Hi everyone, I’m back!
Yes, I know it’s been a really long while since I’ve updated – even after I promised to do so now that I’m back in Singapore for good :/
Truth is, the day after I got back, I started my summer internship. Working full-time hours on the weekdays & trying to spend time for myself on the weekend resulted in me not being able to do much baking. Also, times when I did bake, I didn’t really photograph the food items & just left it for everyone to consumer oopsie daisy!
Anyway that aside, SCS Dairy (our local butter brand) has recently launched a Star Bakers’ Challenge. Basically the challenge goes for 5 rounds and you need to pass each round to qualify for the next. Needless to say, I decided to join this challenge. It was a little difficult given that the first round was just a ‘free for all’ challenge. Also, I had no idea if they were going to kick anyone out from that first round.
Thus, I decided to create something a little more challenging – just in case other people put up a very tough challenge (which mind you, they did!). As you all know (if you read my blog enough), I’m pretty much a sadist and like to make life really difficult for myself. Of course, the queen of difficult pastries – Macarons!
These were a little bit more complicated than my usual macarons. Instead of having just one filling, I decided to have the middle filled with a ganache & then the outside with buttercream so that when you bite into half, you get two flavours as well as a pretty cross-section.
I wanted to go beyond conventional flavours and figured that pink guava would be something that very few people associate with macarons. At the end of it, I managed to whip up a lemon and pink guava macaron. Everyone really liked it and said that it was a very unique – also that the flavours complimented one another. I even did a flash sale on my Instagram & all boxes were sold out! Hip hip hooray & thanks to everyone who supported :)
Oh yes, something that was really great about this set of macarons was that I changed a bit of my recipe. Instead of having to age all my egg whites, I went for fresh egg whites. It was really great that the shells turned out well (I tried it again the week after and it did again), makes me think that ageing eggwhites are really unnecessary if you’re able to get a good meringue on your own. I also used the fan on my oven for the first time, as in Pierre Herme’s instructions. What I’m going to do soon is get myself an oven thermometer so that I’ll be able to better gauge the temperature of everything and so that I’ll be able to get consistently perfect macarons!
Well, enough with the rambling – but hopefully I’ll be able to advance on many more rounds of the SCS challenge. Will keep you updated with that at the very least – I promise :)
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for you!
Pink Guava & Lemon Macarons
Makes 100 shells
Preheat oven to 160 degrees with fan
- 300g powdered sugar / icing sugar
- 300g almond meal/almond flour
- 110g egg whites
- 75g water
- 300g granulated sugar
- 110 egg whites
- Sift powdered sugar & almond meal together. Put egg whites over and leave aside
- Boil water and sugar until it reaches 115 degrees celcius. Begin whipping the egg whites till they reach soft peaks
- When the sugar syrup reaches 118 degrees celcius, pour it into the egg whites to create an Italian Meringue
- Keep whipping until your meringue has stiff peaks (see Meringue tips)
- Fold the meringue into the almond mixture A
- The batter should be ribbony and when a pattern is created, the pattern in the batter should disappear only after 15 seconds
- Pipe out the macaron shells around 3-cm in diameter, spaced out from each other
- Put into oven for 8-10 minutes or until the shells are ‘fixed’ or ‘attached’ to the baking parchment. This will mean that the parchment will shift about when you hold on to one shell. The shell should not detach from the rest of the shell (if you’ve made macarons before you should know what I mean)
- Take it out to cool & remove from parchment sheet
Pink Guava Ganache
- 150g white chocolate
- 100g pink guava puree
- 40g butter, unsalted
- Place white chocolate and pink guava puree over a bain marie until the whole mixture is completely fluid
- Add the unsalted butter in and the whole thing is homogenous
- Place in a shallow pan and refrigerate
- Once totally cool, the ganache will not be hardened but still rather soft. This makes it ideal to be put in the centre of the macaron
Lemon Buttercream (SMBC)
- 100 g sugar
- 2 extra large egg whites
- 150 g butter, at room temperature
- Place sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be thick and sticky.
- Place the egg white mixture into an electric mixing bowl. Using whip attachment, whip the egg white on medium-high speed until it reaches a stiff peak and is glossy. The meringue should be cool at this point.
- Change to paddle attachment (of electric mixer) and continue beating meringue at medium-high speed . While the motor is running, add small chunks of room temperature butter one at a time. Continue adding all the butter and keep beating until the butter is blended in and the buttercream is smooth, very smooth.
- Match up your macaron shells
- Pipe Lemon Buttercream in the shape of a donut on top of one shell
- Fill the middle portion with the pink guava ganache
- Cap with the matching macaron shell
- Refrigerate & serve to eat the next day