
4. Beat the egg white with a pinch of salt using KitchenAid speed 2, when it is foamy, add half of the caster sugar (20g), change the KitchenAid speed to 6, whisk for 3 mins. Add green food colouring and the remaining half of the caster sugar (20g), change the KitchenAid to speed 10, whisk until stiff peak form. 
5. Sieve in the dry ingredients to the egg white mixture, all in one-go. Fold the mixture with rubber spatula, deflate the meringue as you fold. Stop when the meringue able to drop down and ooze a bit when you lift it with the spatula. This is lava stage.
6. Add the batter into pipping bag with a plain nozzle. then pipe out small circles on the baking tray lined with non stick parchment paper. 
7. Rap the baking tray on the worktop a few times, smooth the top of the macaron tip with moist finger. Use the toothpick to prick any stray bubbles trap on the macarons.
8. Let the macarons dry out beside the hot oven. When the macaron shells are dry to touch, then is time to place the baking tray inside the preheat oven at 150C for 10 mins. (The feet should appear in 5 mins time) Then lower the oven temperature to 140C and continue to bake for another 8 mins. 
9. When the macarons are done. Remove the baking tray from the oven, lift the parchment paper at one edge and slide the whole parchment paper with macarons on to the cold surface or worktop. (As my worktop is marble) The baked through macarons should be able to remove from parchment paper without sticking on it. 





This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (July 2015 Event: Tea

and hosted by Cheryl of Baking Taitai


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