Time to get Serious! with Macarons

It’s been a long time since my last post in January, so decided to come back and work on my Bakeowl blog seriously. To give it a serious start, I decided to start with macarons, something I have not been baking for almost a year. This time round I am making them NOT using the Italian Meringue method. Mainly, I find it too troublesome. Using Italian Meringue method is almost fail-proof, just that you have to follow through the longer steps. I will provide another post on using Italian Meringue method.

So this round, I will make them using the French Meringue method instead. If you follow through the recipe, with precise amount of ingredients, most likely you may hit a home run! But no guarantee, hehe because I am not there to guide :).

I am making this batch for a special friend who helps us a lot in our recent investments, and her heart is as generous as the ocean. Hence, a ocean theme is dedicated to her. Plus caramel is her thingy, so this is what I called my take on Orange French Macarons with Salted Caramel :

ORANGE FRENCH MACARON
Prep and Cook time – 70 to 90min
Approx 26 shells, 13 macarons
Adapted from https://www.bakingtaitai.com/2015/04/vanilla-bean-french-macarons-giveaway.html, I gave it a slight twist

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
• 65g Fine Ground Almond (almonds grind into powder form)
• 110g Icing Sugar
• 65g Egg Whites (must be room temperature), put in a clean (no dirt/grease) bowl
• 33g Caster Sugar + 1/8 teaspoon of Fine Salt
• Orange Peel (use a grater to grate the surface of a small orange)

WHAT TO DO
1. Prepare your baking tray with the macaron shape drawn out. Draw circle or your desired shape on your baking paper, and line on your baking tray with the drawings on the other side.
2. Sift the Icing Sugar and Ground Almond into a big bowl. Add in the Orange Peel and use a whisk to mix it well.
3. Using a hand whisk/kitchen machine, whisk the Egg Whites at low speed. Once bubbles appear, add in the Sugar+Salt mixture gradually while whisking it at medium seed. Whisk till a stiff peak.
Now this is called your meringue.
If colouring is used, please add in your Food Colour Gel while whisking the egg whites. Do not use watery food colouring.
4. Using a spatula, scoop in half of the Almond mixture to the meringue and fold gently in one direction (around 4 to 5 folds). This is how folding looks like (slide your spatula along the bowl side and cut through the middle of the mixture, continue this step in ONE direction, either clockwise or anti clock wise) –
DO NOT STIR.
5. Add in the remaining Almond mixture, continue to fold (another 15 to 20 folds) till a ribbon like consistency is achieved. To test, scoop a large amount using the spatula and let it drip. It should drip down with a ribbon consistency, smooth.
6. Pour the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle.
7. Pipe the macaron mixture onto your drawn baking paper. Leave a good space in between each macaron, it will spread while baking (half an index finger spacing is good).
8. Tap the tray against your table top, to release the air bubbles. Use a toothpick and gently prick onto the air bubbles (this ensure your macarons has a smooth surface).
9. Leave it to air dry for approx. 30min to 1 hour depending on your environment. Suggested place – dry area like service yard, or in an aircon room, this will take approx. 20 to 30mins.
10. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 150 Degree Celsius.
11. To test, using your finger and gently touch on the macaron surface, it should not stick to your finger tip.
12. Bake them for 16min and leave it in the oven with door slight open for 2 to 3min once baking is completed.
13. Let the macaron shells cool on the baking paper (approx. 10min) before removing them. While removing, please be gently.
14. You can now put in your favourite filling and sandwich to have your Macarons! For this recipe, the filling used is Salted Caramel Sauce. Recipe, continue reading 🙂

TO SERVE AND STORE
Store in air tight container, keep in fridge. May last for approx. 1 month.

HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
Prep and Cook time – 20 to 30min
Approx 1 cup.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
200g sugar (brown or white is ok, brown sugar will produce a darker colour)
60ml (equivalent to 60g) water
30g salted butter, cut into smaller pieces (use good brands such as President, Lurpak, Kerrygold, Anchor, SCS)
120ml (equivalent to 135g) heavy/thickened cream (Bulla brand is good)
1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup (100% Maple Syrup, not corn syrup – optional)

WHAT TO DO
Warm up the Cream either by Microwave (start with 10 sec 600W) or over the stove.
Prepare a tray of cold water, big enough to place in your pot.
Put Sugar and Water in a pot, heat it up while stirring using a spatula/wooden spoon over low heat.
Once the sugar dissolves, add in the Maple Syrup and give a slight stir.
Heat it to medium-high and let it “cook” until the syrup turns golden brown, no stirring is required. You can give a slight stir to even out the colour.
While the syrup is caramelising warm up the Cream in a pot/bowl either by Microwave (20 sec 600W) or over the stove.
Once the syrup turns golden brown, remove from heat and whisk in the salted butter. The mixture will bubble, continue whisk till all butter has been incorporated.
Heat the mixture over medium heat again, and carefully whisk in the Cream. The mixture will bubble, continue whisking till the cream is fully incorporated.
Reduce to low heat, and let it cook for approx. 1 min.
Remove from heat and place the pot of mixture into the tray of cold water. Let it cool down before serving.

TO SERVE AND STORE
Once the caramel sauce is cooled, store in airtight container and place in fridge. The sauce will thicken up while sitting in fridge, you can always reheat using microwave/over the stove to make it a drizzling sauce over dessert.

You can also add a spoon of caramel sauce (directly from fridge or reheated) into your coffee to have a caramel coffee.

Shelf-life: 4 to 6 weeks.

AND THIS IS THE FINAL MASTERPIECE, ok I admit I got to take a photography class instead.

By the way, just a quick announcement. I started freelancing in ABC Cooking Studio as a bread instructor recently, those who seen me, remember to say hi!!!

More posts coming next time 🙂

Love,
Bakeowler

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