Entries tagged with “French macarons”.


Day 4.  The inspiration?  Jamaican Coconut Pralines.  A Caribbean candy made with brown sugar, cream, ginger and coconut.  My interpretation includes a coconut finished shell, and a ginger spiced caramel praline for the filling to mirror the spicy sweet flavour of the traditional candy.  Here is my salute to Jamaica.

{ Coconut praline macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Flaked coconut
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Coconut praline Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
Ginger caramel praline, crushed

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the crushed praline.  Makes 2 cups.

{ Ginger Caramel Praline }

* Ingredients *
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground ginger

* Directions *
Heat the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat.  Continue to stir until mixture turns an amber caramel color (10-15 minutes). Carefully stir in the ginger and immediately pour out onto a prepared baking sheet.  Let cool, then break caramel into small pieces.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Day 3.  The inspiration?  The humble candy cane.  An ornament and a confection, this peppermint treat with its signature stripes is hard to miss at Christmas time.  Here is my nod to this sugary sweet.

{ Candy cane macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Pink and red food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the pink food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Once cooled, gently brush red food colouring on one half of the shells.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Candy cane Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
6 candy canes, crushed

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the crushed candy canes.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

White christmas

Day 1.  The inspiration?  White Christmas.  This traditionally Australian no-bake slice is chock full of mixed fruit – cherries, coconut, sultanas.  Here is my salute to the Australian dessert table.

{ White Christmas macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ White Christmas Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of chopped mixed glacé cherries (red and green), sultanas and coconut

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in 1/4 cup of chopped dried fruit and mix thoroughly.  Makes 2 cups

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Triple chocolate macarons single

It seems most fitting that I kick start my Petits Fours month with French macarons.  Despite making over 25 different flavours of macarons last year <*gulp*, was it that many?>, including my 12 days of holiday macarons, I say there is always room for more.

The efforts of last year revolved around the Italian meringue method, the most stable method of making macarons, and the subject of my “how-to” that I published last year.  I had a few failed attempts with the French meringue method previously, and since have been apprehensive to trial it again.  Until now.

There is nothing new about showcasing a macaron on Mélanger.  But a successful macaron, made with the French meringue method, well, that is new.  So too is a pure chocolate macaron.  Chocolate macarons are apparently the most difficult to make, as I learned at my macaron class at Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school in Melbourne last year.  Due to the fat content of the cocoa, it is easy to release too many of the oils when you mix.  To be honest, I actually did not find the chocolate any more difficult to work with than the plain almond mixture.

Shame on me for taking so long in creating a chocolate macaron, particularly given it is my ultimate weakness in the sweet world.  Thus, in honour of the chocolate macaron, I create a triple chocolate macaron treat.  A chocolate macaron shell, filled with a bittersweet chocolate ganache, and a healthy dusting of cocoa to finish.

I am submitting these macarons to mactweets.  Two of my favourite food bloggers, Deeba & Jamie have created this website as a source of inspiration, support and information on all things macaron.  Well done ladies!

Triple chocolate macarons set

{ Triple Chocolate Macarons } adapted from Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school

* Ingredients *
62g egg whites
3g egg white powder
60g sugar
45g almond meal / ground almonds
25g cocoa
90g icing sugar
Red food colouring
Cocoa for dusting

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together. Sift in the cocoa carefully.  In a mixer, whip the egg whites and egg white powder to soft peaks.  Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until you reach firm peaks.  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the colouring.  Mix the egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Dust lightly with cocoa.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chocolate ganache }

* Ingredients *
120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *
Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour cream over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Makes 40-50 mini shells, and 20-25 finished mini macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Coconut praline macarons

Day 4.  The inspiration?  Jamaican Coconut Pralines.  A Caribbean candy made with brown sugar, cream, ginger and coconut.  My interpretation includes a coconut finished shell, and a ginger spiced caramel praline for the filling to mirror the spicy sweet flavour of the traditional candy.  Here is my salute to Jamaica.

{ Coconut praline macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Flaked coconut
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Coconut praline Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
Ginger caramel praline, crushed

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the crushed praline.  Makes 2 cups.

