Monday 29 June 2015

Matcha Macarons 抹茶马卡龙

There have been so many sharings of macaron baking recently in my Facebook interest groups. It seems like a challenge to be able to bake a smooth macaron with ruffle or feet. After digesting all the do and don't shared by the group members, I finally started to work on my first attempt.
The macaron baking was so hot that the almond powder in the supermarket was swept clean from the shelf. Settle for the alternative, I picked up a packet of chopped almond instead 😁
I found that the most difficult part of the macaron baking process was the sieving of almond flour and icing sugar. It took me more than 20 minutes to get it done! 0.o
To me macaron seem to be an overly sweet confection. It needs something bitter to counter the sweetness. That's my reason for choosing the matcha flavour macaron to try on.
Unaware that wetness could ruin the smooth surface of the macaron, my finger was too wet while trying to push down the little spikes on the macaron batter. My baked macaron developed bumps during baking. So sad ... :(

I was glad that my first attempt on macaron baking could still give me two discerning macarons to take picture, hehe :)
The macarons tasted nicer after one day of refrigeration 😄

Revised recipe based on egg white quantity to determine the quantity of the rest of the recipe

Yield: 15 bite size macarons

Macaron ratio
By multiplying the egg white weight to the respective factors to obtain the individual weight of the other ingredients:

Egg white: x 1
Fine sugar: x 1
Almond powder*: x 1.17
Icing sugar: x 1.33
Matcha powder: 1 tsp

* superfine blanched almond powder

Matcha macaron shell 
If, 1 egg white weighs 38g

The recipe will be as follows:
Egg white = 38 x 1 = 38g
Fine sugar = 38 x 1 = 38g
Almond powder = 38 x 1.17 = 45g
Icing sugar = 38 x 1.33 = 51g
Matcha powder = 1 tsp

1. Blitz ground almond, icing sugar and matcha in a food blender till very fine.
If you are using chopped almond, grind the almond bits into finer flour before adding icing sugar and matcha to blitz.

2. Sieve mixture. If there are still about 2 tbsp of mixture remain in the sieve, grind the mixture and sieve again.

3. In a dry and clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites at medium speed, till foamy.

Add in the fine sugar, in a few small batches, and beat at medium
low speed till the sugar has well incorporated with the egg whites. The meringue will begin to become more glossy.

Bring the mixer speed to high and continue to beat till stiff peaks formed.  The meringue at this stage should be firm and glossy.

4. Sieve in the almond mixture, in a few batches, and fold in using a spatula.

5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle.

6. Pipe batter onto a parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Allow about 2 cm spacing between each piped batter.

Silicon baking mat for macaron

Or, parchment paper.

Bang the tray against the work top to smoothen the batter surface, as well as to get rid of air bubbles. 

Use a stick with pointed tip to cover up those stubborn air holes that don't go away.

7. Start to preheat the oven to 140 degree Celsius when you finish piping.

8. Allow the piped batter to rest for about 30 minutes to dry up the surface. You can rest the batter under a fan to facilitate the drying process.
At the end of 30 minutes, the surface of the batter should be dry to touch. 

The surface turns matt when it is dry.

 Meet Furby the rabbit 🐰

9. Bake in the preheated oven at 140 degree Celsius for about 16 to 20 minutes at bottom rack. 

10. Cool on a rack before removing from the parchment paper or baking mat.
Keep the macaron shells in an air tight container till needed.

Matcha Buttercream filling
30g salted butter
15g icing/fine sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp milk
1/2 tsp matcha powder

1. Whip softened butter for about 3 minutes, then add in the icing/fine sugar and continue to whip till the cream becomes pale. 

2. Add in the vanilla extract, milk and matcha powder. Mix till smooth.

3. Transfer the matcha cream to a piping bag and keep in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

4. Pair up the macaron shells according to their sizes.

5. Cut away the tip of the matcha filling piping bag. Pipe a thick ring of matcha cream over one of the macaron shells.

Place another matching size macaron shell over. Press lightly to even out the filling. Keep the macarons in an air right container and refrigerate them.

Take out the macarons about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Yumz 😋

Recipe adapted with special appreciations to the generous friends who shared the recipes and tips :)

Macaron shell 
Singapore Home Cooks member, Joey Foo, 

Baking's Corner member, Daniel Leong,

for the matcha recipe ^^

Saturday 27 June 2015

Fruity Milk Sorbet 水果牛奶冰沙

These cold fruity sorbets prepared by blending frozen fruits with milk offer a good quenching and heat-dissipating dessert on a hot day :)

Yield: 4 glasses

200~220g strawberries
450g fresh milk
1~2 tbsp honey/fine sugar 
1/2 cup ice cubes

1. Rinse and dry soft ripe strawberries

2. Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters.

3. Place the cut strawberries in a container and seal with a food wrap.

4. Transfer to a freezer to chill for at least 3 hours, or till the fruit has completely frozen.

5. Place the frozen strawberries in a tall blender cup and add milk to almost the fruit height.

6. Add some honey if you prefe it sweet.

7. Cover with a cross-blade base and give the cup a few good shakes. 

8. Blend the ingredients till smooth. You may have to stop the blending process1 to 2 times to give a few brief stirrings.

9. Scoop the blended strawberry sorbet to the serving cups.

10. Pour the remaining milk to a clean blending cup and add about 1/2 cup of ice cubes. 

You may want to add sugar if you prefer it sweet.

11. Blend and pour the milk sorbet over the strawberry sorbet.

12. Enjoy it cold ;)

You may want to try using soft ripe mango in place of strawberry. As the mango is sweeter than the strawberry, you can omit or reduce the honey.