Agh! I ruined a batch of macarons!

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Norcalbaker59, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    So I sat everything up to make a batch of espresso macarons. Using the Italian method, got the egg whites beating and the sugar syrup cooking. And I decide to wash up the few dishes in the sink because I am OCD. When I get back to the boiling syrup I find the temperature is 253°!

    Not wanting to waste anything I decided not to make a new pot of sugar syrup. Oh big mistake… half the shells did not rise because the syrup was so far beyond the soft ball stage it acted like a glue! And they all stuck to the silpat.

    Oh well, you stupid, you suffero_O

    But at least the color was perfect and the coffee flavor nicely produced.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 9, 2018
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  2. Norcalbaker59

    Sparrow New Member

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    How frustrating!! I’ve never tried that method before, it sounds more complicated than the one I’ve had reasonable success with.

    I’m the same as you and hate to waste ingredients but it’s so annoying when you don’t get the results you normally do!!
    Well done on tHe colour- mine always come out pale!
     
    Sparrow, Mar 10, 2018
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  3. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Well I’m glad I’m not the only one that worries about wasting ingredients:). Even though in the end I wasted the whole batch it was the thought that counts right?

    Yes the oven heat really fades most food coloring. I try to pick very vibrant colors. And I always color the batter several shades darker than desired. The color is usually better when it’s natural, such is cocoa powder or espresso powder.

    Ohhh that makes me wonder if powdered food coloring would work.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 10, 2018
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  4. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Oh no, how annoying! At least they still tasted good :) Hot sugar is tricky - I always find that the temperature rises reeeaaaallly slowly, so much so that it lulls me into a false sense of security, then I turn my back for 30 seconds and the temperature has suddenly shot up! :rolleyes:

    I've never tried the Italian method for macarons before, do you prefer it to the French method?
     
    Becky, Mar 10, 2018
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  5. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Ya know Becky, I am totally unfaithful to the macaron methods. I switch back and forth all the time. If I’m adding anything to the shells, like espresso powder or cocoa, I tend to go Italian.

    When it’s a vanilla shell, then I do French.

    I feel the Italian meringue is more stable. So when adding other things into the mix I feel there’s less risk of messing up the batter with Italian.

    I took a long break from macarons. But I have a couple of events coming up in the middle of some travel. So I need a few things I can make ahead of time and freeze.

    I’m still deciding on flavor profiles but thinking:

    Espresso with mocha milk chocolate

    Champagne and raspberry

    Passion fruit and not sure what yet

    Fig with a whipped honey chèvre
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 11, 2018
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  6. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Ooh those flavours sound divine! I'll admit I've never tried the Italian method in relation to macarons, I'd like to give it a go some day though.

    Passion fruit and white chocolate is a good combo. Have you ever tried the nut free macaron method using grated white chocolate?
     
    Becky, Mar 12, 2018
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  7. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes I actually have about a pound of Valrhona white chocolate. I’ve been saving it for something special.

    No I’ve never tried a white chocolate nut free version. How do you make it?

    I just bought some hazel nuts. I’m going to try a macaron using hazel nut flour instead of almond flour.

    Besides I also want to make hazelnut praline paste to mix into the mocha chocolate filling.:p
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 12, 2018
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  8. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    I've not tried them myself, but I read about it a while ago. This is the recipe I saw: https://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/macaron-substitute-almond-flour/

    Basically you finely grate white chocolate and reduce the amount of sugar (because of the sugar in the chocolate), but the rest works the same. I'd be interested to see how they turn out!

    Mmmmm hazelnut praline paste sounds delicious :D
     
    Becky, Mar 13, 2018
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  9. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I just love Ann Reardon. These macarons look amazing. I would’ve never guessed they were nut free. And that little hollow spot is nothing to fret about. I bookmarked the page for future reference.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 13, 2018
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  10. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Yeah she's great! The only thing I don't like is that weird voice she does in her more recent videos - she doesn't do it in the older ones, so I'm not sure what changed. Other than that I love to see the interesting things she comes up with :)
     
    Becky, Mar 14, 2018
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  11. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Yes over the years she has become much more animated in her speaking. And her voice sounds more high-pitched to me. I love the way that she breaks recipes and process down to their simplest forms. She takes the intimidation out of The equation. Which is both encouraging and inspiring for bakers at all levels, but especially so for those just starting out.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 14, 2018
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  12. Norcalbaker59

    Teeth Brusher Well-Known Member

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    VALRHONA!!!! I am about to DIE. I haven't had Valrhona is YEARS, and this injustice is making me rage lol!
     
    Teeth Brusher, Mar 18, 2018
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  13. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    I don't think I've ever tried it! Just how good is it and am I missing out??
     
