Food

Red Velvet Macarons: Why Mine Failed


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Surprisingly the most visited post on my blog is one old post from 2012, where I shared how to make macaron without almond flour. I found this recipe while I wander in bookstore and saw a dessert book about macarons. The recipe only asked for corn starch. The final product’s texture is far from macaron like, because it’s more to crunchy texture rather than soft and chewy. I thought it more look like meringue than macaron.

I never tried to make macaron with real almond flour. And I have promised my self to try one this year. Since now I have more access to find almond flour easily (thanks to e-commerce like Tokopedia!). I chose this recipe because I still have leftover cream cheese and need to use is asap before it turned bad.

Actually there are three types of recipes that I personally dislike to try:

  1. Recipe that need kneading process
  2. Recipe that need precise measurement with digital scale
  3. Recipe that need temperature measurement with candy thermometer

And macaron falls under the second category which require you to be precise with the amount of ingredient you use. Making macaron is similar to “do what your mama told you to in the beginning”. You must follow all the details if you don’t want to face some bad lucks. There’s no other way. You must follow the recipe. Do not try to substitute the ingredient with something else, because it will affect the batter consistency and the moisture inside it which will affect the baking process and can cost you macaron shell with no feet like mine.

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I use this recipe as reference for my red velvet macarons. I will copy it below and explain where I possibly did wrong.

Here are ingredients you need. (This recipe made 32 filled macarons)

For macaron shells:

  • 1 cup (100gr) almond flour
  • 3/4 cup (100gr) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg whites (about 70gr)*
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup (50gr) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½-3/4 teaspoons red gel food coloring**

For cream cheese filling:

  • ¼ cup (55gr) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (120gr) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons heavy (whipping) cream
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

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Directions:

  1. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder twice.
  2. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until hard peaks form. Add vanilla extract and red food coloring. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.
  3. Sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture over the whipped egg whites.
  4. Gently fold the mixture. Running the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. The batter will look very thick at first, but it will get thinner as you fold. Be careful not to over mix it though. Every so often test the batter to see if it reached the right consistency.
  5. To test the batter, drop a small amount of the batter and count to ten. If the edges of the ribbon dissolve within ten seconds, then the batter is ready. I repeat, do NOT mix again. If you still see edges, fold the batter couple more times and test again. This step is so crucial, so please make sure to test often to ensure not to over mix the batter.
  6. Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip.
  7. Pipe out 1.5-inch rounds about an inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I use this template to make it easier.
  8. Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. If you don’t release the air bubbles, they will expand during baking and crack the beautiful macarons shells.
  9. Let the macarons rest and dry for 15-30 minutes. You have to make sure the outer shell is dry before you put it to your oven.***
  10. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  11. I bake the macarons for 30 minutes (every oven is different, yours maybe take shorter time to bake this). To check the doneness, gently remove one macaron. If the bottom does not stick, they are done.
  12. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then remove from the baking sheets.
  13. While macarons are drying, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
  14. Transfer the filling into a pastry bag and fill the macarons. It’s best to serve macarons the next day.
  15. Store the filled macarons in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the filled macarons in airtight container for up to 5 months.

*The recipe asked for 70 gr egg whites. I use egg whites from 2 whole eggs. It’s weight 90 gr. And I still go with it without decreasing its amount

**Every macaron recipe asked to use gel (or powder) food coloring. But I use liquid instead, because this is what I have in hand.

***I tried to dry my macarons for almost 2 hours but they still stick when I lightly touched them. I assume because I put too many moisture to the batter from the egg white and liquid food coluring. But I have no time no more, so I just popped them to the oven while crossing my finger for some lucks. But of course there’s no luck in macaron making. My macarons shell have no feet.

But the good thing is, none of them stick to the pan (use parchment paper, please) or burnt or crack. So I still can pipe the filling and stack them and of course enjoyed them with pleasure.

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