I've been lurking the Mactweets page for a while now but finally got the nerve (and the time!) to participate! Hopefully this will be the first of many posts. This month's challenge Mactweets Mac Attack is, what else, but Valentine's Day themed! This worked out well because a sweet friend of mine, who is the best party thrower in the history of party throwers, co-hosted a Valentine's Day themed bridal shower and asked me to make pink and red macarons for the event. I decided on strawberry buttercream filled pink macarons and chocolate ganache with raspberry center AND raspberry jam with rose buttercream filled red macarons. Way too much cuteness in one place!
I recently started using a new recipe for macarons and it has worked out much better for me than the previous one. No more hollow shells! I tweaked this one from Sucre' in New Orleans (which will be in another post, one of many many many that I am behind on). The main problem that I was having with macarons was in the baking. If I baked them on a Silpat they came out hollow. If I baked them on parchment they were misshapen (which I've now found out that you can spray the pan with cooking spray then place the parchment on top of it to hold it down OR space the macarons closer together to weigh the paper down) ANYWAY, I found these babies and LOVE them! They're the perfect balance between Silpats and parchment. You can also cut them to size for your baking sheets. I use these on half sheet baking pans that I double up for insulation.
Ok, so here is the recipe:
100g caster sugar
100g egg whites (I age mine for 5 days in the fridge, covered with a paper towel)
125g powdered sugar
125g ground almonds
25g caster sugar (If it's humid outside I add 5g powdered egg whites to this)
Put caster sugar, almonds and powdered sugar in food processor and process until very fine. Sieve mixture through fine strainer to get any lumps out. Now whisk the egg white together with the second part of sugar at middle speed. Gradually whisk the egg white mixture to become very stiff (add color now if applicable). Fold the sugar/almond mix into meringue. I used to fold it into the meringue in thirds but now I dump the meringue into the sugar/almond mixture and fold and it works just as well. Now pipe the batter onto your parchment in 1.5 inch rounds, give it a good rap on the counter to get air bubbles out, then let sit for a good hour or so until it is not tacky to the touch. Preheat oven to 320. When macarons are ready, bake for 5 minutes, then briefly open the oven door to let some of the steam out, then continue baking for another 8-10 minutes. Let cool on pan, then fill.
For these beauties, I spread seedless red raspberry jam on one side and piped rose flavored Italian meringue buttercream on the other side. Then I smashed them together and let them hang out to become BFFs for a few days. I think they're in love.