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I made No Rest Macarons

Macarons pronounced ma.kr.aanz is different from Macaroons pronounced ma.kr.oonz.  Both are similar in that they use meringue (whipped up the egg white with sugar).  However, macaroons have coconut mixed into the meringue to make the whole cookie while macarons do not have coconut unless it is coconut flavor.  A macaron is a sandwich cookie with the 2 meringues shells holding a filling.   


Macaroons
Stacy, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Macarons
Bryan Ochalla, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Macarons are expensive sweet and cost $2 each for common flavours (chocolate, rose, vanilla) that you can find at places like delifrance or polar.  It can cost $3 each for interesting flavours. The cost comes from the high failure rate due to the demanding procedure that takes into account the ratio of meringue shells recipe and actual baking of the shells where the temperature is crucial to the making of different flavours.  The fun part of macarons lies in the endless possibility of different coloured shells and fillings.  Quoting my friend's words that any party that served macarons will instantly get an uplift into the realm of sophistication and "atas".  

I was craving for them but unwilling to pay $2 or $3 for one thus I head over to phoon huat to get my finely grounded almond powder, powder sugar and caster sugar.  

In my first attempt, I followed a recipe that requires resting of the macarons after piping to form the shells.  Nooby me only waited for a very short time (you are supposed to wait for top of the shells to be dry to touch) and bake in an oven which I later discovered to be too hot.  The shells cracked up while in the oven and were browned at the edges.  It was crunchy with the smell of almond but definitely not the chewy shells typical of macarons.

In my second attempt, I found the no rest macaron recipe from Chocolate Macarons (No Resting Needed) | Amiable Foods. Due to Singapore humid weather, the amount of time to wait for the shells to dry before you can bake varies.  You may not encounter this problem when you learnt to make macarons in a baking class as it is usually done in an air-conditioned room.  I was overjoyed at this method that removes the guesswork and if there is no resting time, the macarons won't have a chance to spread out too flat before it can be baked.  

I made it with 2 egg whites which weighed up to about 54g so I used the ratio in the recipe to 

1 egg white :1.2 sugar.  

I read from the comments that you cannot reduce the amount of sugar as the ratio is crucial for this no rest method to work.  Instead, you can opt for a less sweet filling to make a less sweet macaron.  I halved the dry ingredients of 60g almond, 60g powdered sugar and 10g cocoa powder.  

The excitement is real to see the tiny feet!

There were some cracked ones as I tried to shift them before they are fully cooked to the cooling rack. But I am still pleased with the number of decent looking ones.
With 2 eggs, you can make quite a number of macarons!
My Severin convection oven bakes at a lower temperature than is shown on the dial so I had to counter that with a longer baking time to ensure my macarons are fully cooked through and does not stick to the baking mat. 

Taste test and there are chewy!! So happy with the shells.

In my third attempt, yes I tried a third round, I want to make a very small batch using only 1 egg white to see how many shells can I yield.  I was able to make my macarons mixture well but I used the black tray that came with my oven instead of my aluminium baking tray as shown in my second attempt. The black tray absorb more heat (being a better heat absorber, physics!) and it was placed in a lower rack......the third batch did not come out well.  

Lessons learnt:

1) Oven temperature is very important for baking.  
Invest in an oven thermometer. 
Take time to explore and familiarise yourself with your oven temperature.  

2) Given the amount of sugar, it is a really sweet treat that I cannot afford to eat too often.  Hopefully this can justify my purchase of macarons next time.  

3) It is not too difficult to make so you should really give it a try.  You will learn when stiff peak is reached and how to fold in the dry ingredients till it is flowing for you to pipe the mixture.  You will learn to pipe, dispensing an equal amount of mixture to make equal size shells.  These are skills that are really fun and interesting. 

4) Lastly I am glad I established that I do not need to purchase a standing or hand mixer.  I had a hand blender and was able to whip the egg white to stiff peak using its whisk attachment.  A hand blender is small and compact to keep and it is also probably the reason why I was able to whip such a small amount of egg white.  

5) Achievement unlocked to make expensive looking macarons myself.




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