Yes, I did them again! Upset that I couldn’t get feet while baking them macarons, I decided to give it another shot baking these macarons at home. (Note, this was all done when I wasn’t working full-time of course.)
And the result?
They had feet!!! The humidity was the killer (really)! But I popped the macarons into a cool room and after about 20 minutes, the shell hardened a little, so I took them out and popped them into the oven. During the 14 mins odd of baking time, I was really crossing my fingers and hoping that the feet will rise. They did! But it was a little lop-sided! Arh, I guess I can’t really have the best of both worlds.
What do you think? Not bad for attempt number 2! I think I need to buy a smaller sieve as well. As a result, the macaron shells aren’t smooth enough. Ok, hopefully third time’s a charm if I ever get a chance to make them. In the meantime, here’s the recipe if you are interested to make them:
Hello Kitty Macarons with Sea-Salt Caramel Choc Ganache
Makes about 14-16 filled bite-sized macarons
For Macaron Batter
- 1 egg white (preferably aged for 3 days) brought to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar powder
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 38g icing sugar
- 36g powdered almonds
- 30g granulated sugar
- 5 drops of gel-based white colouring
- Items needed to draw the face of the Hello Kitty: Black & Yellow Edible Ink Marker and Heart-shaped Candy
- Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar with the almond powder to ensure that there are no lumps.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cream of tartar and beat the egg white until they begin to foam. At this stage, add granulated sugar gradually. Continue beating until very stiff and firm. When you invert the bowl, the egg white batter has to stay put. That’s the time you know when you should stop. I decided to play it safe and whisked the egg white batter for about 5 minutes before stiff peaks were formed. Add white colouring and vanilla essence. Continue to beat the egg whites on high for another 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (ideally). Stop folding when the mixture is smooth and there are no streaks of egg white. Test the consistency from time to time by lifting a dollop of macaron paste and dropping it into the mixing bowl. If the macaron paste does not settle smoothly after 30 seconds, continue folding the paste. If the macaron paste smooths out too quickly, you’ve gone too far.
- Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart. In order to get the ear-shaped macaron shell, use the end of a chopstick and gently ‘pull’ the macaron batter out of the circle.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons and to remove the air-bubbles in the macarons.
- Leave the macarons out in the open for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step is important to allow the top of the macaron shell to dry up so that you get a smooth surface for the macarons. You will know when to pop the macarons into the oven when you touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your fingers. Be careful not to leave them out too much for it will give you crunchy macarons and you don’t want that. This step is important and if you skip it, your macarons might flatten . While waiting, preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
- Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
- Using the black edible ink marker, draw the eyes and whiskers of the Kitty. Then using the yellow marker, draw its nose. For the ribbon, stick 2 heart-shaped candy facing each other. You could use the white choc ganache filling or any other desired light-coloured filling to act as ‘glue’ for the ribbon.
- To assemble macarons: spread desired filling on one part of the macaron shell. Sandwich with the drawn Hello Kitty macaron shell and you’re done!
A couple of notes:
- My genius of a cousin helped print out actual Hello Kitty templates for me so I just laid them beneath my baking paper and followed the template while piping. It really helped in achieving almost 80% of the character’s shape.
- The humidity in Singapore is a KILLER! So if you are trying to make macarons, I’d say turn up the air-conditioning for the cool air does help to dry up the macaron shell.
- For the filling, you could basically using whatever you desire. I had some leftover Sea-salt Caramel Chocolate lying around so I melted those and made a simple ganache out of it for the filling.