{ Ginger Caramel Praline }

* Ingredients *
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground ginger

* Directions *
Heat the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat.  Continue to stir until mixture turns an amber caramel color (10-15 minutes). Carefully stir in the ginger and immediately pour out onto a prepared baking sheet.  Let cool, then break caramel into small pieces.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Candy cane macarons

Day 3.  The inspiration?  The humble candy cane.  An ornament and a confection, this peppermint treat with its signature stripes is hard to miss at Christmas time.  Here is my nod to this sugary sweet.

{ Candy cane macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Pink and red food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the pink food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Once cooled, gently brush red food colouring on one half of the shells.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Candy cane Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
6 candy canes, crushed

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the crushed candy canes.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Pfeffernussen macaron3

Day 2.  The inspiration?  The Pfeffernussen.  This spicy German treat features pepper and a range of spices such as cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and cloves.  All the gingerbread flavour you expect at Christmas, but just with a little more bite!  Here is my tribute to the German cookie.

{ Pfeffernussen macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Brown food colouring
Black pepper
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Sprinkle gently with pepper.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Pfeffernussen Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the spices and mix thoroughly.  Makes 2 cups

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

Christmas month

Christmas brings together family and friends, and traditions around the world are universal and unique at the same time.

In Australia, Christmas is often spent around a barbeque with family, a day at the beach, and enjoying the sunshine and outdoors.  In Finland, the traditional Christmas dinner is eaten Christmas Eve.  In America, turkey, goose, duck or ham served with cranberry is a common dinner spread.  In France, children hope Père Noël will bring them gifts.  In Germany, Nikolaustag, St Claus day is celebrated on December 6.  In Jamaica, Jonkanoo (John Canoe) is the traditional Christmas celebration, a colourful parade with masquerade costumes celebrated throughout the streets.  In Greece, children sing carols, or kalanda. In Italy, the festive season is celebrated for three weeks, starting 8 days before Christmas.

This month, borrowing a few ideas from traditional Christmas desserts, cookies and breads, share the joy of Christmas with 12 days of holiday inspired macarons, discovering new tastes and flavours from around the world.

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Earlier this year I shared the news of my impending nuptials – and the plan for my French macaron wedding favors.  Coordinating with the colours of the wedding (emerald green, aqua and lavender), a wave of flavour suggestions were made.

And quickly, my macaron trials were on!

1. Champagne Macarons
2. Liquorice Macarons
3. Blueberry Macarons
4. Matcha Tea Macarons

But the ultimate winner?  Champagne Macarons, bien sûr.

Now after all the planning, the big day has arrived.  This image is just a sneak peek of day.  Mr Mélanger and I are now enjoying our honeymoon.

I will return in October and share a few more images of the wedding preparation and the big day.

Plus, I will be raring to go with caramel.  With a 3-1 vote, it is the clear victor for my next monthly baking theme!  Thank you everyone for your choices.  Having a serious weakness for chocolate, I was totally surprised with the outcome – but I am really excited about the challenge.

A bientôt!

{ Image } ::  Mr Mélanger & Julia
Location @ Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
Photography shot by Sarah Sculley of Sculley Design

Matcha Tea Macarons

Until recently, when I thought of green tea I would never have thought of macarons.  This flavour macaron was one of the suggestions for my upcoming wedding favors.

The tea flavour is mild.  You taste it but do not immediately put your finger on what it is.  Once you are told it is green tea, you instantly distinguish it.  The pairing with the dark chocolate ganache is spot on.  The bitterness of the tea harmonises impeccably with the bitterness of the chocolate.  The creamy ganache and sweet almond macaron shells round out the flavour.  The matcha tea powder produces an attractive coloured shell, and the sprinkling of tea powder on top of the shells before baking provides a lovely finish.

My friend E is not a tea or coffee drinker, yet enjoyed taste-testing these macarons – though admitedly, I did load up one or two with extra ganache as a compensatory measure, just in case.

So far I have trialed champagne, blueberry, liquorice and now matcha macarons for  my wedding favors.

The versatility of the macaron as a vehicle for practically any flavour and  colour combination is becoming more apparent with each new batch of macarons I make.  The ability to create your own macaron, to personalise something as your very own is extraordinary.  By the end, I hope to find my own signature petit four.  Until then, I will trial a few more macaron flavours before the big day. 

{ Matcha tea macarons }

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
2 teaspoons of matcha tea powder
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, and add the matcha tea powder.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.
Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chocolate ganache }

* Ingredients *

120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *

Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.