Chocolate Caramel/Double Chocolate Macarons

Monday, 18 August 2014

I would have to say the highlight of this past weekend was the lovely afternoon spent baking with Joyce (you can go check out her blog here!), another baking enthusiast and friend whom I met through playing badminton at the local community centre I go to. It was a nice contrast to the gloomy weather and mood/happenings earlier that day, so I greatly appreciated that time spent baking.

We followed this recipe, although in typical Melody fashion, I didn't completely follow it. I didn't want to stress myself on the urgency of having to spread super runny caramel as the filling, so I thought we were going to make the thicker caramel from this recipe. But in actuality, Joyce had magically presented me with a jar of leftover caramel that she made for a previous baking session.

So given the brown colour of the batter, we found it a bit humorous that our little soon-to-be macaron shells reminded us of piles of poop in a way. But as seen in the next couple of photos, they turned out pretty swell!

Just pictured above was our first caramel filling attempt. It was a bit much, so we learned to put less in the next ones. Nonetheless it still looked pretty awesome!

I loved how the 'feet' of the macarons turned out... and even though there is always room for improvements, I felt that at least this time around, my attempt at making macarons were less lumpy than my previous time :)

We eventually ran out of caramel filling, and because we were pressed for time (damn we spent so much time just sifting the dry ingredients... I think it's time I invested in a larger sifter *sigh*), we didn't really get a chance to drizzle melted chocolate on the top of the macarons like we thought we would. Instead, we used some of the chocolate, mixed it with some leftover whipped cream I had, microwaved it and...viola! Chocolate ganache (all thanks to Joyce's genius).

Some things to note from my experience making macarons the second time around:
• Sifting makes a sizeable difference. In fact, if I had the proper resource and efficiency (sifting was really time consuming that day...), I would've sifted maybe even twice or a third time just to get the powder to be reallllyyyyy fine.

• If getting a macaron mat is not your thing, the next best thing is parchment paper and a pre-drawn template. I just used my circle stencil that I used back in highschool/university for art projects as a guideline to how each dollop of batter should look on the sheet.

• When squeezing the batter out onto the parchment paper, it's best to have at least ¼ of a cm worth of thickness. Anything less would cause your batter to burn, even if it's just 10 minutes.

• Apparently I should have prepared my egg whites a day before. I got curious as to how people make that absolute perfect texture, and that's what the internet said (one of the tips anyway). I shall try that next time.

• Your macaron filling causing the cookie to shift a little? Refrigerate it and it should be good to go :)

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