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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crispy French Macarons

French Macarons
I like Joanne Chang's recipe, it makes crispy and crunchy macarons, you may use converter for measurement accuracy. It is better to make lemon curd macaron filling first. 

Crispy French Macarons
recipe by Joanne Chang

1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs (210 g) icing sugar

1-1/4 cups plus 2 Tbs (124 g) 
almond flour

4 large (132 g) egg whites, at room temperature (separated a day before keep in refrigerator) 

1/4 cup (56.25 g) castor sugar

Make the Batter
Line completely flat baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking  liners and set aside.
Using a medium-mesh sieve, sift the icing sugar and almond flour  into a large bowl and set aside. 

In a clean stand mixer whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of castor sugar and continue to whip for another 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat 3 times with the remaining castor sugar. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, continue whipping the whites until they turn glossy and stiff (when you lift the beater(s) from the bowl, the whites should hold a straight peak without droopy, 4 to 8 minutes more.

Use rubber spatula fold in half of the castor sugar mixture. Once most of it has been incorporated, fold in the remaining  mixture until just combined.

Pipe the Cookies
Using a piping bag (I used normal plastic bag as I used it in pizza just cut a corner), pipe the batter onto the prepared sheets in rounds, spaced about 1 inches apart. As you pipe, hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and flick the tip of the bag as you finish each cookie to minimize the peaks. Rap the sheet against the counter several times to flatten the mounds and pop any  large air bubbles. Let rest until the meringues no longer feel tacky, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 160°C.
If the batter still feels tacky, let it rest for a few more minutes before baking.

Bake the Cookies
Put 2 of the cookie sheets in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130°C (let the remaining sheets sit at room temperature). Bake, rotating the sheets and swapping their positions after 8 minutes, until the meringues are very pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Cool completely on  the baking sheets on racks. Meanwhile, return the oven temperature to 160°C  and then bake the remaining sheet as you did for the first two.

Remove the meringues from the parchment and pair them by size.

Fill the Cookies
Using a piping bag to pipe the cookies, pipe the filling onto half of the cookies—you want to use just  enough filling that it spreads to the edge when topped but doesn’t squish out much when bitten. Top the filled halves with their partners. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Lemon Curd Macarons Filling
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) (45.50 g) unsalted butter 
3 large eggs 
1 large egg yolk 
1/2 cup castor sugar 
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste or essence
1/8 tsp. salt

Heat the lemon juice and butter over medium-high heat until just under a boil. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk and then slowly whisk in the sugar until combined. Whisk the hot lemon juice mixture into the sugar and eggs bit by bit, you don't want to cook the egg with hot lemon juice mixture.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently, until the curd thickens and coats the spoon, 2 to 4 minutes. Draw your finger along the back of the spoon; when the curd is done, it should hold the trail.

Remove the curd from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the surface of the curd, and chill for 1 to 2 hours before using.

make ahead tips

The curd can be made up to 5 days ahead; refrigerate in an airtight container. 

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