May 10, 2011

Pretty Pink Raspberry Macarons



It is another long, bright and sunny day of May. The kind of weather that beckons you to wear your flip-flops, drive to the beach, and dive into the sea to cool off. Sun, sand and water…aha. Only that I don’t swimduh!

In fact, I’m feeling quite cheerful to spend the day indoors, enjoying the quietness, now that I have my connection back. These persistent issues with the connectivity is a real bummer. I’ve been missing in action too long. And this time, I couldn’t find any ease with the slow routine. I was actually sick, worse luck, spoiling all my ambitious plans to have a good time. So there was nothing much I could do than go with the flow. Not even an overdose of movies could snap me out of the ho-hum days. On the contrary, it added to my woes—splitting headaches, sore eyes and sleepless nights. Eeeek!


Well, I’m actually going to save you the bother of reading all the boring details here. But let me tell you this--after all the sulking it might take me a couple of days to get back into the groove, especially since I’m still recovering from the nasty cold. I do hope to get back my  spirits soon and drop by your spaces to catch up with all the stories, recipes and visuals I’ve missed.

Ah, I almost forgot, I wish to share a bit more. Because this is a first for me, I thought it would be fun to share my exciting news with you. First, I was delighted to learn that I won a giveaway at the Healing Foods-Mango event guest hosted by the lovely Reva of Kasaaram. And then, what a lovely surprise to find out that two of my fellow food bloggers tried and featured my recipe in their lovely blogs. The multitalented Anita Menon of Slice of my lyfe, published my Apple Jelly Pudding on her webpage, with a detailed account on how much her family enjoyed it. You can read her review here. Next, the lovely Nisha of Look Who’s Cooking Too, featured my Chicken 65 recipe (adapted from Vahrevah.com, of course) in her post on Appetizer ideas. You see, I’m a huge fan of Nisha’s writing, styling and photography skills—making her reference even more so of an honor. Ahh, enough. I don’t want to sound like a bragging little girlie. So let me move on to better topics like....the gorgeous macarons!
 
I first tasted these yummy morsels at a corporate event five years ago, and oh boy I immediately fell in love. The event was catered by the famous French gourmet company, Fauchon Paris, and macarons are their signature. Well, that was the beginning. I’ve indulged in my own macaron madness ever since. Mostly from Fauchon. For some reason I never tried my hands at baking them at home. Until now. Until I started blogging, that is.

Admittedly, my first baking attempt was not a complete success. Though the macarons did have the perfect feet and tasted fabulous, it was a little bit too chewy and didn’t have that puffed-up smooth shape. However, encouraged by the fact that my kids totally loved it, I baked them again. And again. Playing with colors, and learning something new with each batch. Mind you, I did have successful results, like the ones photographed here. But it hurts my ego to say—not always. You know what they say, “Failure is the stepping stone to success.” With that in mind, I continue my journey until I’m confident enough to bake the perfect macarons, every time.

Okay, if you are a novice baker you might probably be wondering what a macaron is. Macarons (unlike the coconut macaroons) are meringue shells with a smooth, domed, shiny top and ruffled foot, and sandwiched with a cream filling. The filling can be anything from butter cream, ice cream, fruit preserves to chocolate ganache—the choice is yours. The key to a flawless macaron, regardless of a good recipe, is following the right technique. A good meringue and the consistency of the macaronage (batter) are crucial factors in getting those perfect shells. Another tip, though disputed, would be to use aged egg whites (I left mine for 24 hours at room temperature).
The inspiration for this macaron is from the book The Australian Women’s Weekly Macroons & Biscuits, a wonderful cookbook with lots of delicious recipes and gorgeous photographs. Here’s my version after a few tweaks to the original recipe.

Pretty pink raspberry macarons

Ingredients
Makes 16

For macaron shells:
3 egg whites
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
1 ¼ cup (200g) icing sugar (confectioners’)
1 cup (120g) ground almonds
½ teaspoon raspberry essence
pink food color (I used liquid colour)

For filling:
¼ cup (60ml) pouring cream
150g white eating chocolate
6 fresh raspberries


Directions

Preheat oven to 150oC/300oF. Line the base of a flat oven tray or baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 4cm circles about 2cm apart on the baking parchment and flip the paper, so the pen is underneath.

Meanwhile, pluse ground almond to a fine, powdery texture in a blender or coffee grinder. Sift the powdered mixture to remove any lumps (this is one step I’m not keen on--it took ages to swift the almond meal). Repeat the same process--blending and sifting--with icing sugar. In a bowl, mix the sifted almond meal and icing sugar until combined; set aside.

