More Kitty Macarons

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

Method:

  1. Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  2. Sift powdered sugar with the almond powder to ensure that there are no lumps.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva or here to see what I’ve been cooking in Singapore. 

Hello Kitty-rons!

It’s been a while since I baked any macarons back here in Singapore.  The humidity is a killer and it’s tough trying to get the macaron shells to ‘harden’ before popping them into the oven.  The past couple of times where I attempted to make macarons, it’s always been at my cousin’s place.  Somehow it’s more fun trying to bake stuff with another person than on my own.

This time round, we decided to try to make up a batch of macarons in the shape of my fave cartoon character – Hello Kitty!

Although we did get the shape right but the macs didn’t have any feet.  In addition, the shells weren’t as smooth as we would like them to be.  I guess there’s always a next time but for now, meet our Hello Kitty-rons who are way too tanned and whose complexion ain’t that fantastic.

Better luck next time I hope!

Bejewelled bites

Got busy in the kitchen again.  Not mine, but I hopped over to my cousin’s place one afternoon to teach her how to make macarons.  While I realised that it can be rather challenging to make macarons in Singapore given the high humidity that our tiny island has but I also picked up a couple of new things from my genius-of-a-cook cousin.

Thanks to my cousin, we were blessed with a little ‘beginner’s luck’ when I taught her to make her very first batch of macarons.  They actually had feet!!  She had just made some lemon curd with lavender so we used that as a filling.  For the shells, we went for a very basic shell in a pretty shade of Tiffany Blue.

Looks like I’m getting the groove back on baking in the kitchen.  Missing the peeps and my lil’ Style Princess from Geneva though, I know that they would love to have these.

Chasing those blues..

Whipped this batch of macarons for pals and realised they looked like blue treats for Smurfs instead of humans.  Kinda exotic but fun I guess and that put a smile on my face.

When friends saw these gems, they kinda squealed too.  Blue macarons?  Who makes blue macarons?  Well, me I guess.  Just wanted something fun in every bite.

Hazelnut Macarons with Black Truffle & White Chocolate 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
  • 38g icing sugar
  • 36g powdered almonds
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of gel-based blue colouring
  • 1 tbsp powdered hazelnuts (for topping)

Method:

  1. Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  2. Sift powdered sugar with the almond powder to ensure that there are no lumps.
  3. 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 colouring.  Continue to beat the egg whites on high for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. 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. [Note: Sometimes I use up to about 40 strokes in order to achieve this consistency.]
  5. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

For Black Truffle & White Chocolate Ganache:

  • 70g White chocolate
  • 40ml double cream
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon chopped black truffles (I used dried black truffles)

  1. Hydrate dried black truffles by placing them in the cream overnight.
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling.
  3. Pour the cream over the white chocolate and leave to stand for two minutes. This will give the chocolate time to soften.
  4. Stir the ganache until smooth. If the white chocolate has not yet melted then place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth.
  5. Leave the white chocolate ganache to cool until it reaches the desired consistency.
  6. Refrigerate ganache till it sets to a pipe-able state and fill/spoon over the cooled macaron shells.

Assembling macarons:

  1. Spread the black truffle white chocolate ganache on the macaron shell.
  2. Sandwich and you are done!

It’s recommended that you let the flavours sit inside the macaron for 1 day before having them.

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I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva.

Just the way I like it..

Macarons.  They are often said to be too sweet.  But truth be told, we’ve tasted those heavenly macarons from Pierre Hermé and Luxemburgerli (macarons) from Sprüngli and the verdict?  I say a match made in heaven with flavours from the filling and the shell complimenting one another and tantilizing the taste-buds further.

When I started making macarons, I was worried that it would turn out all too sweet.  But along my macaron journey and under the guidance of many other macaron- bloggers out there (namely R from The Pleasure Monger), I started experimenting with different flavours for the macaron shells and the fillings.  R once told me that you can’t really reduce the quantity of the sugar for the macaron shells for it needs the exact amount of sugar for the macaron shells to be firm but you can control the amount of sugar you put in for the filling.  Sound advice from the Macaron guru herself.  🙂

My macaron journey started some 9 months ago when we moved to Geneva.  I had no strong desire to learn French but didn’t know how to fill my days so I started to read up on how to make macarons.  After days of reading, it kinda felt like I was studying for a big macaron exam.  I finally summoned enough ‘courage’ to attempt baking macarons in the kitchen.  It took up half my day baking these tiny ones.  As the final product emerged and popped off almost perfectly from the baking sheet, I was over-joyed and the macaron madness began.  Haven’t looked back since I had friends plus the Style Princess who were only all to happy to taste what I whipped up.

As I close this chapter of my macron adventures in Geneva, I thought I’ll share one of my favourite macaron combo – Popcorn Macarons with Salted Caramel Buttercream.  This combo has been really special to me and with every bite, a blend of sweet and salty flavours emerge to tease the taste-buds further.  This is how I really enjoy eating macarons, so even when choosing which flavours to buy, the sea-salt caramel flavour would always be my top choice.

Also, I’m going to give it another go and participate in this month’s challenge – ‘Macaron Day‘ over at MacTweets.  I don’t know if I will start picking up the electric whisk to make more macarons when we return back to Singapore.  But if you are willing to taste what I have to bake, I’ll be happy to start baking again.  😉

If you’ve been following my macaron adventures, thanks very much for reading.  And if you’ve tried any of my recipes, a big thank you to you too! I hope you found success in making these macarons.  Following one of the suggestions by Vivian to post a step-by-step guide on how to make macarons, I forgot and only managed to take one picture during the macaron baking process.  But the next time I bake macarons, I’ll remember to document the process.

Salted Buttered Popcorn Macarons with Salted Caramel
Makes about 10 filled bite-sized macarons

For Macaron Batter

  • 1 egg white (preferably aged for 3 days) brought to room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 38g icing sugar
  • 36g powdered almonds
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • Crushed salted buttered popcorn

Method:

  1. Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
  2. Sift powdered sugar with the almond powder to ensure that there are no lumps
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until they begin to foam. At this stage, add the cream of tartar and the 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.
  4. 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. I used about 40 strokes to incorporate the dry mixture into the egg whites. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  5. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
  6. 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.
  7. Sprinkle on top of macarons crushed popcorn.
  8. 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.
  9. Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

To make Salted Caramel Buttercream:

Whisk 3 tbsp of butter (room temperature) for about 1 – 2 minutes until the butter becomes light and fluffy.  Add 2 tbsp of heavy cream and whisk further for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp of icing sugar and continue until they are thoroughly mixed. Lastly, add approximately 2 tbsp of salted caramel, mix thoroughly.

Assembling macarons:

Simply spoon Salted Caramel Buttercream on the macaron shell. Sandwich and you are done!

It’s recommended that you let the flavours sit inside the macaron for 1 day before having them. :)

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I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva.