I started working at a French patisserie in Toronto a couple weeks ago. They make super tasty macarons and after trying one of each, the matcha green tea definitely stood out as a favourite. So of course, I had to try it out at home. I made a batch this morning, and although quite different from the ones in the store, they are so so good. I usually only eat one or two macarons from the batch, but I’ve already had four of these hehe.
Just a quick post to update on my second attempt at brush embroidery. Mixing the colours was lots of fun, and moving from the kitchen counter to the dining table was certainly appreciated by my back. I still can’t manage to get the cookies to taste all that great though, with all that icing. But, I guess that’s just what you get when you work with royal icing. These designs were my best attempt at replicating the beauties created by SweetAmbs (head over there to bask in her glory). I think I’ve gotten the brush embroidery technique down so it is time to come up with some of my own designs!
I also put the owls from the last post onto this batch of cookies. I think it worked out well! I’m personally a fan of the big fat one in the bottom corner ;)
So I decided to try out some brush embroidery. I had bookmarked several beautiful cakes and cookies that all used the technique, and finally got around to trying it myself. It took me a while to figure it out and I’ll definitely need to keep practicing, but this technique is super fun, so I recommend giving it a shot if you’ve never done it before. A great tutorial from SweetAmbs can be found here.
I’m quite impatient, so of course I started decorating the cookies when the base layer of icing wasn’t completely dry yet. Anyone could tell you that’s a dreadful idea, but of course I went ahead anyway. This created some problems, but seeing as this was my first practice round, I can deal with some smudged and holey icing.
Yes. It is yet another post about macarons. However, I do have some exciting news this time! I have a new recipe that has been working wonderfully. The shells have a nicer texture and are not as sweet, and most importantly, this new recipe is a lot easier to make (or rather, harder to completely ruin).
If you’ve done any research into the making of macarons, you probably know that there is the french meringue method where granulated sugar is poured into the egg whites as you beat them, and there’s the italian meringue method where a hot sugar syrup is poured into the beating egg whites. The resulting cookies are relatively the same with some small differences in the shells. Although it is said that the Italian meringue method has a higher success rate for beginners, I had only ever used the french meringue method since it was working (kind of) well for me and I didn’t want to bother with cooking the sugar. I promise I’m going somewhere with this, so stick with me.
This spring, my mom took a baking class in Taiwan and came home with a macaron recipe unlike any I had seen on the internet. It wasn’t a french meringue, nor was it an italian meringue. It was actually closer to a swiss meringue, where the egg whites and sugar are mixed together and heated to about 110F (45C) before beating. So, I tried this new method and it worked very well. In fact, I found that the ‘macaronage’ – the combining of the egg whites and the almond mixture – required significantly more mixing and was thus much harder to overmix (a problem I often encountered with the extremely delicate french meringue).
So every batch I made with the swiss meringue was turning out quite well, except the shells were a little too hard and the cookies were still too sweet. I experimented with different baking temperatures and times, different resting periods, and varying amounts of both granulated and icing sugar. What I’ve come up with is just right: not too hard, not too soft, and most importantly, not too sweet. So here it is, my new macaron recipe: