Friday, 14 February 2014

Matcha Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache (Pierre Hermes Italian Method) Tutorial Recipe

Yum

It's been a long time, more than a year, since I last attempted to make macarons. The first time was a total failure, there were no feet at all and many shells were cracked. The second attempt which was my last attempt, turned out better than the first. Half of the shells showed feet but that's only halfway to a successful tray of macarons. I stopped trying after that as firstly, I am not a macaron fan, secondly, there are so many other recipes to try out in my long to-bake-and-try list. Lastly, I am not confident of getting those pretty feets out.

After a hiatus, I finally plucked up courage again to attempt this temperamental and yet dainty mini meringue sandwich cookie yesterday. I have intended it to be a Valentine's day gift for my other half and thank God the macarons turned out well and I can present it to hubby later.

I have adapted and modified the recipe from Pierre Herme Macarons book. This greatly sought-after book is a Christmas gift from my dear hubby. He is a macaron lover and by giving me the book, he hopes that I can bake macarons successfully and of course it will delight his palate! 

Just a bit about Pierre Hermes here. This most celebrated French patissier is famous for his macarons, many of which have unusual flavor combinations. He is even dubbed 'The Picasso of Pastry' by the French Vogue magazine!

In Pierre Hermes recipes, he uses the Italian method. I had reduced the amount of ingredients to a quarter as I thought it's wiser to try out a small portion first especially when there is uncertainty in the success rate. I was overjoyed when I saw feet coming out of the shells after baking for just two minutes and so nicely formed after another minute. It only took about eight minutes to bake the macaron shells in my new oven. I had actually programmed it longer thinking that it would take about the same time as my old oven to cook the shells. Good thing I was watching closely in front of the oven and stop the cooking immediately when I saw a few shells starting to brown a little. So, I would advise you not to walk away but keep a watchful eye when you are baking macarons.  

Here is the basic tant pour tant which I have tried successfully. This time I used fresh room temperature egg whites instead of aged ones. Aged egg whites are recommended in order to lose the eggs elasticity and are usually prepared one week in advance and kept in the fridge prior to using. My experiment proved that using fresh egg whites did not affect the macaronage at all. I used my left over two egg yolks to make my favourite homemade matcha ice-cream without using an ice-cream maker. You can hop over to this page to take a look at the recipe. 

Here's the step by step method which I have spent much time preparing to help you achieve success. I have also shared useful tips and my experience which you may find helpful when you attempt this French dessert. 

Lastly, a Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers and may you spend good time with your loved ones today! 


Matcha Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache (Tutorial Recipe)

Ingredients:

For the macaron shells (makes about 26 = 13 macarons)
75g Ground Almonds (I used superfine ones from Phoon Huat)
75g Icing Sugar
55g Egg White (Divide into 2 equal portions, each 27.5g)
5g Premium Matcha Powder (you can replace this with unsweetened cocoa powder if making chocolate flavour) 
75g castor sugar
20g water

For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
100g 70% Dark Chocolate
100g Dairy Whipping Cream


Preparation:
1. Weigh out the ingredients.
2. Prepare 2 piping bags, one for the macaron batter and the other for the ganache or cream filling. Insert a nozzle right to the end of the bag. (I used Wilton IA)
3. Make your own template, Cut a sheet of baking parchment so that it fits inside the baking tray. Draw circles measuring 3.5cm in diameter using a glass, small cup or cap. Stagger the lines and space the circles 2cm apart.



Note: If your ground almond is kept in the refrigerator, dry it in a preheated oven (80 degrees with fan mode) before you use it. 

Method: Making the macaron shells
1. Sift together the icing sugar, ground almond and matcha powder.




2. Pour the first portion of egg white into the bowl of icing sugar and ground almonds. Use a rubber spatula to mix well. 



3. Bring the sugar and water to boil at 118 degrees celcius. When the syrup reaches 80 degree celcius, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks. 




4. When the sugar reaches 118 degree celcius, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50 degree celcius.




5. Then fold it into the mixture of ground almonds and icing sugar. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. 




6. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, 2cm apart on a baking tray lined with non-stick coating baking paper. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes until a skin forms on the surface. (Mine took an hour) 




7. Preheat the oven to 160 degree celcius, bottom heat with fan. (I used the 'pulsed bottom element' function for my Brandt oven FP1067XS) Put the baking tray into the oven. Bake for 12 minutes. (It took about 8 minutes for my oven) 



8. As soon as you take the macaron shells out of the oven, slide the baking paper on to the work surface. (Note: this is important, if you leave the shells on the baking tray, they will go on cooking.) Allow the shells to cool on the baking paper. 




9. Carefully unstick half the cooled shells from the baking paper, one at a time by hand. lay them flat-side up, side by side on another sheet of baking paper. They are ready to be filled. (Note: You can also store them for 48 hours in the fridge or freeze them) 


Method: Making the Chocolate Ganache
1. Chopped up the chocolate into very small pieces. Put into a bowl and use the bain marie (double boil method) to melt the chocolate over low heat. (I melt the bowl of chocolate directly on Brandt induction hob TI1028B as the ultra low heat does not burnt the chocolate at all, thus there is no need for a bain marie.) 

2. After the chocolate has melted, stir it to a smooth consistency.

3. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to the boil. stirring with a whisk to prevent the cream sticking to the base of the pan. 

4. Pour a third of the hot cream into the centre of the bowl and start whisking for a few minutes. (Note: Don't worry if the cream separates when you pour in the hot cream. This is caused by molecules of fat in the cream and chocolate separating.) 

5. Pour the second third of the hot cream into the bowl and stir until the consistency starts to thicken, pour in the last third and work your way out to the sides of the bowl in widening circles. 

6. Cover the ganache with clingfilm so that the film is touching the surface. Allow the ganache to cool before putting it into the fridge to thicken a little.




Assembling the Macarons:
1. Scoop the ganache into a piping bag. Twist the end of the bag tightly with several twist to trap the ganache firmly in the bag. 

2. Position yourself about 2cm above the macaron shell. Hold the piping bag vertically and squeeze it very gently. Pipe a generous amount of ganache onto each shell, making sure you leave a edge of about 3mm. 

3. Cover each filled shell with a second shell and press down very lightly. 

4. Place the filled macarons side by side in an air-tight container and store them in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.  


Thanks to my girl who just came home and help me capture the piping of chocolate
ganache on the shells. 


Photos are personally taken by baking taitai with an iphone, sometimes with just one hand while working with the other. 

“It takes time and effort to compose or translate recipes, I would appreciate it if you do not copy and pass it off as your own recipe. If you wish to share or adapt any of the recipes that I have posted in this blog, please provide a link back to the relevant post here. Thank you.”


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2 comments :

Victoria Bakes said...

wow, very nice macarons there! thanks for the detailed tutorial... i certainly need that

Cheryl - Bakingtaitai said...

Hi Victoria Bakes, thanks for your compliments. You are most welcome...do try it and share with me how it goes. :)

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