Recently I have been so in love with making little sweets with tea. The aroma of tea filled inside cookies and macarons makes me excited and truly delighted.
So - with two left over egg whites I saved up from making creme brulee last time, I decided to make earl grey macarons. And, to add a little bit of excitement and challenge for myself, I tried using the french meringue method instead of the italian meringue method which I used to. The Italian meringue method yields a very high chance of success yet the texture has not always been right. The French method usually gives the perfect texture but the chance of failure is high.
I was still a bit uncertain whether I would succeed by the time I was pipping... (I constantly tested the meringue and the batter to see if the consistency was right...) and I was indeed quite worried when, after thirty minutes of resting, my macarons shells still appeared a bit sticky and not completely dry. So, I used a fan to blow onto the tray and I went to bath. In the end, the macarons rested for approximately one hour before I put it in oven. But I was so excited and amazed when I saw those little feets coming out from the macaron shells while baking!!!
The smell of earl grey filled the kitchen. I sandwiched the macarons with honey buttercream and hazelnut paste. They matched well with the tea flavour and I was totally satisfied with the texture of the shells. I love making macarons :)
Earl Grey Macarons (makes about 25 paired macarons)
2 egg whites
1 cup of icing sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of superfine almond powder/flour
5 tbsp caster sugar
1 high quality earl grey tea bag (or other flavour of tea as you wish)
1. Sieve the icing sugar and almond powder together into a bowl and mix well. Sieve in the earl grey tea bag as well. Set aside.
2. Place the two egg whites into a clean deep bowl and mix with egg mixer on high speed until froth. Add one tablespoon of caster sugar at a time and mix well before adding another. Beat on high speed for 8-10 minutes until egg white becomes shiny and reveals stiff peaks. Keep testing for the stiff peaks (stiff peak is peaks that do not curl). You may add some cream of tartar to stabilize the egg white.
3. Mix in 1/2 of the dry ingredients (mixed in step 1) and use a spatula to wipe it in the bowl. Try to force out the air inside the egg whites. Mix well before you add the other half of the dry ingredients. After all of the dry ingredients are mixed, keep mixing until you reach the right consistency. The right consistency of a macaron batter should flow like magma after you spoon it and let it fall, and then the fallen batter should incorporate with the rest of the batter slowly. If it fall in lumps that means your batter isn't quite ready. Mix and scrap again and test it again. The best consistency should be - batter falling down from your spatula in slow motion, perhaps a bit lumpy, but will icnorporate with the rest of the batter in like 20 seconds.
4. After you havd reached the right consistency, put the batter into a pipping with a round pipping tip.
5. Prepare a silicone baking paper in a baking tray and pipe the batter onto the baking paper. It is best to use silicone baking paper as it is re-useable i.e. environmentally friendly and the macarons get off easily. If you are worried about the different sizes of macarons resulting from inconsistent pipping, you may draw the circles on your parchment paper/ baking paper before you do the pipping.
6. Remember to tap the baking tray after you are done with the pipping. Tap each side a few times. Then, set aside in a dry and cool place in order for the macaron shells to dry. As I live in Hong Kong ( a rather humid area), you will need around 1 hour to dry, provided that you put the tray in an air-conditioning room or beside a fan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150-160c.
7. Test the macaron shells with your fingertip. If nothing sticks onto your finger tip, the macaron is ready for baking. Put it inside the oven on the lower rack and turn off any fans if your oven is fan-heated. But I guess even with a fan-heated oven, if your macaron shells are dried well, they will turn out equally well.
8. You will notice the little foot coming out after around 4-5 minutes of baking. Keep on baking for around 17-18 minutes until the macarons get off from the baking paper easily. If not, bake for 1-2 more minutes.
9. After the macarons are cooled, stuff it with your desired filling. From my experience, honey buttercream do work well, but if you would like a sweeter taste, you can try using hazelnut paste.
10. Chill the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours in order for the macaron shells to incorporate with the filling before serving. Then, enjoy :)
1.5 tbsp honey
1 egg yolk
1.5 tbsp milk (full fat or skimmed)
98g butter (softened)
1. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar until it appears creamy and has a pale yellow colour. You may use a mixer if you desire.
2. add the milk and whisk until incorporated.
3. Cook the mixture in a small saucepan on slow fire until it becomes thick and appears custard-like. It should take around 5-6 minutes.
4. Cool the egg mixture in a bowl until it reaches room temperature.
5. Add in the butter and mix well until fully incorporated.
6. Add the honey and mix until incorporated.
7. Chill it a bit in the fridge until it is ready for pipping.
8. Pipe !
Hope all of you enjoy making macarons! More recipes are coming!!