Wednesday 25 January 2017

Ondeh-Ondeh Macarons (3D Shells!)

Sometimes I get inspiration from nowhere and this is one occassion. I have been wanting to explore the possibilities that came with my discovery of making 3D macaron shells last year. I finally have the capacity and chance before getting really busy with planning for macaron classes (Yes! I am finally giving classes!) and making lots of macarons in February. Here's my version of ondeh-ondeh, macaron style ๐Ÿ˜‰!

Checkout the oozy gula melaka filling and the cute turtle too!

A view from the side to see the hemispherical shells more clearly.

Both my kids loved the taste of these ondeh macarons and couldn't wait to get their hands on the turtle! I am really happy that this concept of incorporating runny fillings in 3D shells work and opens up the avenue of other trendy runny fillings that are perhaps not so sweet. For those of you who know me, I don't have a sweet tooth and therefore my bakes tend to be less sweet. I tried by best to reduce sugar in this recipe.

Knowing that the end product would be pretty sweet, I reduced sugar for both shell and ganache in an attempt to make it less cloyingly sweet. It's my first time incorporating dessicated coconut into the shells as well. It really makes the shells very fragrant with an added coconuty bite! As this was an experiment and I didn't have any macaron request pending at the moment, I used the French method to make a small quantity of macarons. My preferred Italian method would have wasted too much resources if this experiment failed.

I strongly recommend you to refer to this post for the basics of French macarons.

Recipe for ondeh-ondeh macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about 12 macarons, 24 shells):
40g egg whites (aged for a few days in fridge)
36g caster sugar (you may reduce but meringue will be less stable)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
13g dessicated coconut, sifted once
30g superfine almond powder
50g icing sugar
6g rice flour*
1g cornflour*
1/16 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp Pandan paste

*Replace with icing sugar for non-reduced sugar version.

1. Sift almond, dessicated coconut, icing sugar, rice flour, cornflour and salt together. Set aside.

2. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy with an electric mixer. Gradually add caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Once stiff peaks are formed, scrape the meringue down from the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for several seconds more to ensure that the meringue is really stiff. Use medium speed to beat the meringue.

3. Add Pandan paste into meringue and briefly mix it in with mixer.

4. Scatter about a third of the dry sifted ingredients over the meringue. Gently fold in using a spatula. Repeat until all dry ingredients are added. Test the consistency of the batter. If it has not reached the slow moving lava-like stage, continue to fold. You may use more force to knock out more air in the batter. You may refer to this post for some video tutorials on macaron basics.

5. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with a 6-7mm diameter round tip. If you are making regular macarons, simply pipe out the circles on tray lined with baking paper. You may use a circle template if you wish. I piped some bigger circles for the base shells of the 3D macarons.

In order to pipe the 3D shells, use an inverted silicone cakepop mould as the surface and pipe away!

You may have noticed that the surface of the shells appear rougher than usual. This could be due to the addition of the coconut.

6. Bang the tray on the table to release trapped air. Let the shells dry in an air-conditioned room or under a fan until the surface of the shells are dry to touch. When shells are almost dry, preheat the oven to 160°C and set oven rack to lowest position.

7. Place macarons in oven and turn down the temperature to 140°C. Use only top and bottom heat. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until feet appear dry. You may reduce the temperature to 115°C after 15-20 minutes of baking.

8. Cool the shells completely before peeling the baking sheet or silicone mould away from the shells.

Awesome feet!

The 3D shells were slightly browned at the base because I was multitasking with the kids when baking =.= And I forgot to eyeball the oven temperature

Really happy with the texture of the shells even though the surface is rough! Delicate and only slightly chewy. No hollows!

Use royal icing to decorate the turtle.

I had to smile when I see the smiley turtle :)

Steam about 2-3 tbs of dessicated coconut with 1/2 tbs of water sprinkled over it for about 10 minutes. Add a knotted Pandan leaf as well to add that fragrance if you wish. Set aside to cool. You may omit this if you prefer to leave the top surface of the macaron shells clean and free from toppings.

I piped a little royal icing on top of the shells to stick the steamed dessicated coconut on. You may use melted marshmellows as glue too if you don't want to mess around with royal icing.

The macarons are filled with a ring of Pandan caramel ganache and gula melaka caramel in the middle. My original Pandan caramel ganache recipe here would be too sweet for pairing with gula melaka so here's the reduced sugar version.

