Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rooh Afza Macarons - New Territory in Macarons (Part I)

Bright pink rooh afza macarons ready to eat!
A few weeks ago Michelle from The Tiffin Box and I decided to play around with some different flavours and make some Indian inspired macarons. The first macaron flavour to experiment with was Rooh Afza (also spelled as Roohafza). 


This is what the bottle of Rooh Afza (Roohafza) looks like.
You can likely find Rooh Afza at an Indian grocery store. 
Rooh Afza is a non-alcoholic syrup made with fruits, herbs, flowers, roots and vegetable extracts. It's most prominent flavour is the rose flower, followed by the taste of everything else that is in the syrup. A few tablespoons of Rooh Afza mixed with water is a refreshing Indian drink. The way the rooh afza syrup is used is similar to that of Ribena - a concentrate blackcurrent drink. We incorporated the Rooh Afza flavouring into the buttercream. After these Rooh Afza macarons rested in the fridge for two days, they tasted just like you were having a sip of Rooh Afza on a hot summery day.

One thing to note, 3 tbsp of Rooh  Afza may have been a tad much, as after two days of resting the macarons were slightly on the sweet side (for my tastes anyways). It may be best to cut back on the Rooh Afza as the buttercream and shell already contribute to the sweetness content.

Rooh Afza macaron shells
Ingredients for the Macaron Shells:

  • 100g of Aged Egg Whites (2-3 days in airtight container at room temperature)
  • 225g of Powdered Sugar (also known as icing sugar)
  • 125g of Almond Meal
  • 5g of Dehydrated Egg White Powder (also known as albumen)
  • 28g of Granulated Sugar
French Meringue Method for Macaron Shells:
  1. Measure all ingredients with a scale.
  2. Process almond meal and icing sugar in the food processor.
  3. Sift the blended almond meal and powdered sugar through a fine mesh.
  4. Start beating egg whites at low speed (2 on my Kitchen Aid).
  5. When egg whites are foamy (mousse-like) add in the dehydrated egg white powder (albumen) and granulated sugar mixture.
  6. Put in two drops of pink gel food colouring to match the bright pink Rooh Afza colour (Wilton Christmas Red). Don't be afraid to make the macarons a shade darker as the colour will lighten in the oven.
  7. Increase speed on Kitchen Aid to 4. Beat egg whites until "soft peaks" form. Do a check by stopping the mixer to check the firmness of the peak. If a peak stays up, then you are done. Ensure that they are not too stiff or foamy since that means you have gone too far! You have now made the "meringue".
  8. Slowly add the blended almond meal-powdered sugar mixture 2 tablespoons at a time to the meringue you have created.
  9. Mix with a spatula in a clockwise direction. Add in two tablespoons of the almond meal mixture (you will be splitting the almond mixture up into 6 parts) while mixing in a clockwise direction:
    • 1st part= 16 turns
    • 2nd part = 11 turns
    • 3rd part = 14 turns
    • 4th part = 11 turns
    • 5th part = 11 turns
    • 6th part = 23 turns. 
    (Take a look at this video Chef Nini's for a more detailed visual.)
  10. Once the mixture feels and looks like magma (flows slowly) transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
  11. Pipe out small circles. Try piping straight down and then do a quick circular movement to the right to finish piping one shell.
  12. Pipe approximately 30 shells on each tray. Before piping the next sheet, firmly rap tray on floor or counter to get rid of any air bubbles inside the shells. This is called tamping. 
  13. Use a toothpick to pop the air bubbles from the shells (this part is essential as you may end up with volcano macarons instead of smooth macaron shells).
  14. Let macarons sit for at least 30-45 minutes until a skin forms on the macaron and it is dry to the touch (Resting is an important step from my experimenting).
  15. Preheat oven to 250-295 degrees Fahrenheit.

    If baking at 295F put one tray in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate tray (by now the feet should have formed) and bake for another 11 minutes.

    If baking at 250F bake the shells for 20-30 minutes before rotating the pan and baking for another 10 minutes. This allows for the shells to rise slowly enough to form a firm crust and the sought after pied (feet)
  16. Take out of oven, allow macarons to cool.
  17. Peel from silpat/silicon mat, and get ready to fill with your buttercream.
Note: Everyone's oven is different! As mentioned in my previous macaron posts, I highly encourage you to experiment, bake test batches and take notes. Even creating a table in your notes to chart is helpful!

Rooh Afza Buttercream

Ingredients:
  • 80g Caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 25g Water
  • 1 Whole egg (~60g)
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 160g Soft butter (cut into cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp Rooh Afza
Directions:

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Heat the sugar to 250F(120C). As it boils clean the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush. Try not to continually mix the solution. Allow the mixture to heat on its own.
  3. In another bowl or the bowl of your Kitchen Aid whisk the eggs and egg yolks until it lightens in colour.
  4. Once the hot sugar mixture reaches 250F pour immediately into the whisking egg mixture. Turn down the whisking speed temporarily to help prevent hot sugar threads from flying everywhere. It is important to pour the hot sugar mixture in quickly and then increase to a higher whisking speed. 
  5. Continue whisking until the mixture has cooled down completely. It will start to look like a meringue and be glossy. 
  6. Meanwhile, cream then whisk the butter until it has thickened.
  7. Once the egg mixture-meringue has cooled (approx. 10-15 minutes), slowly whisk in the butter.
  8. Continue whisking until the buttercream is smooth. It may curdle slightly but this is okay. Keep whisking and the butter cream will come back together.
  9. Add Rooh Afza by the tablespoon into the buttercream and whisk until smooth (3 Tbsps were used for this recipe, but even 2 Tbsps may be enough. Adjust to your tastes.)
  10. Immediately transfer buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle.
  11. Match each shell to a pair, before piping a small mound of buttercream onto each half shell.
  12. Top with the matching shell to finish the macaron.
Rooh Afza buttercream (with 3 Tbsps. of rooh afza)
Macaron shells all matched. Rooh Afza buttercream piped on top. 
Finished Rooh Afza Macarons
Once you are done making your Rooh Afza macarons, resist the temptation to eat them! Macarons need to rest in the fridge in a covered container for 2 days before they can be eaten. This way they are at their optimal flavour and texture. As you bite into a macaron, there should be the ever so slight crunch followed by a chewy texture. The buttercream will have done its work and softened the shells over the two days they are in the fridge. 

Take the macarons out of the fridge two hours before eating. If you are making an entire batch of macarons for a special event or can't finish an entire batch by yourself freeze you macarons in a covered container. Prior to eating defrost in a covered container for 2-3 hours in room temperature.

Enjoy!




5 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful!! Way to go Lil & Mich! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrea! :) These ones definitely turned out nice and bright pink, just like the Rooh Afza!!

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  2. Wow those are gorgeous! Are you sure you don't want to open a bakery Lil - I would come visit you all the time. Can't wait to see the other macaron experiment you and Mich did. :)

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  3. Love the picture, I could reach through my screen and snack on one of those beauties!

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    Replies
    1. @The Kitchen Magpie: Thanks! I definitely made sure to take all pointers from Michelle that day to get that effect! Glad that the photography lesson is working! :) mm, yes those were quite good. Though, I quite like the 2nd batch of Saffron Cardamom ones. Certainly had fun taking those pics including the ones with both of the macarons flavours.

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