    Becky, Mar 19, 2018
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  14. Norcalbaker59

    Teeth Brusher Well-Known Member

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    It’s REALLY good. I remember trying it for the first time and thinking to myself, “Oh yeah. This is worth it.”
     
    Teeth Brusher, Mar 19, 2018
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  15. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Where white chocolate is concerned, for me it’s Valrhona or nothing. The difference is so stark, especially if making a ganache. Most white chocolate produces a sickeningly sweet white chocolate ganache. The sugar overwhelms everything. The Valrhona White chocolate is an exception. Any flavors you add to the ganache are enchanted.

    Where dark chocolate is concerning things become far more subjective. It really depends on the flavors and sweetness one associates with chocolate.

    Americans have been raised with really crappy chocolate. I find when I use Valrhona, most people will describe the flavor as “bitter”. European chocolates are indeed less sweet than American chocolate.

    So as much as I like Valrhona, I do not use it in baking unless I know the recipient of the product indeed appreciate the quality of Valrhona dark chocolate.

    I cannot speak to the milk chocolate since it is not a chocolate I enjoy. So I am a terrible judge of milk chocolate. For me, milk chocolate just doesn’t taste like chocolate. I love dark and semi-sweet chocolate.

    Belgian chocolate seems to be more palatable to Americans. The Cacao Barry, which is Callebaut’s top of the line are excellent chocolates. Many chocolatiers and pastry chefs throughout the world use this line. It’s an excellent line of chocolate.

    But even their standard Callebaut line is very good. I frequently buy the Callebaut dark semisweet 5.5 kilo block to use chopped in chocolate chip cookies, or for dipping biscotti. I’ve never gotten bad reviews with this chocolate in cookie applications.

    Americans are slowly coming around to better chocolate. There are a lot of artisan bean to bar produces popping up in the states. As people learn to appreciate chocolate on a level beyond the waxy stuff Hershey sells under the chocolate label, bakers are able to embrace better chocolate into their baked goods.

    Some bakeries in the San Francisco area, and here in the wine country only use Valrhona or comparable chocolate.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 19, 2018
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  16. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Well now I've GOT to try some :D I'll see if I can order it online. I used to be a massive fan of dark chocolate, and I hardly ever had white or even low cocoa-content milk chocolate. But since my back problems my tastes have changed massively, and I find dark chocolate too bitter at the moment. Not sure whether it's because of the brain problems or painkillers, but I hope it comes back!
     
    Becky, Mar 20, 2018
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  17. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh how tragic to lose your taste of chocolate!
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 25, 2018
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  18. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Annoyingly I've also gone off coffee... I can have it if it's mild (like a flat white), but gone are the days of having macchiatos. Now that I'm doing better I'm wondering if it's partly an association problem - I was feeling nauseous all the time when I was ill, and I went off a lot of things. I now associate certain foods with feeling sick, so I think I need to try and break myself out of it. Sounds like a good excuse to have chocolate :)
     
    Becky, Mar 26, 2018
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  19. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I experimented with macarons today. I did a batch with the French method. I wanted to see if it was possible to add a Bakery emulsion to the batter. The answer is no! The extra water in the emulsion made the shell spread. None formed feet. A few cracked.

    I really want to flavor the shells with something more powders like espresso and cocoa. I’m going to try increasing the egg whites; age three days instead of two; try conventional icing sugar. I prefer organic powdered sugar. Organic icing sugar contains tapioca starch rather than cornstarch (cornflour). The cornstarch may absorb more of the moisture.

    Regarding coffee... I absolutely love coffee. I drink it every morning. I get how illness and physical changes in the body can affect your taste. when I was pregnant, I could not stand coffee. The aroma made me so nauseous, I banned it from the house. That and popcorn! I actually burst into tears when I came home one day to find my husband made popcorn. Up to that point I don’t think my husband understood just how severely food smells effected me during pregnancy.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 26, 2018
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  20. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    That's a shame, sorry to hear that didn't work. I have to admit I've never tried flavouring the shells, I've only ever added colouring to them, and just relied on the filling to give flavour.

    I think the powder flavouring idea is good though - freeze-dried raspberry powder could also work well. I wonder if matcha would work too? You can get all kinds of flavour powders, they're never cheap though. I'm sure I've seen banana powder before, bet that would be incredible with a caramel filling. Mmmmm :D

    My sister-in-law was like that when she was pregnant with her daughter - the smell of fish sent her running! I'm glad the coffee revulsion didn't last for you! It's good that, whilst the effect can be severe, at least it's only temporary.
     
    Becky, Mar 27, 2018
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