08 July 2015

Geen Tea Macarons with Azuki Cream Cheese(Matcha Macarons 绿茶红豆乳酪马卡龙)


I lost count of how many times my macarons was without feet. For the past three weeks, everyday the first thing I had to do after breakfast was baking macarons, on some days I  baked three batches. The unsuccessful attempts were not due to problem with the recipe but the baker (Me). I come to realize baking macaron is not so simple, beside the feet, a macaron should has minimize hollow shell, there are tons of reasons, the list go on never ending. Of course, after the successful baked it doesn't means that unsuccessful attempts no longer going to haunt me again. Well, my macarons is yet to reach the signature stylish smooth top it should have, a long way to go.

After all these experiments, I come to like the crunchy chewy texture of the macaron, the filling play an important role to tone down the sweetness of the over sweet macaron shell. 

Quantities
There are lot of myths for this little round pretty monster, one thing I can bust is the quantities of the ingredients, the ratio of ground almond, icing sugar and egg are not really important. Therefore when you sifted the icing sugar and ground almond, you can dump that chunky bits. 

Colour
There are many little things that cause an unsuccessful macaron, such as the dye that you add to the meringue. It is a sure no to add liquid colour, it'll makes the meringue soaking with that extra bit of water which result the macaron can't form a dry shell. I have try a few types of dye and come to satisfy with AmeriColor. However, if you don't have one, you can use any powder food colouring or the Wilton icing colour. 

Folding Meringue
Folding the meringue during the macaronage is another crucial factor, I tried my very best to fold as what the experts said, about 30-40 folds, then come to realize it's depends on the quantities of meringue you have. What Stella of BraveTart said in her blog made me realized I no need to be too gentle in folding the meringue, what we really need to do is incorporate the ground almond, icing sugar together with the meringue, and most importantly deflate the air in the meringue. So scrape the mixing bowl, fold the macaronage until "lava stage" which mean the mixture should be able to ooze a bit but not runny. Yes, if the ground almond is not incorporate properly to the meringue, it may cause crack or may contribute to a not smooth top for the macaron.

Temperature
Thanks to my friend who saw my crack macarons and told me it could be my oven  temperature was too high. I always set my oven temperature on 150C but until I placed the oven thermometer inside the oven then I realized the temperature inside my oven is way higher than the 150C, from that onward, every times the oven thermometer will be inside my oven when I bake the macaron, as this little monster really very sensitive to heat. However, I discovered that the temperature between 140C~150C is good for macarons. If the temperature is too high, the macarons may rise too fast and causing the hollow shell too.

Dry out the Macarons
Do you believe this is the most challenging part to me after all? I'm not that patient in waiting the macarons to sit out and dry by itself, so many times my unsuccessful macarons were due to this factor. I didn't wait long enough to let it form the dry shell and just pop them into the oven, of course the result was macarons with no feet. So until yesterday, I discover there is a technique used by lot of bakers, heat up the oven, leave the oven door open and let the baking tray sit close to the oven for about 10 mins. This will dry out the macarons the faster way. 

Lastly, I want to thanks Anncoo Journal for her Matcha Macarons recipe, all my experiments on macarons are using her recipe as my guide. The small quantities of the ingredients is just right for me to try out my experiments on macarons. 

Below is a video and a good article on Macaron which I find them useful, hope it's useful for you to see "feet" too! ^^ Happy Baking! 

Videos:
Blog:

07 July 2015

Green Tea Cream Puffs 绿茶泡芙


Try out a few bakes using green tea powder, one of it is baking choux pastry with green tea pastry cream filling. This is a dessert love by my family, the sweetness is just right with that unique mild green tea fragrance. The Choux puffs rise up to its maximum height, with crispy shell and hollow centre. 

This time I made my choux puffs smaller (1/3 of palm size), then I realized it only need around 25 mins baking time. If you are baking a bigger choux puffs like what I did in my previous baking, it may take a longer baking time. 

I'm using Okashi, Sweet Treats Made With Love recipe for the pastry cream and using my previous bake choux pastry recipe.

03 July 2015

Palm Sugar and Coconut Milk Jelly (Agar Agar Santan Gula Melaka 耶糖燕菜)


This is the first time I made Four-layered Jelly, all the while I thought it will take a long while waiting for the Jelly to set before proceed to another layer, therefore I didn't try to make one. These few days I try to search a good recipe on palm sugar and sago, because one of my guest requested a dessert to have sago and palm sugar in it. 

I came across Coffee and Cream Agar Jelly by RunAwayRice, she shown the fast setting technique using ice bath which I find it useful for me. However, her recipe using "half and half" which I don't think I can buy it here, so I have to drop here recipe. Then, I came across Helen's YouTube recipe on her Rainbow Jelly. I decided to modified on Helen's recipe to make my Palm Sugar ad Coconut Milk Jelly and also using the ice bath technique. 

This Agar-agar Santan Gula Melaka or Palm Sugar Coconut Milk Jelly is a perfect dessert for this hot summer, the sweetness of palm sugar is just right and the little sago in the coconut milk layer add a different texture to this beautiful delicious Jelly, my son and hubby love it so much. 

One special note I would like to add on ice bath technique is I find it awesome. You can see the Jelly setting and gauge the right timing to pour in the second layer, a crucial for the layers to stick together. 

30 June 2015

Green Tea Cheesecake with Milo Powder


I seldom bake cake as cake is not the food that I can put on my breakfast table. However, I bake this green tea cheesecake again because this heavy cream cheese cheesecake will be a good dessert for guests. I double the quantities to make a tall cheesecake, and I think I did a good job on mixing the green tea powder to the cream cheese mixture this round. The mild green on the cheesecake is very lovely! 

Now, why Milo powder and not cocoa powder? Just because I don't have sweetened cocoa powder and the combination of Milo and mild green tea taste great!  

29 June 2015

Red Bean Buns / Rolls 红豆沙面包


Dig out my homemade chunky red bean paste which I cooked sometimes ago using 800g of kidney red bean (I used kidney red bean in cans) to make this batch of bread, I just used about 400g of the red bean paste for this bread making. I didn't blend my red bean to smooth paste, it still contain bits of red bean chunk. The good thing about homemade red bean paste is you can control how sweet you want the paste to be. 

My son was "wow" by the twisted shape of this bread, however, the soft bread texture and the chunky red bean paste are the real winner.