Rose Petal Confit Macarons

Yet another weekend! Yet another party! Yet another macaron presented to you today by yours truly.

I hope you wouldn’t mind me bombarding your parties with macarons so often! If you do, ummmm, hmm…guilty as charged. 😉
I wasn’t planning on making macarons for quite some time now, but I got a request. My ex-boss, an extremely humorous and down to earth fella was visiting and he subtly slipped it into our conversation that I promised him macarons! I so did not! I had a good laugh about it and said I’d think about it.. 😉 He also happened to mention that his favorite were coffee macarons which meant I should definitely experiment with the coffee flavor. So I made some mocha macarons.

DSC_0496

Task accomplished, well almost. I have also been meaning to make rose petal jam macarons for months now. I have tried buying different types of petals and make the jam at home but it simply tastes terrible and quite bitter. We do not usually eat jam and I rarely buy it. So when I was looking for plum butter to use for a cake, my eyes fell upon rose petal confit at the supermarket! I was elated! Super elated friends! 😀

DSC_0598_p

Now, I only had to make the macaron shells and use the ready made filling….. 😉 They turned out to be the best macarons macaron shells I have ever baked. They were the right kind of crunchy and chewy! yay! Usually, the almond meal is made at home by me, however I used the store bought almond meal for these ones, perhaps that could have been the reason? I still don’t know! The only feedback I got on this one was that they were a tad too sweet! Accepted! I need to improvise on them. 🙂

fin

 

Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1  egg white

For the Italian meringue :
1  egg whites
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water

DSC_0541

Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.

1

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.
The original recipe calls for using lemon juice, as i was out of lemons i have instead opted to use cream of tartar which works fine too.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.

2

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 2 minutes. Now add the food colouring and whisk again until the meringue is colored uniformly, about 1 minute.

2654935791f89362ee0a254ec12e54b527d1f985000732d05f9c03d4c7331c02

Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.

3

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cooled.

4

Assembling the Macarons:

Spoon about one teaspoon of the rose petal confit onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
Repeat with the remaining macarons and Store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.

DSC_0578_p

I am taking these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party and love to see you there! 😀

DSC_0573

 

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

 

Masala Chai Macarons

06:00 hours. 15th August, 1994
“Sonu, Monu wake up”. (That was and still is our nickname at home 😉 ) “Wake up kids, the parade is going to start soon!” This was the same routine every year where our dad with a child’s enthusiasm would wake us early morning on a holiday to watch the Independence Day parade.

68th Independence Day Parade. Pic Courtesy: NDTV

68th Independence Day Parade.
Pic Courtesy: NDTV

I remember being in awe as I would see members of the Indian Armed Forces marching in perfect rhythm. The TV Channels would screen patriotic movies and those were happy times. We would be treated to some amazing food and of course, desserts. How can a celebration be complete without sweets, may I ask?

A Ladakhi in a traditional attire performs during a full dress rehearsal for Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar.  Photo Courtesy: Nissar Ahmad, The Hindu

A Ladakhi in a traditional attire performs during a full dress rehearsal for Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar.
Photo Courtesy: Nissar Ahmad, The Hindu

Balloons in the colour of Inda's National Flag - Tiranga (Tricolour)fill the sky in front of the Red Fort in Delhi.  Photo Courtesy : Ndtv.com

Balloons in the colour of Inda’s National Flag – Tiranga (Tricolour)fill the sky in front of the Red Fort in Delhi.
Photo Courtesy : Ndtv.com

Unlike the rest of my family, I am not a tea-drinker. It is the welcome drink in many households and sometimes the hosts might get offended if you refuse to have tea. 🙂 I’ve had my share of tea rather unwilling many a times with the exception of masala chai.

Image Courtesy: Shikha Nambiar http://yellowturquoise.blogspot.in/

Image Courtesy: Shikha Nambiar
http://yellowturquoise.blogspot.in/

I thoroughly enjoy a good cup of masala chai and there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the spicy tea that leaves my palate mesmerized.
In my endeavor to create something sweet that is inspired heavily from Indian flavors, I’d love to share with you my Masala Chai Macarons.

