Crispy and sweet macarons with tart raspberry buttercream and bittersweet chocolate ganache. Today’s post is an intro to what this blog is about, with a debut of these incredibly moe (i.e. cute) cookies!
Before the recipe, this will be an outline of what this blog is about. THIS IS A RECIPE BLOG! I will mainly post baking recipes – as in, 70-80% will be of desserts. They will all will have step-by-step pictures to accompany the instructions (well, except for this one. more on that later). Some will be of snacks and savoury dishes; I cook too! I mainly cook Taiwanese dishes, but I also love experimenting with different cuisines.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, to explain the title:
Moe: My name is Monica, but I’ve had many nicknames, including Momo, Princess Peach (I have blonde ombre hair and “momo” means “peach” in Japanese), Momoka, Mocha, Moni…
… and finally, Moe. Some pronounce that as “mow” and some pronounce it as “mow-eh”.
I am Taiwanese, and am in the process of learning Japanese (one of my many
ways to procrastination pastimes). In Japanese, there is a word called ” 萌 “/moe, pronounced “mow-eh”, which is what you say when your heart feels a deep sense of care or emotion towards someone or something, often something cute or endearing. Baking is so moe to me!
Baking: I bake. a lot.
Comics: I’ll be incorporating the “moe” through 4-panel comics, a very popular style of comic in Taiwan. They’ll describe mostly my food adventures and catastrophes, as well as daily laughs for your entertainment. An example could be a baking fail (which happens pretty often).
more at moebakingcomics.wordpress.com/about 😀
I’ve been working on these finicky macarons for the entire week! Memorizing the recipe, then baking the shells, walking to the grocery store for raspberries, etc. I really hope you enjoy this post! A note about the pictures – there’s very few, because I just realized yesterday that there’s a limit on the amount of pictures we can hold on WordPress. Therefore this post will only have a few pictures, even though I have all the step-by-step photos on file. Hopefully I can get this sorted out by the end of this week. Stay tuned, and thank you for your patience!
RECIPE: French Macarons with Rasberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache
Source: Lightly adapted from Entertaining with Beth
3 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup white sugar (50 g)
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar (2 ml)
food colouring, if you wish
2 cups confectioners sugar (200 g)
1 cup almond flour (120 g)
RASPBERRY BUTTER CREAM
1/4 cup salted butter (60g)
3/4 cup powdered sugar (75 g)
1/2 cup (150 g) fresh raspberries, worked through a sieve to extract 2 tbsp of juice
1 tbsp lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces good dark chocolate, chopped (good means you’d eat it normally and enjoy it)
Preheat oven to 300F degrees (I usually do this when I start piping out the macarons, the timing is perfect)
1. Sift almond flour, and powdered sugar.
(Note: What remains will be the larger lumps of almond pieces. Keep them for a granola recipe or to snack on! You want a really fine powder mixture to create a smooth and pretty on top to your cookie.)
2. Fold GROUP B flour/sugar mixture into the GROUP A egg white mixture.
(Note: BE CAREFUL! This is the part of the recipe where you really should pay attention. Beth says,
“Under mix and your macaroons will be lumpy and cracked when the bake with no feet, over mix and your macaroons will be flat and won’t have feet, the mark of a well-made macaron. In my experience 65-75 turns of your spatula when folding is about the right amount of time. But again, it can be tricky, depends on how strong you are, Ha! So it can take a few tries to get it right. But when you do, the trumpets will blare and you will feel SO accomplished!”)
3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
4. Pipe out 1 inch rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Hold your pan’s handles firmly with two hands and bang it on your table 2-3 times to release the air bubbles in the macarons. (This will prevent your macaron shells from cracking on the top.)
(Note: I actually piped my macaron shells too big; they spread out when you bang them on the table, so aim for smaller sizes!)
5. Let them sit out for 20-30 mins, or up to an hour if you want. I left mine out for 2 hours and it was fine.
(Note: You MUST do this or your macarons will not have feet (i.e. the trademark ridges on the bottom of the shell)! After letting them sit out, try touching the macarons. It should be a bit tacky, but shouldn’t stick to your fingertips.)
(above: laughing so hard at the ones on the left. wait till you see what they look like baked!)
6. Bake for 20 mins at 300 degrees (F). (Note: DO NOT UNDER BAKE, even if they look done! Otherwise they will stick to your tray.)
1. Meanwhile the macarons are baking, make the buttercream. Whip butter with an electric mixer until it’s almost pale white and fluffy in texture. Stop the mixture, add the powdered sugar, and resume whipping.
2. Place sieve on top of bowl the same size as the sieve. Work raspberries through the sieve with spatula, mashing them against the sieve until you extract their juice. You want 2 tablespoons of juice. (Note: Save the pulp and seeds for a smoothie.)
3. Squeeze juice from a small wedge of lemon. You want 1 tablespoon of juice.
4. Add both juices to buttercream, and whip until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip (about ¼ ” in diameter).
1. Heat the heavy cream for 20-30 seconds in the microwave, or on the stovetop until warm to the touch. Do not boil the cream.
2. Place the chopped chocolate in the cream and let it rest for 30 seconds – 1 minute. (This is to let the heavy cream melt the chocolate before trying to combine the two.)
3. Stir to combine, until thick and glossy. Let rest for 10 minutes before use, to let it thicken slightly in texture.
4. ASSEMBLE: Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe a small mound of filling on one of them. (Note: I did some with raspberry, some with ganache, and a few with both!)
Top with the other shell and push down gently.
Congratulations, you have made French Macarons!
If not eating right away, keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It will taste the best on the second day. If you want to save it for a longer period of time, put it in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer of macarons, and freeze up to 3 weeks. (I just used the parchment paper used for baking the macarons)
They look a bit wonky, but that’s okay. (I love how you can see the one I tried to fill with a lot of chocolate ganache. Yes… I certainly tried.) When you want to eat them, pull them out by each sheet of parchment paper.