Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Macaron Obsession

As many are aware of, I am obsessed with macarons. So obsessed, that I have been making them over and over, making mistakes and learning tricks until finally, I think I have mastered them. I took a short course at the renowned culinary arts school Le Cordon Bleu, where I bombarded the chef with questions about getting the perfect macaron cookie. Being the unselfish macaron lover that I am, I shall share some secrets with you :p

1) Keep the eggwhites in the fridge for at least 48hours.

2) Do not underbeat nor overbeat the eggs whites. The eggwhites will form the meringue which is VITAL to the macaron cookie. It has to be beaten enough so that it doesn't spill when you hold the bowl over your head, and the meringue has to glisten and have a sort of shine. Once it becomes foamy and very light, it means that it has been overbeaten. You can count on starting all over again.

3) Cocoa powder is a major intrusion to the macaron. If you checkout the picture above of the pink macarons in the box, you'll notice that it is very cracked. The reason being, I powdered the cocoa powder on the mixture before putting it into the oven. Any detailing involving cocoa powder must be powdered after the cookies are baked. (Refer to yellow macarons).

4) While adding the meringue to the powdered sugar and almond powder, do it in 2 or 3 times. Fold the meringue gently until it is smooth. Do not overfold.

5) Use a number 11 piping to form the macaron cookie.

6) Liquid coloring from the supermarket can be used, but I must say that it sucks. The color fades with the heat of the oven, and the color isn't as bold as I wanted it to be. (refer to pink macarons). With the suggestion of a friend, I bought powdered coloring from a special patisserie store. (refer to yellow macarons)

7) Humidity plays a very important role. After 8 mins in the oven, I open the oven door to let the humidity out. I do it twice at the 8th and the 10th minute.

8) There is no flour used in macaron making. If you hear of a recipe or a bakery that makes macarons using flour, well, it may be good but it is NOT the real thing!

Voila some secrets of macaron making. I can't let all the secrets out, I must save some so that I can one day open my little Parisian café in Kuala Lumpur :)

Photos (and macarons) by Me

7 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing Alia, my friends at work love the ones I brought over on Monday :)

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  2. cant wait to taste em!

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  3. That's grandpa Chef - Chef Walter!! Stumbled upon your blog just today. Great post. I'd love to see a good quality, bonafide French pâtisserie in Malaysia one day, and not those "me-toos" making Parisien macarons that they've never even tasted real ones before. Keep it up!

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  4. Yes it is! You know him? I've heard about the macaron craze in KL, and it irks me too knowing that it is just a fad, like cupcakes were. Hélas, not too sure when we will be back in KL for good, but will keep everyone posted about my little dream café. Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Hi alia, can you suggest any great macaron shops in paris?

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  6. Hey there! Definitely.. My personal fav, a classic, is Pierre Hermé. He has several boutiques in Paris, but the one on rue Bonaparte has some patisseries as well hence my fav store. If not there is always La Durée, famous all around the world (a bit too known for my liking). Café Pouchekine makes pretty looking ones, but I haven't tried them yet..

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    1. Thanks alia, I ended up with La Duree.. Towards the end of my trip, few local friends did suggest Pouchekine but i was already sugar-overload..perhaps on my next visit. By the way, congratulations!

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