Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nutella Macarons

I've been baking non stop these past few days, in preparation for my cousin's wedding.

Whenever I make a dessert table, there is always a mad chaotic rush to prepare baked goods the few days running up to the event. Yes, dessert tables can be planned ahead - mocks can be made, props can be purchased early. But baked goods don't last long. To ensure moist cakes, crunchy cookies and succulent macarons, you can only start baking maximum 5 days ahead. I usually bake in this order - macarons, cream cheese based cakes, other cakes, cookies, brownies/congo bars, fondant cakes and last but not least cupcakes. (Macarons stay crunchy even after refrigerated but cupcakes stay moist longer in room temperature.)

So this short post is dedicated to my four batches of macarons. That's 300 grams of egg whites for you! Since I'm designing a rustic themed dessert table, I decided to make Nutella macarons. It's a simple basic macaron with Nutella filling.

Nutella macarons.

I've been using this tried and tested recipe since day one. Similar to other macaron recipes, it takes a lot of practice to really know how long to whip, how much to fold, and consistency of the batter - too few strokes and you'll get 'perky' macarons; too much and you'll get runny peculiar macaron shapes with hollow internals.

Nutella Macarons

80gm egg whites at room temperature (~2 grade A eggs)
65gm caster sugar
80gm fine ground almond
140gm confectioners' sugar
Colour (gel or liquid)

Method of Preparation:
  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or baking paper. 
  2. Sift confectioners' sugar and fine ground almonds in a separate bowl.
  3. Beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until whites are foamy. Gradually beat in the caster sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy, fluffy, and hold soft peaks.
  4. Fold the flour-almond mixture into the egg whites, about 30 strokes. Add desired colour and fold until the correct consistency batter is achieved.
  5. Divide the batter into two. Fill in a plastic bag with a small corner cut off and pipe a test disk of batter, about 50cents (old coin) in diameter, onto prepared baking sheet. If the disk of batter holds a peak instead of flattening immediately, gently fold the batter a few more times and retest.
  6. When batter is mixed enough to flatten immediately into an even disk, pipe the remaining batter onto the baking sheet in rounds, leaving space ~3cm between the disks. Using a toothpick, gently pop any air bubbles. Or you can opt to gently rap the baking tray on a hard surface.
  7. Let the piped cookies stand out at room temperature until they form a hard skin on top, about 30-45minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 140 degrees C. Bake cookies until set but not browned, about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Let cookies cool completely before filling with Nutella.

Tadaaaa... the end result.

After you're done, reward yourself with a tub of Nutella & Go. So bad for my diet!!!

Avoid trying this out on a rainy day. There are plenty more petua to follow (told you macarons are leceh!), but in a nutshell, practice makes perfect. Good luck!

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