Pistachio macaron is our first choice in our virgin attempt at making macaron at home… sis and me that is. We always join force when making macaron because it’s a tedious job to be done by only 1 person. We choose this flavour because we wanted to try the pistachio paste we bought from Paris. The recipe is adapted from Pierre Hermé’s Macarons cookbook and also from our La Cuisine Paris’ macaron class.
Our first homemade macaron!
First thing first, let’s start with making ganache.
Ingredients for pistachio ganache (clockwise from top): white chocolate, whipping cream and butter.
Bring cream to boil. Then, pour over white chocolate and stir.
Once melted (1), add the butter (2) and stir. Lastly add pistachio paste (3) and stir until ganache is well blended and shiny (4).
Press clingfilm over the surface of the ganache and set aside in the fridge for the ganache to thicken.
Now, let’s start making macaron shells.
Sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds. If it’s too difficult to pass through the sieve, ground the almonds and sugar a little.
Add food coloring to egg whites. Stir until incorporated. We’re using red rose color from Wilton because we think it’ll be a nice contrast to the green pistachio. The amount… well we didn’t measure. It’s more or less about 1/4 teaspoon or maybe more. I can’t remember now. It all depends whether you want dark color or light color shells. So adjust accordingly to your liking. You can even use other color.
Pour egg white+coloring mixture into the almond+sugar mixture.
Mix well and set aside.
The color is quite deep right? But once mix with meringue it will lighten up.
Now, let’s prepare Italian meringue.
Bring water and sugar to boil at 118oC.
When the syrup reaches 115oC, start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks on medium speed.
Once syrup reaches 118oC, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50oC.
Next, place meringue into dry ingredients.
Fold the meringue into the almond+sugar mixture.
As you can see, now the deep pink has become light pink. Next, spoon batter into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
Pipe batter about 3.5cm round in diameter on parchment paper. As you can see, our pipping is not steady yet. Some of the unbake shell look horrendous. Haha Here, we’re using our newly bought macaron silicon baking mat from Paris. I’m so glad we bought the macaron mat. Make life easier. 🙂
Now, rap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth to let air bubbles out. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes until a skin forms. Bake at 180oC for 12 minutes and quickly open and shut the oven door twice during cooking time.
Remove shells to work surface or cooling rack. Once cool (to make piping life easier), arrange shells matching their size.
Spoon ganache into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mound of ganache on to half of the shells then top with the remaining shells.
Store the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours and bring them back out 2 hours before serving. Why 24 hours? Because they taste the best a day later. Macaron can last about a week in the fridge.
First attempt at making pistachio macaron… well it’s not 100% successful in terms of texture but flavor wise is perfect.
Pretty color combination right?
Okay, so we encountered 3 problems when making macarons.
1. Shells turn brownish too soon. To counter this we place another baking tray on top (resting on another oven rack).
2. Nipples on shell surface… well if rapping the work surface didn’t work, you can use your finger to try smoothen it.
3. Some shells are hollow inside. Well, after 2 more attempts at making macaron we still have no idea how to solve this. We suspect it’s our meringue or folding problem. We didn’t encounter this problem during macaron class.
Thankfully our macaron shells have no problem forming feets. They are always well formed even without the 30 minutes waiting period. Knowing the characteristic of your oven is another important factor when making macaron. So experiment and learn!
Last but not least, thank you to all Messy Witchen’s readers for your support throughout 2012… whether you’re reading my food post, trying out the recipes or commenting. I wish you all the best for the coming 2013. Happy New Year!!!
Adapted from Macarons by Pierre Hermé and La Cuisine Paris
Makes about 70 pieces.
For macaron shells:
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
110g egg whites
Red rose food coloring (measurement depends on deep/light preference on macaron shell)
300g castor sugar
75g mineral water
110g egg whites
For pistachio ganache:
165g whipping cream (full fat)
300g white chocolate, chopped
75g butter (room temperature)
45g pistachio paste
Method for making pistachio ganache:
1. Bring cream to boil. Pour over white chocolate and stir.
2. Once melted, add the butter and stir. Lastly add pistachio paste and stir until ganache is well blended and shiny.
3. Pour the ganache into a gratin dish or just use the same bowl. Press clingfilm over the surface of the ganache and set aside in the fridge for the ganache to thicken.
Method for making macaron shells:
1. Sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds.
2. Add food coloring into the egg whites bowl and stir until incorporated.
3. Then pour the egg whites+coloring into the almond+sugar mixture. Mix well. Set aside.
4. Bring water and sugar to boil at 118oC. When the syrup reaches 115oC, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks on medium speed.
5. When the syrup reaches 118oC, pour it over the egg whites. Whisk and allow the meringue to cool down to 50oC.
6. Fold the meringue into the almond+sugar mixture.
7. Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
8. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment.
9. Rap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes until a skin forms on the shells.
10. Preheat the fan oven to 180oC then put the trays in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes quickly opening and shutting the oven door twice during cooking time.
11. Out of the oven, slide the shells on to the work surface.
12. To assemble macaron: Spoon ganache into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe a generous mound of ganache on to half of the shells then top with the remaining shells.
13. Store the macarons in the fridge for 24 hours and bring them back out 2 hours before serving.
First let me say that your Macarons look beautiful and I am sure that they taste wonderful too. I just finished a large Christmas gift project for a client that included various flavors of Macarons. I used Pierre Herme’s recipe rather than the one that I usually use because of the higher yield. I had simiar problems with the first batch. I realized after re-reading Mr Herme’s recipe that he uses a higher baking temperature of 350 F. This works because he is using a convection oven where the temperature is evenly distributed by the oven fan. In a conventional oven the higher temp causes browning on top and dries out the Macarons causing hollow centers. Using two baking sheets will not help this. You need to lower the oven temp to 300 or 325 F to prevent the browning and a slightly longer baking time using two sheet pans should prevent the hollows.
It is important to add the egg whites to the almond meal but do not mix this together until the meringue is finished. If you do mix the whites with the almond meal before you make the meringue you run the risk of the mixture hardning making it impossible to mix in the meringue.
It also looks like you could benefit from a few more strokes during the macaronage as your batter looks a little thick. This will prevent the peaks and any piping marks. If you do get peaks you can smooth them out by dipping your finger is cold water and lightly pressing down the peak. Make sure that your finger is damp rather than wet as a wet finger will leave water marks. No amount of rapping of the sheet pans will even out a thick batter. Your “feet” look great, which a major achievement and the colors are beautiful. I have to say that while I have achieved some success with Macarons I also continue to have batches that fail. But they are just too good to stop making so I live with the bad ones by eating them!
Hi AndyB, thank you so much for the tips. *hugs* I’ll keep all that in mind. 🙂
Amazing for first attempt! Very pretty looking, and the process is really tidious..
Hi, yeah not a bad first attempt ya. I wouldn’t try making it if it’s only me alone. Haha