Culture springs from the roots
And seeping through to all the shoots
To leaf and flower and bud
From cell to cell, like green blood,
Is released by rain showers
As fragrance from wet flower
To fill the air.
But culture that is poured on men
From up above, congeals then
Like damp sugar, so they become
Like sugar dolls and when some
Life giving shower wets them through
They disappear and melt into a sticky mess.
This was my first attempt at making Italian meringue. I usually make macarons using the french method of making meringue. The difference between the french and Italian method is that in the Italian method you have to whip the egg white until hard peak and then add sugar syrup that was boiled to a soft ball stage.
To make the macarons you will need
-2 table spoons of water
-5table spoons of white sugar
-2/3 cup of ground almond
-1-1/2 cups of powder sugar
-3 eggs -1 tea spoon of vanilla powder or extract
-2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-preheat your oven to 170 degrees
-combine water and white sugar in a small sauce pan, stir to combine
-mix the ground almond, powder sugar, ground Cinnamon and sift them twice and set aside
-place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the sugar water to a boil
-do not stir but swirl the pan, if crystals of sugar form on the edges of the pan wash down the edges with a wet brush.
-bring to a boil to 235 F - 240 F (soft ball stage)
-in a mixing bowl beat the egg whites at high speed for about 30 seconds
-to test the syrup drip a small bead into small bowl of water, pick it up from the water, it you should be able to make a small ball using your finger. If its not at the right consistency just yet, heat it a bit longer. (if you heat it too much it will turn into caramel be careful)
-continue beating the egg whites while slowly pouring the syrup into the the egg whites -keep beating until the bottom of the bowl cools down and the meringue is firm and smooth.
-add half of the sifted powder sugar/almond into the meringue
-mix them together, add the rest of the almond/sugar and fold lightly in circular motion
-keep folding until the batter becomes firm and slowly drips of the spatula
-place the macaron batter inside a piping bag with 0.4 inch tip
-line baking sheets with wax paper, pipe small circles into the sheets
-the batter with spread a little so keep few centimeters between each circle
-rap the baking sheet firmly against the counter *this helps the feet to form
-if you want to sprinkle something on them now is the time to do it, I sprinkled chocolate, cinnamon and walnut nibs on them
-dry the batter at room temperature for 15 minutes
-depending on the weather and humidity this it might take more or less time
-touch the surface of the macarons with your finger if it does not stick to your finger that the drying is complete
-bake for 15-18 minutes it usually take 11 with my oven.
-take out when the top is slightly crisp
-allow the macarons to cool completely before removing from the baking sheets
-fill them with what ever filling you like
-I filled them with nutella
Verdict on Italian meringue: getting the syrup to the right temperature isn’t easy it took me few times to get it right. The texture of the macarons is crisper than when made with the french method. Will I use this method again? Maybe, I’m sure. Its fussier than the french method. On a good note this method preserves the macarons better as the hot syrup sterilizes the meringue.
Keep the macarons in an air tight container. You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for about a week.
8 teaspoons of red food coloring ” less or more ” depends on the food coloring brand you use
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl in another bowl mix the liquid ingredients together .. them mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients. line in prepared cupcakes trays bake in a preheated oven 180 c until a tooth pick comes out clean / about 18 minutes. Allow them to completely cool down before frosting
Cream cheese frosting
1/4 unsalted butter
227 grams cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups of icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer cream the butter add the cream cheese gradually add the sugar then the vanilla extract.
chill the frosting in the fridge for 15/ 30 minutes before frosting
This a very basic and easy muffins recipe.. its great because you can add on many different variations to it. it makes about a dozen of muffins.
-2 cups all purpose flour
-3 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1 cup milk
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-preheat the oven to 200 C
-stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl beat egg with a fork stir in milk and oil. ” I like adding a tea spoon of vanilla to get rid of the egg’s smell ” pour all at once into the well of dry ingredients. Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until moistened, but do not beat. The batter with be lumpy. Lumpy batter makes the best muffins.
this time I added 1 cup of chopped strawberries. and folded in the mixture.
Blueberry: 1 cup of fresh blueberries
Dates : 1 cup of chopped dates.
chocolate chip : 1 cup of chocolate chip
the variations are endless. I like to experiment and dry different combination.
After folding the desired filling into the batter, pour the batter into prepared paper muffin pans and bake for 25 or until golden.
Mix the flours and butter with the sugar in a stand mixer. Add egg yolks. Fold in dried rose. Divide the dough into two portions. Roll into logs, wrap each log with baking paper. Refrigerate over night or until firm.
Cut into 1cm slices; place on prepared baking sheets 3cm apart. Bake for 10 -12 minutes.
After many failed attempts at making macarons I’m finally figuring it out and slowly getting to know who to make them. Making these little french delights could be a real pain in the neck at first but after figuring them out they are really easy once you understand the science behind making them.
- Grind the icing sugar + almond powder + cocoa powder in a food processor
-In standing mixer or using a hand mixer beat the egg whites until soft peak forms. (not to stiff and not to runny)
-Gradually add the granulated sugar to the egg whites beat for almost 2 minutes until the egg whites mix gets stiff.
-Fold in the almond sugar and cocoa mix to the egg whites until well incorporated
-Fill the piping bag with the macaron batter
-Pipe circles onto the trays keep one inch between each macaron
-Let the macarons stand before baking them for about 10 minutes
-Bake for about 10 minutes
-Let them cool completely before moving them
White chocolate cream filing
White chocolate cream
-100 gr white chocolate
-200 gr whipping cream
-100 gr icing sugar
-over a double boiler melt the white chocolate
-when the chocolate is completely melted add the cream
-using a mixer beat the cream + chocolate mix and gradually add the icing sugar until you get the consistency you like
- pipe the white chocolate cream filing into a macron shell and sandwich it with another macron shell.
Tips and notes:
It took less time to bake in my oven the original recipe calls for 15-18 minutes of baking. With my oven it took almost 10 minutes .. its recommended to separate the egg whites before hand 24 hours before making the macarons. You can separate the egg white and keep them in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge an hour or two before starting making the macarons to bring them to room temperature.
When folding the egg whites with the almond be careful and gentle. Use rubber spatula or a metal wide spoon.
The original recipe calls for the oven to be preheated on 180 degrees, but I thought that’s too high .. so I decreased it to 160 .. I guess it depends and varies from one oven to another.
Keep in an air tight container and keep them refrigerated until serving