Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mini Orange Macarons


As sugar plays a big part in macarons for structure & texture.
 I've been wondering why 2 different types of sugar is used. I have been doing my research and have found that increasing the ratio of icing sugar produces a higher feet with the macaron. Caster sugar produces a harder shell and stronger structure where as the icing sugar gives a higher feet but weaker structure.

In my experiment, I have used a higher ratio of icing sugar and as the structure will be weaker I made mini ones & normal size ones to compare whether size of the macarons will be effected.
The larger ones (pictured above) actually looks really good.

Though the shell isn't shiny but overall it has lovely feet & they are chewy.

The macarons were left in an airtight container overnight and the colour & texture have improved. 
The shell was still hard and the texture was still chewy! 

If you would like to try this recipe, here are the ingredients. 

70g ground almonds
90g icing sugar
50g egg whites (aged* optional) 
20g caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar 
Few drops of orange food colouring

* I've used aged egg white where I left out in the room for 2 days. 

For the method you can follow my step by step guide here but as the ratio of icing sugar is higher you would only need 25-30 folds. I have found that using less caster sugar in the meringue, it won't whisk to shiny stiff peaks. Just whisk until you get firm peaks even though it looks matt.
As soon as the dry ingredients mixes in with the meringue, you can see it changes in texture immediately, if you have made macarons before then you will know what I mean. Just be careful not to over fold at this stage. 

I made lots of  mini size macarons in preparation for a mango mousse cake. 
For the filling, I will be using orange curd, just want to keep a fruity flavour to go with the fresh fruits in the cakes I'll be using. 

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Mont Blanc

At last, I have made Mont Blanc. A french dessert with a sponge base, meringue center and chestnut cream.
My kids are not a big fans of chestnut puree which is why it took me so long to eventually make these.
I had a tin of chestnut puree sitting in my cupboard for ages and only remembered I had it when I was decluttering it.
Well, which means I might as well make it even though I know the kids won't eat it.
At least it's ticked off my to bake list now.

Feeling very satisfied.....
There are so many different ways to decorate these and I particularly like the ones with the chestnut puree piped into strands and swirling around a meringue.
As usual, my recipes are very simple. I have done some short cuts or you can call it 'cheat proof' ways with this recipe as I haven't got time to prepare everything from scratch.
So a tinned chestnut puree and shop bought meringues are very handy when I want to quickly make a  dessert like this.