Tuesday, September 18, 2012

coffee nutella macarons

design. bake. run. -- coffee nutella macarons

i think i've really perfected my macarons recipe. yes, i'm super proud of myself. there are no longer any hollow shells or cracked/broken bottoms. and the cookies don't really stick to the parchment paper like they used to anymore. of course occasionally i get a few mini sticks here or there taking them off the sheet, but for the most part they come off just fine. i'm just so glad that after many, many trial-and-errors that i think i've gotten it down. i'm sure there will be future batches where it may not be 100% perfect, but for the most part will do just fine.

so what did i do differently these last few times? ummm... first off, not a whole lot. everything else is still pretty much the same, the only difference is my confectioner's sugar and almond flour ratio is now 1:3/4 instead of 2:1. before i used to do 2 parts sugar, 1 part almond flour, but now it's 1 part sugar and 3/4 part almond flour. for some reason the extra almond flour added has really allow the cookie to not have any hollow/air pockets and cook evenly.

now, did i measure (weigh) all my ingredients precisely? i have to admit, i don't always measure/weigh everything. most of the time i eyeball all my ingredients. i know, it's not the conventional way one should bake because sometimes one little thing off and you can totally screw up a recipe (yes, i've done that plenty of times, like adding too much cornstarch when making pastry cream!). but somehow with macarons, now that i've made them a bunch of times, i feel like i know exactly what's enough, etc. of course i still use a measuring cup to measure my dry ingredients, but the ingredients aren't always leveled. yes, terrible, i know! so if you're just starting out or have been baking for a long time you still shouldn't do what i do unless you don't mind the outcomes. anyway, these macarons turned out great and i'm so happy because i absolutely love coffee nutella macarons. it sure beats paying $1.75-2 for one tiny cookie. ;)

design. bake. run. -- piped macarons batter resting, waiting for skin to form
piped macaron batter, resting waiting for skin to form before heading into the oven

design. bake. run. -- freshly baked macaron shells cooling
macaron shells out of the oven and cooling

design. bake. run. -- coffee nutella macarons
another view of these yummy coffee nutella macaron shells. the feet look great!

design. bake. run. -- assembling coffee nutella french macarons
putting together these delicious coffee nutella french macarons

design. bake. run. -- coffee nutella french macarons
aren't they just scrumptious?


if you'd like to make some of these delicious cute little sandwich cookies yourself, i say david lebovitz's got a pretty decent french macaron recipe for anyone who wants to try a different recipe or make them for the first time. although i must say i think my mini adjustment to it makes it so much better. i'd love to share it, but i haven't put it all down and finalized it yet. when i do have the recipe all made up and ready to share, i will be sure to post it on here. i can't wait to see if you guys feel the same way as me, because it does make these cookies so much better! :)

***UPDATE 12/18/12***

here's the recipe at last! enjoy and let me know how yours turn out if you do make them! :)

Coffee Nutella Macarons
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

Macaron Batter:

1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond meal (about 3 ounces or 75 grams)

2 tablespoons instant espresso
more instant espresso for macaron shell topping (optional)

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

Filling:
1 Jar of Nutella (you won't need the whole jar! just enough)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.

Sift together the powdered sugar, almond meal and 2 tablespoons of espresso so there are no lumps (usually I just use a fork to break any large lumps). If your almond meal isn't so fine, you can put the ingredients into a blender or food processor to make it finer. Personally, I'd just use the sifter and dump out any remaining crumbs that didn't make it through the sifting process.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer (or if you prefer, you can use a bowl and hand mixer), beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.35-inch (3.5 cm) circles evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart. Quickly after it's piped, sprinkle a few espresso powder over each shell (this step is optional, personally I do it because I like how the macarons look once they're baked).

Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. Then it let sit for at least 30-60 minutes depending on humidity (okay, I've done it with just 15 minutes before and they turned out fine, but whatever you do, do not skip this step; even at just 15 minutes) before baking them in the oven, 15-17 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

To assemble: Before assembling these cookies, make sure to pair up all the cookie shells so they are as close as possible in size. Then using a knife, spread a good amount of Nutella on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it if you prefer less mess. I personally sometimes can't be bother to go through the hassle of putting my filling in a bag and cleaning up after it.)

Let them stand at least one day (keep them refrigerated) before serving (serve at room temperature), to meld the flavors. Or if you can't wait to dig in and eat, I say wait a few hours, at least! (Shhhh, I've eaten them newly assembled too, and they taste just as yummy. Just a little crunchy, but that's okay. hehehe). But really, for the best optimal flavor and taste, you must wait at least one day. They really are THAT good and worth the wait!

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Makes about 16-20 cookies. Enjoy and happy eating! :)

Note: I typically just bake mine for 15 minutes (middle rack in the oven) and they turn out fine. But yours may be different as all oven temperatures vary so letting them bake the full 17 minutes may be fine. I say set your timer for 15 minutes and add on from there. Regarding the sitting time, I've baked plenty of macarons with just having the piped batter sit for 15 minutes while the oven heats up because I don't always preheat my oven as the first step and they turn out fine too. You'll find it that once you've made these a few times, you'll get the system down. Good luck!

24 comments:

  1. Congrats on your successful macarons! They look beautiful. :) Yay.

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    1. Thanks! Now I just need to make cute animal ones like yours and hopefully they'll turn out right. :)

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  2. These look gorgeous! I gave up on French macarons because I couldn't get the feet right. You're inspiring me to give it another shot! :D

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I know, I felt defeated a few times in the past too when they didn't turn out right. But keep trying, you'll get it and it'll feel wonderful! Now I think I can really make these and have them come out just right. Of course I'm sure there will be times when nothing will go right, but that's okay. It all happens to us all sometimes. Good luck with yours!

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  4. How long are you letting these sit before baking? you mention it in the write up but not in the recipe and it is traditional in a macaron recipe.

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    1. Oh, I didn't realized I left out that part because usually I just let them sit while my oven preheats. And that's because I don't turn the oven on right away when I'm making the batter. But yes, you can let the piped batter sit for 30-60 minutes depending on humidity. Or if you're in a hurry you can probably do it at 15 minutes. But for sure, you must let these rest, even for those short 15 minutes. Sometimes you can get away with them not sitting, but I say to be safe you should let these sit. You don't want your cookies coming out without any feet by not resting, or having rest them too long and have no feet show up. Good luck!

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  5. Hi! Around how many macarons were you able to bake with this recipe? :) And it's going to be my first time to bake macarons (and I rarely bake), do you think it's feasible for me?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi! This recipe should make about 16-20 cookies depending on how big or small you pipe your shells. For someone who rarely bakes, I say don't be discouraged if your macarons don't turn out like the photos above. Even some seasoned bakers won't tackle these. It took me several trial and error until I got the shells to come out just right. But who's to say you can't make perfect macarons on a first try? I say go ahead and give it a try. Just remember, it may take a few batches until you get them looking just right. Good luck!

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  6. Ah these look really yummy, I think ill try them out, thanks for the recipe :D please visit my blog http://www.kawaiibakehouse.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You're welcome and thank you for stopping by. I'll be sure to check out your blog. :)

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  7. Hi! I tried using your recipe but it didnt turn out well..it does have shorter feet but I think it was too stiff that no matter how much i bang the trays before drying or using my fingers to smoothen them out, it does not look smooth like yours.
    May I know whats your speed when using your electric mixer and may i know exactly when should i stop folding my mixture? I know i might have under fold them but I'm still in doubt on whether how much I should fold. Roughly about how long or number of folds should I fold after the dry ingredients are incorporated?

    Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Joyce. I'm sorry this recipe did not turn out for you. After reading your comment yesterday morning, I made a batch of these macarons last night so I could count the number of folds it takes me to get the mix right. It took me 43 folds. But it could vary by each mix you do, so I say anywhere from 40-50 folds should be alright depending on your mix. Sometimes I think it's even taken me 55 folds. But when in doubt, it's always better to under fold than over because once you go over, you can't go back. At least when you under fold, you know you can refold a couple more times to get the mix right.

      Regarding feet, there are many factors such as your mixture being over or under, etc. But one factor I am aware of is the humidity. I think it's best to make sure you have low humidity in the house when making macarons because these cookies don't like moisture in the air. I've read that it's not good to bake when you have high humidity such as when it's raining outside, etc. I've noticed that the last few times I've made macarons, last night included, they've all come out with perfect feet and the humidity was low around 58-59%.

      I hope this helps and that you will give it another try at making macarons. Don't feel discouraged. It took me a few tries until I got it right when I first started baking macarons. Good luck and let me know if you were successful. And thank you so much for stopping by.

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    2. Hello! OMG thanks for your advice! Really touched that you actually have to make batch for a reply to me =) I will try them again tomorrow =) Yes Im living in Singapore and the humidity is so high here all year round =( What I did was I switch on the aircon in my house so I will have drier environment to work on my macarons.
      Will let you know when I succeed. Soon i guess! Will work double hard in the kitchen =)

      Thank you so much!

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  8. Hello~
    I've tried making macarons, but they always turn out cracked and hollow... :( I don't know what to do...
    (Yours look so pretty!)

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    1. Hi Anne! Thanks for stopping by and I'm sorry your macarons did not turn out. There is a great blog post about troubleshooting macarons here (http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/2010/08/macaron-troubleshooting-new-recipe.html) that can maybe help you out. You never want to overmix or overbake or underbake it. I hope you give this another try and good luck!

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  9. hello! These look great :) Can I ask what you sprinkled on the top of them?

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    1. Hi Katie! Thanks for stopping by. The macarons were sprinkled with instant coffee granules. Any brand should work as long as it's instant coffee. :)

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  10. When putting the macaroons in the oven do i put them in the middle or on the bottom or top?

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    1. Hi Phouthasak and thanks for stopping by! I usually bake my macarons in the middle rack. Thanks for pointing that out, I will update the recipe to include that.

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  11. I made these macarons on Sunday. They were the first ones I had tried making at home, and they came out great! I'm a Baking & Pastry Arts major at Johnson & Wales University and had successfully made macarons numerous times this past year as a freshman. Since then, I had been eager to attempt them outside of that setting. I will definitely be using this recipe again! I wish I could somehow post a picture to show you how they actually came out.

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    1. Hi Tali. Thank you so much for stopping by and trying out the recipe. I'm so glad to hear they turned out great for you!

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