Prepare the gula melaka filling first. In actual ondeh-ondeh, the gula melaka centers are simply chopped up pieces of the sugar. But the centers turn runny when the ondeh-ondeh is boiled. In order to replicate this effect, I had to create a thick gula melaka syrup that has the consistency of honey when refrigerated. Here's a rough formula I came up with. You may have to adjust your boiling time to get the right consistency. If it's too thick, simply add water a little at a time. I included salt in it to counter the sweetness. You may choose to omit if you want to be a purist about it.

Recipe for gula melaka filling
65g gula melaka, chopped
39g water
1/4 tsp salt
1 Pandan leaf, knotted

1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes and let it cool to room temperature.

2. Discard Pandan leaf. Refrigerate the syrup for 10 minutes. Check the consistency. If it is too runny, transfer to saucepan and boil for a couple of minutes and bring to refrigerated temperature again. If it is too thick, add water 1/8 tsp at a time and stir until consistency is like honey.

Recipe for reduced-sugar Pandan caramel ganache
56g white chocolate, chopped
28g unsalted butter
28g vegetable shortening
35g heavy cream
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp Pandan paste
1/2 tsp caramel flavouring
1/4 tsp lemon juice (to balance out the sweetness)

1. Place white chocolate, butter and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds and stir with spatula. Repeat until everything is melted.

2. Place cream, Pandan paste, caramel flavouring and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat until the cream starts to bubble. Pour over the melted chocolate mixture. Stir until well combined.

3. Add salt and mix well.

4. Freeze for 2 minutes and use a spatula to mix well. Repeat freezing for 1-2 min and whipping the ganache until the texture is smooth and creamy. You may use an electric mixer for larger batches. Don't worry if the mixture appears to separate in the beginning. Just keep freezing and whipping up the mixture and it will all come together in the end.

This ganache on its own may taste weird but that's because it's supposed to be paired with something really sweet.

Assembly for the regular macaron shells is straightforward. Pipe a ring of ganache and fill the center with gula melaka. Refrigerate at least 24h before serving. Leave the macarons at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before consuming.

Filling regular macaron shells.

In order to fill the 3D shells, begin by coating the insides of the hemisphere with ganache (first picture below). Fill the cavity with gula melaka (second picture). Cover the syrup portion with more ganache, such that the ganache completely "seals" in the syrup (third picture). Refrigerate the filled hemispheres for a few minutes to firm up the ganache. Use the cakepop mould to hold the shells in place. Pipe some ganache on the bottom shell (fourth picture) and sandwich the two shells together.

This has certainly been a fun experiment and great learning experience for me :). It's a bonus that it turned out yummy too!

Update: My friend who had one said it's very yummy! She couldn't wait for it to mature a day before eating it ๐Ÿ˜….

The turtle finally gets eaten by my younger kid!


I am very pleased that this cross-section captures the beautiful macaron texture, creamy ganache and oozy gula melaka center very well!

Hubby gave a thumbs up too! To my surprise, he commented that it's not overly sweet but in fact a very good rendition of ondeh-ondeh in the form of macarons! Hubby is one of my fiercest critics so do give this recipe a try if you are a fan of ondeh-ondeh :)

Checkout the Italian method version of Ondeh-Ondeh macarons over here!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. Hi Phay Shing! Any chance you'll have a workshop early April? ๐Ÿ˜

  2. Hi Phay Shing! Any chance you'll have a workshop early April? ๐Ÿ˜

    1. Hi Maye,

      I will probably have a private class end April but not taking in anymore students for that class. Do contact me privately if you are interested to discuss. Thanks!

  3. Hi Phay Shing Tan, i had 11 failed attempts of macarons. Really hope to able to master this cookies. Do u have any class going on this month?

    1. Sorry I missed your message earlier! Do contact me via email to discuss about classes. I just held the second macaron class yesterday. Have not planned for the next one yet.

  4. OMG you are a genius to come up with 3D macaroons. Thanks for sharing your technique, tips and secrets.
    I dont usually leave comment to blogs or vlogs but your works wows me and inspire me. I have to say thank you and hope to see more new and intriguing ideas. Again Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your kind words :). It's my pleasure to share.

  5. Hi Phay Shing, thanks for sharing what looks like a wonderful recipe! Am a bit late to the game but will be trying it soon. However, is there anything I can substitute the caramel flavoring and vegetable shortening in the ganache with? I don't have these two ingredients on hand. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Alexis, you can substitute shortening with butter and replace caramel flavouring with vanilla essence (not extract but you may use extract if you don't have essence). Vanilla essence is the artificial flavouring as compared to extract which is natural. The artificial one actually has a caramel sort of aroma that's why I propose that as a substitute. If you don't have it, it is ok ๐Ÿ˜Š