Monday, August 29, 2011

Red & White Macarons

Indonesian Foodblogger : Red & White Food Photo

To celebrate Indonesian Independence Day (August 17), Indonesian Foodblogger Community held a Red & White Food Photo Challenge. For this challenge, I choose to make red & white macaron, as same theme of our National flag.

The attention for my challenge are... how to make bright red macaron with smooth dome & its famous feet. And shoot the red object with my camera. Yeah...quite challenging...

Let's start...
Just like previous posting French Macaroon dan Love Macaroon, I use basic macaron recipe from Helen Dujardin "The Macaron Queen". And the bright red macaron recipe from Red Velvet Valentine's Macarons by Jayme, the same color idea with Red Velvet Cake.

Basic French Meringue Macaron Rcipe (Helen Dujardin)

3 egg whites or 100 gr weighed
50 gram granulated sugar
200 gram powdered sugar
110 gram blanched almonds, whole or ground

Coloring: (adapted from Jayme )
1/4 sdt red coloring (powder)
1/8 sdt cocoa powder

Methode (Modified):
1. Blend the almonds and icing sugar using food processor.
2. Sift the icing sugar & almond mixture 3 times. Set aside
3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean and free of fat bowl. Add caster sugar slowly. Beat until stiff but not dry.
4. Add the almond mixture into egg white mixture. Do into 2 levels. Do this by beating action in the early phase.
5. Dived the batter into 2 parts. Add red velvet coloring into the 1 part with folding motion.
6. Insert each batter into piping bag. Make round shape in a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
7. Let stand at room until macaron dry (not wet. It may takes 1-3 hours (depending on humidity).
8. Bake in a preheated oven at 140 degrees Celsius for 13-17 minutes.
9. Let stand in baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.
10. Store in air tight containers.

Resep Filling: Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream (adapted from Meyer Lemon Macarons by Jayme
makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1-2 lemons, or to taste

In a double boiler, combine the egg whites, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Use a hand held mixer to beat until the mixture becomes too hot to comfortably touch - approximately 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Continue to beat until you have stiff peaks. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, beating the mixture thoroughly. Lastly, beat in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Use at room temperature.

Well... finally I can write the report and participate in my beloved country Independence Day..
Dirgahayu Indonesia.... MERDEKA !!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Differences between Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Olive Oil

What is the difference between Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) & Olive oil ? How to use them?

These questions are related to the extraction process of olives into oil and the characteristics of its smoke point .

Generally, olive oil is processed by grinding olives into a paste which is then extracted using a mechanical process by squeezing (traditional method) or centrafugation (modern method). Once olive oil is extracted, there will be the remaining solids called pomace (which still contains a small amount of oil).

Based on its process, the olive oil can be grouped into:
1. Virgin , where oil is produced from a physical process without chemical treatment. Often called cold procces.
2. Refined oil. Furthermore, after going through a cold process , the oil will go through the refinery process, such as chemical processing to neutralize the sharp taste & acid content.
3. Pomace , produced by extraction process using a solvent (usually hexane) with the aid of heat.

Simply, Extra virgin olive oil can be called as the first extract of olives. This oil has a low smoke point because it still contain many unrefined compounds. Extra virgin olive oil will burn at temperatures above 117oC. So Extra virgin olive oil suitable for salad dressings or food served cold.

While Olive oil (the common word for olive oil that has been through a refinery process), has a higher smoke point. So, it could be used for sauteing.

Then, what is a smoke point?
Smoke point shows temperature when the cooking oil/fat will split into glycerol & free fatty acids and produces bluish smoke. This smoke is also a sign of decline in the quality of taste and nutrition content.
Cooking oil which has changed the color to be darker, has a risk as cancer trigger (carsinogenic).

So that, the key of selection on oil/fat for deep fried (fry until submerged) is the higher smoke point, higher than olive oil smoke point. And try to read the nutrition label, especially its saturated fat/trans fatty acids/polyunsaturated fat/monounsaturated fat content.

Further information about saturated fat/trans fatty acids/polyunsaturated fat/ monounsaturated fat, can be read this link.

Wikipedia - Olive Oil
Wikipedia - Cooking Oil
Wikipedia - Smoke Point

Heart Healthy Diet: Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sodium Diet

The article from this link is very good and and simple. It can be used as a guide for the attention of low-fat diet, low cholesterol, low in salt diet. The original article can be found here

Department of Nutrition Services, The Ohio State University Medical Center