Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pistachio macarons

     These little macarons originate from France. And if you are "macaron-naive" then you should beware that these are not the same kind with the coconut macaroons, they are far from being related! 
     I fell in love with them at first sign. I mean who can resist these little cuties??? The rainbow color circles (as my little son calls them "circle") were arrayed neatly in the display at the pastry shop when they first got my attention.
    Since then I told myself I've got to learn how to make these little "circles" since I don't want to go broke trying to satisfy my palate with this decadent dessert.
    My very first batch of macaron was a total disaster. They looked more like "macawrong" because I over-mixed the batter and they turned out flat and footless. Nevertheless, they were consumed by my supportive customers (my hubby and my boys). I decided not to give up and keep on trying, the second time was a little better but still far from being called perfect. This time at least they had some protruding feet and I was really excited to see them. Since then, I have tried several more times. And each time with different results, some cracked, some hollow, some flat, some wet, some dry... but I told myself "don't give up". And with practice I got a little closer to the look that I fell in love with. 
    These were made a few days ago and since my hubby loves pistachio so I made these for him and the boys per his request. They are not perfect but it's the best that I have got so far. I made with 1/2 almond and 1/2 pistachio flours. As for the filling, I sandwiched them with pistachio buttercream. They are still hollow inside and a little crunchier than I wanted, but the size got more uniform than the most important part is the feet that I am long for! And as for the taste, they are scrumptious! My customers told me so:)

These were resting before being baked.

Say hi to these little cuties! Aren't they the cutest little things?

They can be stored in an airtight container for a couple weeks (if they can last that long).

Recipe (adapted from Not so humble pie): 
Yield about 80 shells (40 macarons)

60g almond meal and 60g pistachio meal
200g powdered sugar
100g egg whites (aged for 24hrs on the kitchen counter)
35g granulated sugar
green food coloring gel 

1. Mix together almond and pistachio meal with powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse until all incorporate well, sift and set aside. Place egg whites in a clean bow of a stand mixer, start at low speed (number 2) until foamy then gradually add in granulated sugar and increase speed to medium (number 6). Add in food color and continue to beat the meringue until a stiff peak formed (do not over mix). 
2. Add the nut flour mixture into the meringue in three additions and start folding until all incorporated (about 50 strokes). This step is very crucial for macarons, make sure you don't over mixed the batter otherwise it will become too runny. However, under-mixed batter will yield cracked and footless macarons. The mixture should flow down like a strand of ribbon as the spatula lifted from the batter. 
3. Attach the round tip (Ateco #11) to the pastry bag and pipe them onto the prepared baking sheets that lined with silpat or parchment paper . The size of each cookie is about the size of a quarter (1 inch), and make sure to leave enough space between the cookies. Pick up the tray and tap down hard on the counter to bring up the bubbles inside the macarons.
4. Let the macarons rest at room temperature for about 30min to dry up the surface (it's ready when it doesn't stick to your finger or feel wet when touched)
5. Preheat the oven to 300F, place an aluminum foil sheet on the top rack to prevent the macarons from  browning too quickly. Then place the cookie sheet on the bottom rack and bake for about 13-15min. 
6. Remove from the oven and let they cool down a little before remove from the silpat or parchment paper. Cool completely on the cookie rack before adding the filling.
7. Assemble the macaron with a small dap of buttercream filling in the middle of one macaron and top with another macaron. Refrigerate the macarons in an airtight container for 24-48hrs before devour them. The macarons need time to mature and absorb the moisture from the filling, so be patient and trust me it worth the wait !

Pistachio buttercream:

50 grams egg whites (about 2 egg whites)
100 grams sugar
150 grams butter, softened
50 grams of pistachio paste or ground pistachio

Mix the egg whites and sugar and place them in the double boiler. Whisk them together until all the sugar dissolved and the egg whites start to turn white and fluffy. Continue whisking until the egg whites become hot to tough. Transfer the egg whites into a mixer bow and start whipping at high speed until light and fluffy (or until the bow is not hot anymore, it takes about 3-5 min).
Start adding softened butter piece by piece until all incorporated into the meringue. It might look like it is curdling but continue whipping will make it comes together. Finally add the pistachio paste and mix well. 
Leftover buttercream can be kept in the freezer.

Enjoy baking all!

1 comment:

  1. Kat,they look beautiful! I promise will do this some day soon:) btw, you done a great job writing your blog. Keep up the good work Kat. I u?ng ho^. you 2 tay , 2 cha^n luo^n ne` :hug


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