Place egg whites in a small, deep, spotlessly clean bowl. Using an electric whisk (I used a hand held mixer) beat the whites over medium speed until foamy and starts to hold shape, then increase speed until stiff peaks form on the ends of the whisk. Remember that the smallest speck of yolk will prevent the whites from foaming peaks. Now, tip in caster sugar, essence, plus the coloring, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue resembles shaving foam. A good meringue will be glossy and hold it’s shape without falling from the bowl when held upside down. Note that the cooked macarons will have a lighter shade of color than the batter—so be bold and add more color for your preferred shade. Transfer to large bowl.
Using a spatula, fold in the sifted icing sugar and almond powder to the meringue. As you begin, work quickly to knock out some air from the meringue, simultaneously folding in the dry ingredients. When the ingredients are almost combined, slow down and give it a couple of gentle turns keeping an eye for the right texture. Precision is the key here. A good macaronage (batter) should be smooth, glossy and fall back in thick ribbons from the spatula. The ribbon should also fade back into the batter in about 30 seconds. If it doesn't, he batter is under mixed, and needs a couple of more turns. Also, under mixed batter yields macarons with no feet. If, on the other hand, the batter is quite runny, it is over mixed, and you will end up with flat, chewy macarons. (You see, I learned the hard way. Since my first batch was ruined with a runny batter, I erred on the side of caution with the second batch. Result? Under mixed batter, of course)

Stand the piping bag fitted with ½ inch plain (round) nozzle in a tall jar and spoon  the macaronage into it. Holding the bag upright, pipe into the outlined circles on the prepared baking sheets. You will notice that the batter will spread out a bit—no issues. Tap the bottom of the tray to release any air bubbles and then set aside for 30 minutes until the macarons have developed a skin.

Bake for about 14-18 minutes, or until the shells are dry to the touch. Take care not to let them brown. Cool on trays. Gently peel the parchments from the macarons and place on wire rack while preparing the filling.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, bring cream to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and then add chocolate, and stir to combine. Now push the raspberries through a fine sieve to make a puree and stir this into the chocolate cream mixture. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until spreadable.

To serve, spread a bit of the filling onto the flat side of macaron shell and top with another similar sized shell to make a small sandwich, then chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. If you have the patience, that is!



For more tips and videos on making macarons, check out:
Duncan Markham’s Syrup and Tang
Corry’s Bake It Off 

88 comments:

  1. Wow, what lovely pink colour macarons. All your clicks are superb!

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  2. Arundhuti! Thanks for the prompt note sweetness!

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  3. Really pretty and pink !!!

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  4. Looks superb..macaroons came perfect wid feet..:)

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  5. Wow amazing clicks and yummy macrons.
    kurinjikathambam, Event: HRH-Healthy Summer

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  6. Wow love these pinky macarons...awesome clicks too!!!

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  7. Wow..macarons looks so pretty and beautiful...love the click too..superb!

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  8. You have such a gorgeous blog... I really need tips on taking pictures!

    You definitely deserved the award but definitely more precious coz it was the 1st!!!!

    Cheers
    Ruchi
    http://ruchisimplyfood.blogspot.com

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  9. looks superb... the color is so tempting:)

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  10. The pink looks so damn good :) perfect feet too :) love all the clicks a lot :)

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  11. wow, wow and a big wow, the pink of the macaroons definitely brings a wow factor. so Girlie.

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  12. Without any doubt, it definitely looks pretty. Sorry, very very ..... pretty :)

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  13. wow..............perfect.........lovely........wonderful...........no words to describe.......

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  14. lovely.... n looks perfect...!!

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  15. Such pretty pictures and such pretty macaroons. They are making me "sigh". I really loved the first photograph. The picture in book kind of gels with the real macarons. Very mushy and girly :)

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  16. awesome macaroons and wants to try this very soon..........pics are so tempting yaaa.....

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  17. Wow... what can I say... everything about this post is awesome... the first pic is a killer... fantastic use of colours and light... Can't take my eyes off the screen... Congrats on winning the event ,Dear. Do send me your shipping address ... the book is waiting for u:) Love to see more gorgeous recipes and pics from u...:)
    Reva

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  18. Wow..looks very perfect and awesome pictures....

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  19. wonderful clicks and the macarons came out well without disappointing u

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  20. Wow beautiful color,very tempting,looks superb.

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  21. Indeed they are a real treat to eyes, they are pretty in pink and wonderful clicks as well,so calming and comforting it is!

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  22. Wow!!! Lovely macarons and as usual superb clicks..

