Thursday, December 01, 2011
Wohoo... follow by the macaron curse week, the Macaron God is with me this week YAY!!! Praise the Macaron Lord lol!
So what am I up to is baking up batches and batches of shells for some order for this weekend :) I have NO failed batches! I was surprised. Guess I am getting use to work with my oven baking few batches in continuous manner. My oven is one of those kind that heat up A LOT when it reaches its temperature. I guess letting some cold air and lower the temperature before putting in the next batch does help. I am glad that I find a way to work better.
I bought a second grill for the oven thinking i could do 2 batches in one go but it doesn't seem to work for those in the bottom rack, there is just not enough heat to rise the macarons on the bottom shelf. So I think I am going to bake them in chain and I could have better control over baking.
So what's up in Dec? Well the idea of making Speculoos macaron had lingering on my mind. My brother in law told me maybe some people would be interested. So I decided it's time to make some today. For those who doesn't know what Speculoos is, it's a Belgium cookies / biscuits made with butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. In Belgium it's available in spread too, just like Nutella. Here we started to see them in fine grocer not long ago - the price tag is ahem... about 6 euros for a small pot.
Having eating much better and more careful of what we use since 2 years ago, I refused to buy industrially made biscuits or Speculoos spread that might be full of unknown preservative, coloring, sugar etc etc .. Before this I've only known store bought Speculoos, I made the biscuits then the spread, it was just delicious - definitely nothing like the sugary one from the store :)
Enjoy the baking! Don't worry it might seems like a lot of work but it wasn't that difficult :0)
For the biscuit (to obtain 50g biscuit)
1. 50 g flour
2. 30 g brown sugar
3. 25 g butter (or margarine)
4. 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
5. pinch of baking soda
6. pinch of salt
1. Melt the butter.
2. In a mixer add in all ingredients above, pour in the melted butter and mix until it forms a smooth dough.
3. Form a ball, cover with a humid tea towel and let rest in the room temperature for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, preheat the oven to 190 C.
5. Flatten the dough to 3mm thick. Cut out with cookies cutter.
6. Put the cut out dough on a sheet of baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
For the Speculoos Spread
1. 50g of Speculoos (crushed into powdered form in a blender)
2. 20g honey (or aloe vera syrup)
3. 10g sugar
4. 30ml soy milk
5. 30g de good quality white chocolate (chopped finely)
1. In a small pot, heat up soymilk, sugar and honey but do not let it boil.
2. In a bowl, put powdered speculoors and chocolate together.
3. When the milk mixture is warm, pour in 1/3 of the mixture into the bowl, mix well, repeat until the mixture is used up and a smooth paste is form.
4. The mixture would be a bit liquid when warm but it will harden up slightly as it cools.
5. Pour in a jam pot, close the lid and let cool. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator.
For the shell
1. 40g egg white
2. 30g almond powder
3. 50g icing sugar
4. 30g castor sugar
5. 5g cacao powder (unsweetened)
1. In a blender, mix up the almond powder, icing sugar,and cacao powder, sieve it and set aside
2.Beat the egg white until frothy, add in half of the sugar, keep beating till you get a soft peak and then add in the rest of the sugar. Beat to stiff peak.
3. Add the blended dry ingredients to the stiff egg white.
4. Keep folding until you get a mixture that flow slowly like lava. This should take about 50 folds. The mixture should be uniformed and shiny. When lifted, it should flow down and form a thick ribbon.
5. Put a piece of baking sheet over a baking tray, pipe the mixture. Sprinkle some crushed biscuit over the shells
6. Let the macaron sit until a shell is formed and it's no longer stick to the fingers when touched. Depending on your room temperature, and air humidity this should takes somewhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Pre-heat the oven on 150 C with top and bottom heating.
8. When the oven is heated up, put in the piped macarons. Increase to 160 C after 2 minutes and continue baking for about 4-5 minutes, be sure to work with your oven and you might need a few test to know how much your oven heats up. The feet should already be forming after 4-5mins. Decrease the temperature to 150C, open the oven door quickly to allow hot air to escape. bake for another 6-8 minutes until the shells are baked.
9. To know if your macarons are baked, you could try it by gently touching the shells, when it's baked it should no longer slide against the feet.
10. If the macaron shells are not well baked, extend the baking time by 1 minutes and recheck.
11. Let macaron cooled before removing them from the baking sheet. You could speed up the process by lightly wetting your working area with a sponge and drag the baking sheets over.
12. Match up all the similar size shells, and get the ready for filling.