Three fruits, three macarons… Watermelons, Blueberries and Apples, each using a slightly different technique for piping the shells. For the watermelon version, I share two styles for the shells, with the same buttercream filling.
APPLE CIDER MACARONS
(inspired by Broma Bakery)
3 egg whites (check the weight, mine were 103g)
same amount of granulated sugar (103g)
same amount of fine almond flour (103g)
same amount of powdered sugar (103g)
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
pinch of cream of tartar
food gel color, yellow and green (8:1)
113g unsalted butter (softened)
360g powdered sugar (about 3 cups)
4 tablespoons apple cider
pinch of salt
brown Candy Melts
air-brush color, red and orange
Mix 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer. Place over simmering water and whisk for about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved (temperature should be around 150F).
Place bowl in the KitchenAid and whisk in medium-speed, slowly adding the rest of the granulated sugar. Whisk for about 4 minutes, until thick peaks form. Add vanilla and food coloring (I added yellow and green).
Mix the almond flour with the powdered sugar, pass in the food processor together for about 10 pulses, then sift the mixture. Add it to the meringue and proceed with the macaronage until you can form a figure 8 with the batter flowing down from a spatula. Place in a large piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Pipe shells in shape of an apple, let it dry until a skin forms. Bake at 300F for about 12 minutes, until the top does not move when you gently try to twist it around. Color half of the shell with airbrush, I used a mixture of red and orange colors, eye-balling to get the tone I wanted.
Make the stems by piping Candy Melts on parchment paper. Make more stems than you’ll need, as they might break.
Make the filling by creaming the butter for a couple of minutes, then adding the powdered sugar, cider and salt. Adjust consistency with milk if needed, or more powdered sugar.
Fill shells, match them, and add the stems. Let the macarons mature overnight in the fridge before serving.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The macaron recipe is the one I’ve been playing with recently, from Broma Bakery. I just adapted it to make it in proportion to the weight of a given number of egg whites, because it simplifies everything quite a bit. I love how these turned out, air-brushing really adds a lot to the shells, but if you don’t have it, they will be fine without it. You can also make the macarons round and add just the stem, or maybe the stem and a little leaf, also piped with Candy Melts, dyed green.
Next time you want to make macarons, think about the size of the batch you need.
A small batch? Grab two egg whites, weigh them and add the other ingredients, all with the exact same amount by weight.
A regular batch (enough for about 24-30 macs?) Grab three egg whites.
A big batch? Four egg whites. That would probably be my limit, macaronage on a bigger batch might be tricky.
BLUEBERRY CLUSTER MACARONS
(inspired by Veronika Gowan)
Macarons made with this recipe, using gel food dye purple, from Artisan Accents)
Macaronage kept a bit thicker than normal, so that shells can be piped without losing their individual circles. Most of the batter was placed in a bag with a regular icing tip for macarons (80-100mm), and a very small amount was placed in a bag without any tip, with a small opening cut with scissors. That was used to pipe the little round stem spots.
When you pipe the cluster, make sure each “blueberry” is kept small, so that the final macaron is not huge.
for the filling:
1/4 cup blueberry jam (store-bought or homemade)
113g butter, softened
240g powdered sugar
lest of 1 lemon
lemon juice to taste
pinch of salt
Pipe the cluster of three small berries. Tap the tray to release air bubbles, but be gentle, you don’t want the circles to join too much. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes, then pipe the round stem centers. Let the shells dry until a skin forms, then bake as normally (300F for about 12 minutes).
Make the lemon buttercream by whisking the softened butter for a couple of minutes in a KitchenAid type mixer. Add the lemon zest and whisk another 30 seconds, then the powdered sugar in a few batches in very low speed. Slowly increase the speed once the sugar is starting to get incorporated, add the lemon juice, salt, and whisk at high speed for a couple of minutes. Adjust consistency with more lemon juice or powdered sugar, as needed.
Fill the shells with a dollop of jam in the center and lemon buttercream around, as shown in the picture below. Let the macarons mature in the fridge overnight before enjoying.
Comments: Veronika Gowan makes incredible macarons, perfect examples of fruits and even vegetables (she recently made unique and exquisite chanterelle macarons). I need to practice my piping skills for very delicate features, but in the case of blueberry clusters, next time I will add the stem decoration by painting. I think they will be more delicate and maybe more realistic that way. You can click on her instagram feed to see many of her amazing productions.
WATERMELON MACARONS, TWO WAYS
(piping inspired by Pies and Tacos)
same recipe as Apple Cider macarons above, separated in three batches: green, light green (or left un-dyed), and watermelon (pink and red 2:1)
200g powdered sugar
60g unsalted butter softened
1/2 tsp Amoretti watermelon emulsion (adjust to taste)
milk or heavy cream to adjust consistency of buttercream
pinch of salt
edible food marker, black
You will pipe the shells in three concentric colors, starting with the dark green, then light (or un-dyed), then watermelon After that you tap the tray to release bubbles as normally, just don’t be too harsh.
Once baked, you can fill them and do the final decoration with a black marker. You might have leftover batter of one or two colors (I had both green colors leftover). In this case, use them as the back of your macaron, or come up with a totally different design. Go with the flow, dance to the Macaron Music…
To make the watermelon buttercream, follow the general method of the lemon buttercream above, but use watermelon flavor added to the butter after it is creamed. Then proceed with the powdered sugar addition and milk or cream, if needed.
Alternative design for watermelon macarons
You can simplify things and pipe shells of two different colors, matching one green and one watermelon-color. I air-brushed some pink luster on the shell, but that is just a bit of icing on the cake… 😉
After filling the macarons with watermelon buttercream, make little seed markings with black food marker, and as always, let the macarons sit in the fridge overnight for proper maturation of the shells.
I hope you enjoyed these variations on my favorite cookie. I have been practicing with different shapes, and results are not always that great, but I still have fun trying…
ONE YEAR AGO: Halloween Entremet Cake
TWO YEAR AGO: Pork with Prunes, Olives and Capers
THREE YEARS AGO: Kansas Corn Chowder
FOUR YEARS AGO: Impossibly Cute Bacon and Egg Cups
FIVE YEARS AGO: Pulling Under Pressure
SIX YEARS AGO: Cooking Sous-vide: Two takes on Chicken Thighs
SEVEN YEARS AGO: Miso Soup: A Japanese Classic
EIGHT YEARS AGO: On my desk
NINE YEARS AGO: A must-make veggie puree
TEN YEARS AGO: Vegetarian Lasagna
ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Brazilian Pão de Queijo