DSC_0491

DSC_0505
Ingredients :

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg white
1 tsp Masala Chai Mix (Black Pepper,Dry Ginger,Cassia,Cardamom,Nutmeg,Clove,Black Cardamom)

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg white
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Ivory Food coloring (optional)

Tea Infused Chocolate Ganache :
100ml whipping cream
2 teabags, black tea
100g dark chocolate,  finely chopped (or white chocolate if you wish)

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds, masala chai mix and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage. I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites. Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring and whisk again until the meringue is colored uniformly.

Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Tea infused Chocolate Ganache:
Place the cream in a small pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the tea bags. Rinse the tea bags into the cream quickly so as the cream doesn’t cool down.
Remove the tea bag and strain the cream over the chocolate and whisk in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon about one teaspoon of ganache onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
Repeat with the remaining ganache and macaroons and store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.

Masala Chai Macarons

Masala Chai Macarons

We all enjoyed these macarons and I had some friends fighting over these. Well, you are allowed to unleash the child within you on special occasions. 🙂

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

I will be taking these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday for the celebrations!

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Cardamom (Elaichi) Macarons

“Well mam…Your perfume is driving me crazy. Is there anyway we can expedite this order?” said he. She replied, “May I correct you, sir. It is not perfume. It is cardamom.
We live next to a spice merchant and he grinds cardamom all day. It gets in all our clothes.”
If anyone has seen the movie “Outsourced”, I’m sure this dialogue would ring a bell! Over the last few days, I have been missing my mother terribly and I knew if there is one spice that can describe her it is Cardamom.

DSC_1006

Not only does cardamom have a deep, rich and distinct taste, but also an aromatic fragrance. My mother, a strong individual with her own identity, extremely humble and the most giving and caring person has always been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Missing her terribly, I decided to recreate one of her famous loved desserts, the custard (crème pâtissière). Most of the times, she would use the pastry cream and make it in a lot of different ways to create gorgeous trifles. As for myself, I’ve made a humble effort to use cardamom, ubiquitous in her custard preparations.

mom final2

Cardamom, being so rich, I thought that macarons would be a fitting tribute. There might be other recipes for cardamom macarons, this is my version of the cardamom macaron filled with a rich vanilla custard! My home was smelling heavenly just as I removed the macarons from my oven. Who needs to use a room freshener after all? 🙂

I was a bit skeptical as to how they would be received. Much to my surprise, they vanished in the twinkling of an eye making me wonder if I made enough? 😉

Elaichi Macarons

Elaichi Macarons

 

Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients :

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg white
Ground Cardamom, 1/2-1 tsp as per taste

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg white
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Green Food coloring (optional)

Pastry Cream:
2 egg yolks
33 g caster sugar
7 g plain flour
8 g cornflour
175 ml milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
icing sugar, for dusting
Pistachios/ nuts of your choice, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds, ground cardamom and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring and whisk again until the meringue is colored uniformly.
IMG_5850
Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.
IMG_5854
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.
IMG_5855
Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.
IMG_5859

Pastry Cream :
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour. Whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside.
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan. It is important to slowly pour the hot milk onto the cold eggs before you return the mixture to the pan to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and dust with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming. Cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of pastry cream in another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.
IMG_5869

Add the chopped nuts if using and fold into the pastry cream.

Assembling the macarons :

Spoon or pipe the pastry cream onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.

DSC_0014

These will make for a delightful gift as well!

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

lasttwo

Lemon-Basil Macarons

Macarons au Citron Jaune et Basilic as the French would call it. 🙂

I have found myself cooking with lemon a lot last few weeks. I think the famous proverb, modified, would suit me best “A lemon a day keeps the doctor away”. 😉 So when I had some lemon basil cream leftover from my Lemon Basil Cheesecake I thought they would be ideal to fill up some macarons.

Lemon Basil Macarons

Lemon Basil Macarons

The lemon basil cream is so versatile and can be used in different desserts, for example, to fill eclairs or profiteroles, to fill up tarts, as a filling for a layered cake. Sky is the limit I’d say. 🙂

I enjoyed making these and friends enjoyed eating these even more. 🙂
DSC_0614

Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients :

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg white

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg white
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Yellow Food coloring (optional)

Lemon Basil Cream :
1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml lemon juice
5 medium basil leaves
DSC_0626
Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring, I have used golden yellow and brown (4:2) and whisk again until the meringue is coloured uniformly.

Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Lemon Basil Cream :

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the lemon juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the basil leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.

Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.

Chill for at least an hour.
DSC_05831
Assembling the macarons :

Spoon about one teaspoon of the lemon basil cream onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Sea Salt Caramel Macaroons

Sweet and salty, this has always been one of my favorite food combinations. I absolutely love having my samosas and jalebis for those special Sunday brunch, not to forget the savory sev and sweet boondi at any time of the day.
Watching a movie sans salted and caramel pop-corns combo…..ummmm…..No, nie, can’t do. 🙂

Having made a rich, decadent and delicious salted caramel sauce successfully on my second attempt, I decided to bake macaroons to put them to good use. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for about two weeks, drizzle some over an ice cream or french toast, use it for a creme caramel, bake chocolate cupcakes with caramel centers. I can’t stop thinking of how I am going to use mine. 🙂

In this recipe, I have opted to use the caramel sauce rather than making a butter-cream with it as this makes the caramel pop out and the star in the caramel macaroon recipe.I’ve used the basic macaroon recipe for the shells, coloring them in the ratio of yellow:ivory:red as 4:2:1. The caramel sauce needs to be tended to constantly as it can get burned in a matter of seconds.

The recipe is fairly straight forward and needless to say the fruit of my labor was well worth it!

DSC_04292
Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg whites

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg whites
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Golden yellow, ivory and red Food coloring

For the Caramel filling :
0.5 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/8 liquid cup water
1/2 liquid cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
DSC_0482
Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring, I have used golden yellow and brown (4:2) and whisk again until the meringue is coloured uniformly.
IMG_5165
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm apart.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Salted Caramel :
In a heavy saucepan stir together the sugar, syrup, and water until the sugar is completely moistened.
Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling.

Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber. Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.

Stir in the butter and salt. The mixture will be streaky but become uniform after cooling slightly and stirring.

Cool completely before use.
DSC_04181

Spoon about one teaspoon of caramel onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
DSC_0457
Repeat with the remaining macaroons and store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.

Note: They keep well refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Chocolate Macaroons

We had a bake sale at our clubhouse fundraising and a lot of people were bringing different type of mouth watering cakes.Hence, I decided to go for cookies and made two dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Not satisfied with just cookies, I stepped back into my cute little kitchen to get down to business.Justifying my theory of there being a healthy French community in the club who would definitely appreciate macaroons, I got out all of my ingredients with much enthusiasm.
I usually use aged egg whites for macaroons, having none I used fresh ones and voila! they turned out pretty good as well.

This recipe is adapted from Raymond Blanc’s chocolate macaroons.

Chocolate Macaroon

Chocolate Macaroon

Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients

For the pâté à macaron :
60g/2½oz unsweetened chocolate, ideally 100% cocoa solids
185g/6½oz icing sugar, sifted
185g/6½oz ground almonds
2 medium free-range egg whites
For the Italian meringue :
2 medium free-range egg whites
1 drop lemon juice or 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
185g/6½oz caster sugar
3 tbsp water
For the ganache filling :
100ml/4fl oz whipping cream
100g/4oz dark chocolate, or white chocolate if you wish
DSC_0381
Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water – do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.
c1
Fold in the melted chocolate and set aside.

Pic from one of my earlier batches.

Pic from one of my earlier batches.

I happened to accidentally eat some of the chocolate which left my pâté à macaron looking like its weaker cousin.
Therefore, the macaron shells for this batch do not have the perfect brown color as expected.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.
The original recipe calls for using lemon juice, as i was out of lemons i have instead opted to use cream of tartar which works fine too.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.
c2
Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes.
c3
Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.
c4
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart, which i didn’t do. 😦

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

EXPECTED

EXPECTED

Chocolate Ganache:
Place the cream in a small pan and bring to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon about one teaspoon of ganache onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
Repeat with the remaining ganache and macaroons and store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.
c8
NOTE: The recipe calls for preheating the baking trays as well and sliding on the baking paper with the piped macaroons onto them (pre-heating the baking trays kick-starts the cooking and forms the distinctive ‘collarette’ on the base of the macaroons).

DSC_0385
I haven’t tried this and will give it a go next time i make macaroons.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

P.S They were a sellout. 🙂