cinnamon macarons & green tea macarons

cinnamon macarons

green tea macarons

I finally succeeded. After 30+ failed attempts (see how bull-headed I am?), I managed to make macarons with feet, using the french method. These two are the first successful bakes at home. The other success I had was using the italian meringue method at a class I attended.

I can be called eelmsthebaker now. Haha! I am so happy.

I owe my success entirely to 3 wonderful women. First and foremost, Ms. Rima from Bisous A Toi. It was while searching for a custard puff recipe that I followed her link to another site, Ms. Yani from The Kitchen Guardian. Whilst browsing through her site, you cannot help but be captivated by the beautiful macarons she bakes and sells. I salute her! She manages to bake whilst juggling a full time job as a legal counsel and as a mum to 6 children. Wow. She is going to be a full time baker soon. How envious.

From Ms. Yani’s site, I was led to Ms. Nomie from Keklapis.com. She is another super-baker making and selling macarons, among other wonderful baked goods. Though the post was written in Malay, Ms. Yani had written her instructions in English on her blog. To dry macarons when it is raining, just preheat the oven to 160C, leave it running for 10 minutes to make sure it is well preheated, then turn it off. Open the oven door and place piped macarons on the door. The hot air gushing out will dry the macarons.

I followed Ms. Yani’s instructions exactly. The macarons were left on the oven door for 10 minutes and the tray was rotated halfway through. Then I left it on the table to dry for another 10 minutes. After that I just baked them as per normal.

The cinnamon macarons were not very well done. But I was so excited seeing the tiny tiny feet! Those are toes, I guess. Ha! These macarons were not dried using the above method, but left on the table for 45 minutes. Lucky for me, today is fairly dry. It was after making the cinnamon macarons that I read Ms. Yani’s post on making macarons on rainy days. It motivated me to try another batch immediately.

Though no expert, from 30+ failures, I have noted what I did wrong previously. Throughout my macaron baking attempts, I have watched many videos and read many blogs. All have helped in some way. I am thankful to everyone.

What I did wrong

The egg whites were not stiff enough.

  • This is the biggest problem that I faced, especially since I did not know it was a problem. I only solved it recently by watching a video! I seem to have an inherent fear of over-beating the egg whites. The egg whites have to be stiff. Stiff enough to clump in the middle of the whisk and you have to do some vigorous knocking to get it out.

The ground almond was not fresh.

  • I store my ground almonds in the freezer, in a freezer bag. In some of my attempts, I used some that had been open for more than 2 months.

The ingredients were not measured exactly.

  • Some recipes state 2 egg whites or measurements in cups. Making macarons require precise measurements. Hence it is best to invest in a kitchen scale and use tested recipes in grams.

The macarons were not dry enough.

  • The most common problem faced. Though some bakers say they never dry their macarons, I don’t think they stay in very humid countries. 

I over or under mixed the batter – improper macaronnage

  • The bane of my macaron-baking attempts. After 30+ times, I think I am just beginning to recognize what is the correct texture. I usually over-mix. The idea is to knock out some of the stiffness from the meringue at first with the first batch of dry ingredients, then carefully fold in the rest of the dry ingredients.

So the recipe that finally succeeded for me…It is adapted from Ms. Yani of The Kitchen Guardian, who tweaked it from Jill Colona’s Mad About Macarons.

Cinnamon Macarons

  • 50 grams aged egg white
  • 25 grams castor sugar
  • 55 grams ground almond
  • 80 grams icing sugar
  • 2 grams cinnamon powder

Green Tea Macarons

  • 50 grams aged egg white
  • 25 grams castor sugar
  • 50 grams ground almond
  • 80 grams icing sugar
  • 10 grams green tea powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C.
  2. Sift almond, icing sugar, cinnamon/green tea into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk egg white with castor sugar until stiff peaks. It should be quite stiff and will clump in the middle of the whisk.
  4. Fold in dry ingredients in 2 portions, taking care not to over-mix. First 5 folds for the 1st portion, do a fold and lightly press against the sides of the mixing bowl or scrape the surface. For the rest, carefully fold in. Some recommend 50 folds. I am usually too preoccupied to count. Correct texture is shiny and smooth. It should flow slowly off the spatula and take around 10 seconds to meld to the rest of the mixture.
  5. Pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet and rap the sheet on the counter a few times to flatten the macarons and get rid of air bubbles.
  6. Turn off the oven. Open the door and carefully place the baking sheet at the door of the oven. Rotate the baking sheet after 5 minutes. After another 5 minutes, remove the macarons and leave them to dry for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 140 C. Bake macarons for 18 minutes.

For the cinnamon macarons, I filled it with leftover vanilla custard cream from making custard puffs.

super tiny feet
super tiny feet

For the green tea macarons, I used half a cup of italian meringue butter cream and added pulp from 2 passion fruits.

green tea macaron
these were dried by the oven

When I attended the macaron-making class, the instructor said when filling macaron shells, the proportion of filling should be aligned to the thickness of the shell. This means a macaron is 1/3 top shell, 1/3 filling and 1/3 bottom shell. This, he said, was what was done at the master of macarons Pierre Hermé’s bakery in Paris. So what the master does, we all should follow. 😛

I was stuck in front of the oven, staring and holding my breath throughout both batches. When I saw the feet, I started grinning and dancing. My jubilant victory dance! Then I promptly dashed to tell the good news to my mum. The dustbin will go hungry this round. 🙂

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “cinnamon macarons & green tea macarons

  1. – This very day, I was studying macarons… on Ann Reardon’s howtocookthat.net, including her “macarons FAQ and troubleshooting guide” (which was very helpful)… and watched a video on Stephanie Jaworski’s joyofbaking.com. I noted all kinds of helpful hints on some other sites as well, and also that one needs to make macarons several times before getting the hang of it and getting it right.
    – I appreciate this/your post, especially knowing how good you are in baking confectionery. Your macarons look beautiful/perfect. I am going to study and follow your suggestions to avoid having to bake 30 times before I succeed. 😉
    – Does icing sugar mean confectioner’s/powder sugar? There was a mention of cornstarch in the powdered sugar in one of the sites… is there cornstarch in confectioner’s sugar? I would appreciate you educating me.
    – When you posted zebra cake, I was then studying zebra cake as well! Serendipity? 😀

    • Wow! Great minds think alike. ;P Hehehe. I loved your beautiful zebra cake. The lines were very nicely distributed and so successfully ‘zebra’. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind comments. I am so happy to nail this I forgot the disappointments from the failures. I think the most important point in making macarons is to not be afraid to fail. Every failure is a lesson learnt!

      Yes, icing sugar is powdered or confectioner’s sugar. The brand I use contains corn starch. It is difficult to find pure icing sugar here. I have also read some advise from sites that state cornstarch causes problems in making macarons but so far that I know of, bakeries in Singapore still use the cornstarch-laced icing sugar and I have encountered no problems from it. The 30+ failures were definitely not from the icing sugar.

      Have fun macaron-ing!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s