Monday, July 25, 2011

Randomness: Blue Macaron Wedding Favor, Little Girl's Birthday Cake, and Sadaharu Aoki's Macarons

Just wanted to say a quick hi and to let you guys know that I am still alive here.



Summer has always been a really busy time for me (and everyone). I was in the middle of house-moving these past month, some weekend trips in between, and a-week-long vacation (it was GREAT!) and they're pretty much eating all of my time and I hardly have time to bake as weekend is pretty much the only time I could bake. Other than that, I have no internet connection at home for almost a full month, didn't realize how important internet is until it's gone.
I didn't realize how much baking stuff I have until I have to pack them, I have at least 15-20 big boxes easily for tools and ingredients!!!!

Anyways, I have been baking quite a bit lately, mostly involving stone fruits and I've also been churning some sorbets and making popsicles! There are still definitely a long list of things to make for me this summer and I am trying to get to them one at a time, whenever I have time. Currently, I am busy with my niece 1st birthday for this coming weekend. You will find out soon about that :)

Just thought to give you a quick peek of what I was up to before the moving and the vacations.


Image above is courtesy of Mey Saetern

One of the things that gets me excited about baking is when someone asked me to bake something for their special occasion, especially for a wedding. At first, the thought of baking hundreds of macarons with my schedule sounds really impossible and each time, I just can't say no for most of them. There is something about wedding that is just so magical and being asked to be a part of that is such an honor for me.

I have never met Corrine before, we were introduced to each other by a mutual friend and we started emailing each other back and forth about macarons and how she'd like to have macarons for her upcoming wedding for the favor. We didn't really have any trouble communicating to each other and everything seems like a breeze to decide. She is so easy to work with and sounded like a really nice person (we've never met before) and it was definitely a joy to work with her.


When it was the time for me to start making it, of course it didn't come easy. First off, I was on 10-day trip the two weeks before the wedding and I hadn't ordered all the necessary ingredients I needed for the macarons. So I hurried and ordered them online after I got back but they took so long to ship (very unusually long) that I had to call a few times and had to changed the shipping to 2-day shipping. Yup, it comes with a lot higher shipping cost too, possibly the most expensive shipping I've ever paid for. Secondly, it was raining non stop for more than a week and with my previous bad experience baking macaron in a humid weather, this was no exception either.

The first 5 batches failed miserably (yes, 5 batches! which equals to about 150 macarons or 300 individual shells), I had no idea what went wrong. Out of desperation, I switched to French Meringue method and see if it would make any difference and it came out perfect! Although the texture is somewhat different that IM method, but they've got to be done no matter what. It was a crazy time indeed and I still remember how everything was rushed in the middle of the night. The macarons were filled with rose-flavored buttercream.

Now, onto the sweet thing. When the bf came back from 5-week business trip in Taipei, he came back bringing back this.. Sadaharu Aoki's macarons!



When he told me that he was leaving for Taipei, these macarons were the first that came to mind, hehehe... been wanting to try them for ages, well..Pierre Herme's, Laduree's and a lot more in Paris too, but the is more accessible... for now.


Other than that, here is also a cake I made for little girl's birthday cake, Olivia. I feel privileged to be able to bake her birthday cakes for the three years of her life so far, even though I have never met her. The theme for the cake is "Olivia" the pig, first time I've heard the character that I had to google it to know what it is :).

Now that I have my internet back, I have quite a bit of typing and photo editing to do. Stay tuned!

I used Aran's recipe for the macarons:

French Meringue Macarons
taken from Aran at Canelle-vanille

140 gr egg whites
3 gr egg white powder
80 gr sugar
180 gr almond flour
240 gr powdered sugar
  • Make sure that the egg whites have been separated from the egg yolks at least the night before. This bit of aging really makes a difference in the macarons.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour and powdered sugar. Set aside.
  • Whip the egg whites with the egg white powder until very fluffy, almost fully whipped. Start adding the sugar slowly and whip to stiff peaks.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and fold with a spatula until a shiny mass forms. We want to achieve a batter that makes ribbons. You might have to test it to see if it's done. Pipe a small amount on your sheetpan. If it keeps a little bit of a top when piped, then you have to mix it a bit further, if it spreads really fast, you have gone too far and your macarons will turn out flat.
  • When you have the right consistency, place the mass in a pastry bag with a number 5 tip and pipe small rounds onto sheetpans lined with parchment or silpat. Let them dry at room temperature for at least 45 minutes to an hour. The tops must be dry when you touch them.
  • Have the oven preheated to 350F degrees. Place one sheetpan in the oven at a time and reduce the temperature to 300F degrees. Bake for 8 minutes and rotate sheetpan and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Let the macarons cool on the sheetpan.

8 comments:

Swee San said...

The blue macaron are so Tiffany ish.. Good job!!

Swee San said...

The blue macaron are so Tiffany ish.. Good job!!

Linda said...

I love your Olivia cake - so cute, and those macaroons looks so yummy. Does it last long, though? Heard that macaroon is only good for up to 3 days.

Bertha said...

Macarons can last for a few days, it can definitely last for more than 3 days, if kept in the refrigerator

Luluseven said...

Can anyone please convert this recipe to US measuring standards. I have tried it via the Internet converters & it's not exact enough?

Bertha said...

Luluseven: I don't think you can convert grams to cups exactly to the tee. I know it won't help much but I would suggest investing on a scale as it is much more accurate. The other alternative is to find another recipe that uses cup measurement.

Natalie said...

I'm thinking to make macaron for my wedding in Sept. Just wondering how do you store them after they are done? Do you pack them in the favor box and put in refrigerator? Since my reception is at night, is it ok to leave it them out at room temperature since the morning of the wedding? Where did you buy the favor box and what size is it?

Bertha said...

Natalie: I didn't box them when I made these. I only made the macarons and I think the bride had a different person in charge of boxing it. So I know nothing about the box.

If your filling is buttercream or ganache type, then you can store it in the fridge for up to two days. I would suggest not boxing it first because it will take too much space in the fridge, and that it is better to be kept in an airtight container so that it doesn't dry out.

On the wedding day morning, you can have someone box them up for you and leave them out at room temperature is ok, as long as not under direct sunlight that can melt the filling.

This assumes that you don't have fresh fruits in your filling. If you do, then you need to fill it the day of because fresh fruit makes the shell soggy.

Hope this helps. and Congrats!