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  23. These are eye candy for sure - Incredible looking Rasberry macaroons! Hats off dear :)

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  24. Wowwwwwwwww.. looks absolutely yummy and tempting.. thanks for the recipe :)

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  25. this is soo beautiful! It looks like a work of art!

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  26. Oh my sweetness, I'm overwhelmed with all the love that you show me. Thank you my friends!!

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  27. Perfect n awesome is an understatement for these lovely pretty looking macrons

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  28. I'm speechless ....There is no doubt that you have made them perfectly. Mesmerizing pics

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  29. I could not concentrate on the write up ...... these clicks are so awesome that they distracted me :) The macarons look perfect !!

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  30. Oh dear god... Those macarons have been cooked so perfectly... I just love those pics dear... Yummy pinkies...

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  31. waoo..you did great effort..& these are perfect,i hope the taste will be awesome..i wanna bite...cricks..yay..yummy ^_^
    your photography is amazing now..keep it upppppp

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  32. Wow...Macarons have come perfect....with awesome clicks....
    Congrats on winning the event...

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  33. I am stunned with this post.. Super Talent ! Love the pictures!

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  34. Wow am yet to try macarons, they looks cute,adorable and absolutely elegant..Congrats..

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  35. Wow very preety and yummy macarons..Such elegant presentation. Congarts on winning,,

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  36. Those are such lovely macarons. Raspberry macarons sound terrific - macarons are often sweet, the tart-sweet of raspberry is just perfect in contrast. Yum!

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  37. Lovely and pretty macaroons!! Indeed they are the result of your repeated endeavours to get them perfect. Beautiful clicks and excellent presentation!! :-)

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  38. beautiful delicious
    lovely choice of colour check out the event
    cheers

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  39. wow...lovely macaroons..very beautiful clicks..loved it..glad to follow u..visit my space too :)

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  40. I'm speechless to see such a beautiful bake of yours! Stunning photos and wonderful presentation...

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  41. @nashira...........thankx 4 ur comments on my blog...........nd im not ria yaaaaar.........my name is sameeja eventhough username is cook from doha..........im sameeja sameer.........nd eventhough i had commented earlier this clicks of urs make me speechless...........

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  42. Hi,
    First time here, hope to visit you more often, your blog is really fab with some inviting recipes and clicks...
    keep up the good work!

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  43. Macarons looks awesome I am sure they tasted great too.

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  44. Wow , lovely and amazing Nash. Really you rock. The snaps are mind blowing. i am drooling just by the view. I dont have any words to describe. Congrats for winning the event. Get well soon.

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  45. Simply gorgeous .I could not take my eyes from your pictures .Amazing

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  46. Absolutely gorgeous!Felt like direct taking a couple from the screen!!

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  47. wowowowo, it looks so pretty , I am very intimidated by macaroons , but I have to give it a try :)

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  48. Oh my .. stunning pictures .. macaroons look good.
    Lovely blog out here. Following you ..

    Drop by my space when time permits and would love for you to follow me too :)

    Vardhini
    VardhinisKitchen

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  49. Oh my goodness - your photos belong in a print magazine or cookbook. AMAZING!!!!

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  50. Hey y’all, love hearing from you! Thanks for the wonderful comments.

    @Sameeja: Oh boy I messed up, sorry! For some odd reason I thought you were Ria...!! lol

    Creative Mind, Sobha, Suparna, Vardhini, Ann: Thanks much for your support! Can't wait to see your spaces too :)

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  51. OMG...wat to say about this gorgeous space....more amazing pictures and yummy recipes...really its a virtual treat for me...thanx for leading me to this awesome space...macrons looks so perfect n inviting...very romantic color...sooo amazing n can't move from here :)

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  52. Macrons looks awesome perfect. I am speech less. I am yet to try one. Not yet got enough courage. Thanks for visiting my space and appreciate your comments. You have a wonderful space too.Looking forward to more recipes and beautiful clicks from you.

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  53. AMAZING macaroons! I could eat the whole plateful :)) Love the color dear. raspberry is a very creative idea

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  54. Wow wonderful macaroons,looks so delicious and colorful.Nice photography.

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  55. oooo eye candy...aaa eye candy...ooooaaaa eye candy...hehhe.

    soon sending you a detailed email...meet you there!

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  56. Amazing space...love the food,presentation,photography and you....Not only the macaroon but i think i saw most of ur recipes and surely loved it.U r really gud at wat u do.....glad to meet u

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  57. Looks fantastic & divine!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  58. Great Job gal!!!! they looks so perfect~!!

    and about clicks..Amazing!!

