International cooking for the youthful malcontent.

Macaron Lab 1

Cookie: Rose Water and White Chocolate

Cookie Recipe: tant au tant mixture, 1+ tsp neon pink colour, added pinch of salt to meringue, otherwise basic recipe

Baking Details: my oven at 360 F (need to test heat with oven thermometer) for 10 minutes

Filling: white chocolate ganache (4 oz white chocolate to 3/8 cup 18% cream) + 1/2 tsp organic rose water, steeped cream with 3 green cardamom pods

Environment: July 10th, 10 pm, very humid, 30 C

Notes: I wasn’t going to bake today because I was tired, but it was extremely humid outside and just about every macaron blog on the internet warns you not to bake macarons on overly humid days. Which means it was a perfect day to bake macarons! I need to know exactly what will happen in my kitchen if I need to bake 650+ macarons and the weather is not ideal. Will they fail utterly? I also changed the core recipe to include the half-and-half mixture traditionally called for – equal parts sugar and almond flour in the batter. Increased the food colouring added due to poor results previously. This is my first attempt at ganache in my life.

Positive Results: The tant au tant makes a huge taste and texture difference. The cookie is less sickly sweet and more almond-y. The David Lebovitz-style recipe I was using hurt my teeth to eat more than 1 or two wafers, plus the cookie itself had a taffy-esque stickiness/stringiness to it that I didn’t prefer. This cookie had a better crumble inside. The colour is perfect. The ganache was good. I may need to reduce the amount of cream to add more body to it (need to research ganache). Need to cut back rose water by 25-50% – it was tasty and not soapy, but perhaps a bit too indelicate for a macaron. Also need to expose more white chocolate flavour, and figure out how to get cardamom flavour infused as well.

Negative Results: The batter cracked while baking, which meant the feet did not fully develop. I believe this was the fault of the humidity (the second batch, which was out on the table for 10 extra minutes, cracked even worse) as the internet tells me cracks of this nature result from the batter not being dry enough on the shell. i had no cracking issues prior with the same method (using David Lebovitz’s technique – piping the batter and immediately baking with no drying time – which has worked perfectly for 3 previous tests), so either it is the humidity or the fact I changed the ratio of sugar to almond. It is most likely the humidity.

Next Steps: Re-test this ratio under ideal / normal weather conditions to establish the master wafer recipe. Test ground cardamom in the wafer for subtle cardamom flavour. Adjust ganache recipe. Once master wafer is made, need to establish master chocolate wafer version. I will definitely need a mixer on baking week to produce the meringues as I still get tired by the time I whisk two egg whites successfully.

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