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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Passionfruit Macaron - when the love affair with macaron began...


Passionfruit macaron has a special place in my heart. It was the first macaron I tasted and fell in love at first bite and I still recall that moment vividly. It was from a French patisserie at The Rock, Sydney that I stumbled upon during my trip to Sydney couple of years ago. It was one of those magical experiences. The pretty little morsel that was so light and crisp. It melted in my mouth and release amazing flavour. It was like “wow, what is this stuff? Why haven’t I had them before? Where have I been?”.  It was also fortunate that the first macaron I had was a great macaron. Generally, I find commercial macaron in Australia to be average (to put it politely… as in many instances, they are simply mediocre).

In my opinion, passionfruit makes a fabulous dessert. It is good in cake, slice, mousse, panna cotta, to name a few. And Pavlova won’t be complete without passion fruit. And yes, it makes great macaron.



I also find coconut complements passionfruit well. Therefore, I included grinded desiccated coconut in the macaron shell for additional flavour. At first, I was divided between using white chocolate or milk chocolate for the passionfruit ganache. Dark chocolate wasn’t an option as I think its flavour would overpower passionfruit.  I chose to use milk chocolate for a change.

Don’t you love the coconut aroma in the baked goods. It is even more so when those coconut cakes or macarons were being baked. It is truly sensational.

Coconut added sweet, creamy and toasty flavour to the macarons. It worked well with the subtle flavours of passionfruit ganache. I also think Italian buttercream would work well with passion filling too, maybe next time.

A bite into passionfruit macaron let me relive that magical moment, the first encounter to my most-loved pastry item.

Can you remember the first macaron you tasted?



Passionfruit Macaron Recipe

Makes 25 3-cm macarons

More details on Basic Mararons using Italian Meringue techniques can be found here.

You can also see more detailed intructions on making macarons in my
Basic Macaron Recipe and I heart Macarons blogs (however, they are recipes using French meringue method. Most of the processes are similar between Italian’s and French’s. The only difference is the handling of sugar and egg white).

Macarons shell ingredients
125 g pure icing sugar
85 g almond meal (almond flour or ground almond)
40 g desiccated coconut (grinded)
100 g egg whites (separated 24 -48 hours in advance and is at room temperature)
125 g caster sugar (super fine sugar)
30 ml water (2 tablespoons)
yellow colouring powder or liquid

Passionfruit milk chocolate ganache filling
100 g milk chocolate, chopped
90 g thickened cream (minimum 35% fat content)
2-3 passionfruits, pulps only
20 g butter, chopped

Making macarons shells
 
Sift almond meal, grinded desiccated coconut and icing sugar together through fine sieve and set aside.

Divide egg whites into two equal portions (50 g each portion).  Put one egg white portion (50 g) into a bowl and mix in yellow colouring powder or liquid until you achieve the desired colour. The colour will be substantially diluted once it is mixed into the macaron batch.
Pour the coloured egg white into the almond meal/icing sugar mixture.  Don’t mix or stir them, just leave it as is.

Put the water and caster sugar in a heavy-base saucepan over medium-high heat. When the syrup starts to boil. Place the rest of egg white (50 g) into a mixing bowl, using the whip attachment, whip egg white to the soft peak. When the syrup reaches 118°C (on a thermometer), take if off the heat and let it cool down to 115°C (or until the bubbles slightly subside).

While the mixer is still running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Be careful not to pour syrup onto the whip as it might spatter.

Continue mixing until the meringue cool down to slightly above body temperature (50°C) or when the side of the mixing bowl is just warm to touch. The whipped egg white will be (very) stiff and glossy.

Mix a third of whipped egg white into the almond meal mixture and combine them well. At this step, I work the mixture very vigorously to blend the egg white with almond meal mixture. Fold the rest of whipped egg white into the mixture and mix well, yet gently, until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thick. It resembles a very thick cake batter, or as many web sites describe it as a magma-like consistency (I believe it means the thick batter would flow slowly like a magma).

Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1-cm plain tip (size #11). Pipe the staggering rows of 1-inch rounds onto baking trays lined with parchment papers or baking sheets. You will need two trays for this recipe.

Let the piped shells stand at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes to let the crust forms. This depends on the room temperature and humidity. When the piped shells are dry to touch without it sticking to your finger, they are good to go into the oven.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced or convection oven, increase the temperature by 20°C if you’re using conventional oven) for at least 15 minutes. Just before baking, turn the temperature down to 150°C and bake the macarons for 15 minutes.

Lift the baking papers/sheets off the baking tray to the cooling rack and let it completely cool down before removing macarons (it is easier to remove cool macarons off the sheet. They are also less likely to stick to the paper).

Sandwich cool macaron shell with chilled passionfruit chocolate ganache filling.

Store macarons in airtight container in the fridge. Macarons will taste better after they are chilled overnight as the filling flavour will blend in and shells will be less dry.


Making  Passionfruit Milk Chocolate Ganache
Remove passionfruit pulps, and strain through a sieve to remove seeds, set aside.
Put milk chocolate in a separate bowl.

Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove it from heat as soon as it comes to the boil. 

Pour hot cream into chocolate. Leave it for about 10-20 seconds. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until melted. Scatter butter pieces on the mixture and stir until well combined. Mix through passionfruit pulps until all combined.

Chill the ganache at least an hour before using.  

8 comments:

  1. Sue, thank you for visiting my blog!! it was such a nice surprise! keep on sharing more with of your good stuff with us!

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  2. awesome! i made another batch of macarons using italian meringue mtd, and i looved them! am so going to try this!

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  3. Thanks for stopping by too. Love to share and see how you guys whipped up such a nice macarons too:)

    Sue

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  4. Hi KG,

    Thanks...if you love passionfruit, you'll love it. I think it might be good with buttercream filling as well.

    Sue

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  5. Awsome. can't wait to try the recipe! Passionfruit is my fav too.

    Say, Sue, can I ask you about making your macarons in winter?

    Do they dry as normal when its cold or do you turn on the heaters to set the air temperature right for the macaron drying process?
    Or is it that Melbourne has a warmer winter than Canberra?

    I also went out and bought a Thermometer for the italian meringue method. Does the Italian meringue method have a faster drying time period? or is it the same for the French meringue?

    I made another few batches and there were no feet and the drying process was longer than 45 min. I beleive its something to do with the surrounding air temperature for the drying process.

    Say, have you made the french meringue method in while?

    Yes many questions. Sorry.
    Though looking foreward to your reply.

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  6. Hi Kaze,

    Mac in winter - I just made some today. It was 16c in Mel, no rain, so it's moderate humidity?. It took me 60 minutes on the dot to get the dry crust.

    Yes, I believe Italian meringue contributes to shorter drying time and crust is shinier and less browned.

    What kind of baking tray do you use? I used MasterClass, which is sort of commercial weight and I found that my macaron has nicer and well-raised feet with MC tray (I got one from Peter of Kensington, have you heard of PoK? they do online delivery Aus-wide and I love them).

    Lately, I also found that a well-mixed egg white, until it is very stiff and glossy, gives nicer/better-raised feet. Have you mixed your egg white enough? Try whipping it until it's very stiff and glossy.

    I haven't done French Meringue for a while, since I'm now a convert to Italian's

    Cheers, Sue

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  7. Hi sue.
    So having a really good stiffened egg white will help? Should I super whip my egg white then? (like over stiffen the egge white)
    I'm still currently using the French Meringue method.

    The baking trays I use are from "Bakers Secret".

    Thanks.

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  8. Hi Kaze

    Somehow, I feel like a devil's advocate:P. I think, you can try continue whipping the egg white for another 30 seconds - 1 minutes from the point you'd normally stop, for an experiment and see what happens. I think makin macaron is all about practices and trial-and-errors too.

    Baker's Secret might not be thick and heavy enough. Try double lining the baking tray and see how you go.

    Sue

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