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  59. Congrats on your win! These macaroons look perfect and absolutely yummy! Beautiful pics!

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  60. Pretty and so perfect! Your macarons look extremely tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  61. Gorgeous macaroons.I need to get an outfit in that color.Love it love it...Thanks for stopping by and for the lovely comments lost them with the blogger updates though...

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  62. girl you got it so right!!! it looks perfect than in the pic.. amazing color and looks sooo pleasing.. very attractive!!
    ammaandbaby.blogspot.com/

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  63. love d gorgeous clicks...awesome recipe dear..hats off..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  64. Beautiful photography...love the v look of it...crispy and yummy!

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  65. OMG,great effort,they looks so pretty and perfect too,lovely presentation!

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  66. Thanks so much everyone! You girls are simply the best!!

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  67. Gosh Nashi! your macarons look so much better than the ones in the cookbook!

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  68. Those macs have come out PERFECT!This is something i need to try!Ur pics say it all, loved it...

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  69. I have been totally obsessed with pink macarons lately. I love yours, so pretty! As you mentioned the "disputed" bit about aging the whites; I never age mine, or dry the shells. I work in a restaurant and we just don't have time for that. But the important part is to use a method you feel comfortable with! :)

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  70. They look lovely and your pictures are lovely too!

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  71. Hey Magpie. Thanks sweetie. But I still need to perfect the art...!

    Shabs, thanks dear! Try them, I'm sure you'll handle them okay :)

    Hi Stella, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom! I'm SO relieved to know that I can skip these two steps--it kinda tries my patience...! :) Seriously, I'm so confused with the myths. I've done some batches totally ignoring them and some including them, but alas, my results are not consistent and I have no way of knowing-duh!

    Thank you, Dina, for your kind words!

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  72. Beautiful food photos. I love macarons.

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  73. Thanks Mei! Big hugs!

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  74. What a beautiful post. Fantastic pictures.

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  75. Wow wow wow so pretty! I love the pink!

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  76. Cheartstrings and Lisa, thanks so much!

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  77. Nashira, What a lovely blog. Your pretty pink raspberry macarons are not only pretty, but beautiful, as is your photography. Thank you for mentioning my blog in your "Check out" section. I haven't been blogging for a while due to other commitments but you have inspired me once again.

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  78. Thanks so much Corry for your lovely note, it was a pleasure to link your macaroon post! I'm sure everyone will benefit from your detailed tips.

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  79. Wow those are tooooooooooooo the perfection..love the pinky pinks in each pictures... Love pink colors they are extra gorgeous.

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  80. I made macarons three times and the only time they worked out perfectly was the first time! :( so frustrating
    these look beautiful
    you've inspired me to give them another go!

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  81. This is my first time here and these look immaculately perfect!:) so pretty!
    i have a doubt and it would be great if you could help me out by answering: Do the ground almonds have to be super fine? Cos i ground some and they were'nt(they are grainy and granuly!) and the first batch of macarons i tried came with grainy tops. I tried refrigerating the almonds before grinding, but...!) i did not want to over grind them, thinking it may become a paste of sorts. Is there anyway i can make them superfine? Help!!

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  82. Sid, yes, making macrons can be taxing and rewarding as well. I'm sure you have perfected the art of making them by now!

    Nutty: Thanks for visiting! Yes, the almond should be ground very fine—a coffee grinder or even blender yields better results than a food processor. Use blanched, dry almonds and grind them a little at a time. You are right, the nut is fatty and over grinding makes it oily & pasty--so take care not to over-grind :) Sift the ground almond & then grind the particles that remain in the sieve, again. I use store-bought almond powder and I go through the sifting and grinding cylce too make them as fine as possible! I haven’t tried freezing the almonds first. Hope this helps :)

    Hey Princy, thanks!

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  83. I love your pics and recipe Nashi. I have been longing for long to get the perfect Macaroons, looking at these ignites my wish even more.. hopefully some day I shall come up with this perfection like yours.. And off course your photography skills gives a total package to the fellow bloggers..

    An award is waiting for you at my space, do pick it up Gal :)
    UK Rasoi

    Do visit my space for your lovely participation in ongoing events:
    Soup It up
    Flavours Of Nepal

    Cheers
    UK Rasoi

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  84. Wow this is unbelievable!!
    So many lovely macarons, I'll definitely try them!
    Thank you for the great recipe.

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  85. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm definitely going to have to try these sometime this week since I've been looking for the perfect macaron recipe! and I love raspberry. :)

    Alissa
    mangiables.blogspot.com

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi