SUGARPRISM WATERCOLOR MACARONS

In case you’ve missed it, I’ve been keeping a second blog dedicated exclusively to cookies (click here to visit For the Love of Cookies). Back in July, I wrote a post about Sugarprism, a new product I fell in love with. Michelle, the inventor of Sugarprism hosts a page in Facebook entitled “Painting with Sugarprism“, and I highly recommend that you visit and join if the subject interests you. She is an amazing artist, and offers FREE – you read that right: FREE – tutorials of specific painting techniques. I took her 90 min lesson on watercolor painting of macarons and could not wait to share my babies here. So there you go. I took the class on Sunday, and the post is ready 36 hours later. That’s because I am over the moon with the whole experience! Can you tell?

VEGAN COFFEE GANACHE MACARONS
(adapted from Pies and Tacos)

for shells:
110 grams almond flour
110 grams powdered sugar
75 grams aquafaba
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
66 grams granulated sugar
tiny amount of Americolor GOLD food gel dye

for vegan coffee ganache:
1/3 cup coconut cream
60g semisweet chocolate chips (vegan)
2 tsp espresso powder

Process the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor for about 20 seconds total using short pulses. Sift the mixture and reserve.

Place the aquafaba in the bowl of a mixer. Start whipping on low speed and add the cream of tartar. Whip for about 30 seconds, until the aquafaba starts getting white and thick like soup. Raise the speed to medium and continue to whip for another couple of minutes, until you are able to see streaks left by the whisk on the aquafaba. Raise the speed to high, and start to add the granulated sugar, slowly, a bit at a time. Continue to whip until the aquafaba achieves stiff peaks, which can take 10 minutes or more, depending on your mixer. Add the food color close to the end of whipping.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the whipped aquafaba. Start folding with a spatula slowly. Fold the batter forming a letter J with the spatula. You will fold until the batter is flowing slowly but effortlessly off the spatula.  Transfer the batter to the piping bag. Pipe circles on a baking sheet lined with silicon mat. Slam the trays against the counter to release air bubbles. Let the trays rest for 30-45 minutes until the shells are dry.

Heat the oven to 285ºF. Bake one tray at a time for a total of 20 minutes, or until the macarons tops do not twist independently of the bottom if you try to rotate them.

Make the filling: Heat up the coconut cream until hot. Pour over chocolate chips. Whisk until all chocolate chips have melted, add the espresso powder and whisk until fully smooth. Chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Remove from the fridge about 40 minutes before you wish to fill the macarons. This will help the ganache have the perfect consistency. Assemble shells, fill with ganache, and decorate as desired. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect consistency.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Never in a million years I imagined I could paint in real time as the instructor is showing the technique and be very happy with the outcome. Michelle shows exactly how to do it, it’s all in the angle of the brush, the amount of paint, and how you move the brush to get the different styles of petals. You would think that painting macarons would be super time-consuming but once you get the gist of it, it goes fast and it is oh-so-very-Zen…

The vegan coffee ganache surprised me by how much I liked it. Very easy to make, and contrary to regular cream-based ganache, it reaches piping consistency faster in the fridge. I will be trying different versions, not necessarily to couple with vegan shells.

Michelle, I cannot thank you enough for the great tutorial,
I enjoyed each minute!

ONE YEAR AGO: Dutch Macarons and a cookbook review

TWO YEARS AGO: Yogurt Tart

THREE YEAR AGO: Grilled Lamb-Stuffed Pita Bread

FOUR YEARS AGO: Elderflower Macarons

FIVE YEARS AGO: A Duet of Sorbets

SIX YEARS AGO: Sobering Peach Sorbet

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Spiralizer Fun

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Beer-Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak

NINE YEARS AGO:  Secret Recipe Club: Corn Chowda

TEN YEARS AGO: Page-A-Day Calendar (Pits and Chief 5 minutes of fame…)

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Home Sweet Home (our beloved Pits in one of his last photos)

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Marbled Rye

SUMMERTIME MACARON DUET

Flavors that scream summer: Passion Fruit-Lime, and Strawberry-Rose. In macaron format. Recipe is my default, a French-meringue method that almost never fails me. Almost, because… macarons!

For the recipe to make the shells, see this post

PASSION FRUIT AND LIME MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

Decoration of shells:
Batter divided in two portions: half dyed pink, half left plain.
Place each batter in a small piping bag. Insert bags by-side in a larger bag.
(this prevents the colors from over-mixing)
Edible dried flowers (like these from Etsy)
Diamond Dust

for filling:
60 g unsalted butter softened
160 g powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 lime
1 to 2 tsp Amoretti passion fruit flavor
pinch of salt
heavy cream if needed to adjust consistency

Use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients except the heavy cream, and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, add a bit of heavy cream to loosen the mixture.

Assemble the macarons: find two macarons similar in size and add a good amount of filling to the bottom of one of them. Place the other on top and squeeze gently to take the filling all the way to the edge. Store in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect texture.

To decorate, sprinkle the surface with Diamond dust, and glue a little edible flower, off-center, using Royal icing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was my first time using dried edible flowers, but certainly won’t be the last. I think they will be great on Royal iced cookies, so stay tuned, they might show up on my cookie blog. The lime in the filling helps cut the sweetness of the buttercream, without interfering too much with the passion fruit flavor. I will definitely make this filling again in the future.

STRAWBERRY-ROSE MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the shells:
Fuchsia color from Sugarflair (a gift from my friend Caro)
Royal Icing in piping consistency to make a flower
food pen to add little dots

for the filling:
60g butter
160g powdered sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry jam
1/8 tsp rose water
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, adjust with powdered sugar or heavy cream.

Match two shells, add filling and close them. Decorate with Royal Icing, adding a white edible pearl to the center, then piping little petals around it. A little extra decoration with a black food pen is optional.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I find the combination of strawberry and rose water very appealing, BUT be careful with the amount you use, because you are not making soap, you are making a cookie. Hitting the perfect balance is not easy, so I suggest using only 1/8 tsp and not a drop more. It will also depend on the brand of rose water you use. I used this one.

I’d like to remind you that if you are a mac-o-phobe, but would like to try baking a batch, I have a video tutorial available that covered this exact recipe. Check it out here.

ONE YEAR AGO: Pain de Mie Dressed up for Party

TWO YEARS AGO: Five-Stranded Bread

THREE YEARS AGO: Green Olive Salad

FOUR YEARS AGO: Coffee Macarons Dressed up to Party

FIVE YEARS AGO: Blogging Hiatus

SIX YEARS AGO: Tomato Tatin

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Headed to Colorado!  

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

NINE  YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

TEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane… 

HAVE A HEART

A WORDLESS POST

ONE YEAR AGO: Marbled Charcoal Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Sundried Tomato and Feta Cheese Torte

THREE YEARS AGO: Blueberry and Mango Curd Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: First Monday Favorite

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, August 2016

SIX YEAR AGO: Ka’Kat, a Middle Easter Snack Bread

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Sautéed Zucchini with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

NINE YEARS AGO: Orzo with Heirloom Tomato Relish

TEN YEARS AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: The Rhubarb Brouhaha: Revelation Compote

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Love me tender…

BLOOD ORANGE MACARONS

For the first post of a new year in my blogging life, I will once again feature macarons, as they are so special to me. Our grocery store had gorgeous blood oranges a couple of weeks ago, and the moment I saw them I knew resistance was futile.

BLOOD ORANGE MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

For the shells:
200g powdered sugar
115 g almond flour
115 g egg whites at room temperature (approx. 4 eggs)
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar (optional)
100 g granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste or extract
Tulip Red and Orange gel color
luster powder, pearl and brown (optional)
Everclear (optional)

For filling:
60 g unsalted butter softened
160 g powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 blood orange
2 tsp blood orange juice
1/8 tsp blood orange oil
pinch of salt
heavy cream if needed to adjust consistency

Line 3 heavy baking sheets with parchment/baking paper or Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar and ground almonds/almond meal in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal, about 12 pulses. Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small bowl or to a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are impeccably clean. Starting on medium speed, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until they look like light foam. Add all the sugar at once and keep whisking until the meringue is soft and shiny. Add vanilla and food colors.

Whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to dull and the lines of the whisk are visible on the surface of the meringue. Check the peak. It should be firm. Transfer the whites to a medium bowl.

Fold in the ground almond/almond meal mixture in two increments. Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, using the flat side of a spatula. Scrape the mixture down to the center of the bowl. Repeat two or three times, then check to see if the mixture slides slowly down the side of the bowl. Put the mixture in a piping bag fitted with your choice of piping tip (round, ¼ or ½ inch in diameter or 6 – 12 mm). Pipe shells, I like to count numbers in my head and use the same count for each shell so they end up similar in size. If making snowmen, make a template with two circles joined together to form head and body, and pipe each section.

Slam each sheet hard four to six times on the counter/worktop. Let the unbaked macarons dry until they look dull but not overly dry. Drying time depends on humidity. In a dry climate, the macarons can dry in 15 to 20 minutes; in a humid climate, it can take 35 to 40 minutes.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 300 F. Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack. Check in 11 minutes. If the tops slide or move (independently of the ‘feet’ when you gently twist the top), then bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. Check one or two. If they move when gently touched, put them back in the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes until they don’t move when touched. Let the macaroons cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. The macarons should release without sticking. Mix the luster dust with everclear and paint flowers in a loose design. Later add an outline with fine tip black pen.

For the filling, use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients except the heavy cream, and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, add a bit of heavy cream to loosen the mixture.

Assemble the macarons: find two macarons similar in size and add a good amount of filling to the bottom of one of them. Place the other on top and squeeze gently to take the filling all the way to the edge. Store in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect texture.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I did two different designs for the decoration, painting some flowers with pearl or brown luster powder. Very loose, no need for precision. The outline with the black pen brings the design together. The pictures don’t show very well, I am afraid, but I really like the dark flowers better, even if they have nothing to do with orange blossoms…

Extracts, emultions, and oils can have a bit of an artificial taste, but this product from LorAnn is very nice. A small amount added to the buttercream intensified the blood orange component without any aftertaste. It works great in ganache also.

I finally figured out a way to get the nice ridges in the filling. I was always using the wrong tip, 1M, because it is my favorite for so many piping jobs. However, I know realize that the best tip to use in macaron fillings to get the effect I like, is a French star type. Pick a size compatible with your shells.

ONE YEAR AGO: One-Two-Three Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Marshmallow Macarons

THREE YEARS AGO: Fujisan Bread

FOUR YEARS AGO: Air-Fried Tomatoes with Hazelnut Pesto & Halloumi Cheese

FIVE YEARS AGO: Red Velvet Layered Cake

SIX YEARS AGO: Lemon-Lavender Bars

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Quinoa Fried Rice

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

NINE YEARS AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars

TEN YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

SPRINGTIME PIPED FLOWER MACARONS

This method might seem a bit intimidating if you are new to baking these finicky creatures, but as long as you feel comfortable with the macaronage step, it’s not complicated at all. You will make a single batter, start incorporating the almond mixture with the meringue, and then divide the batter in four portions: one large to be left plain, and three smaller portions dyed with two different colors for the flower petals, and green for the leaves. The piping is very loose, no need for precision, no need for hyperventilation. You know I never lie to you. After baking, you can either leave the design plain or draw an outline with a fine tip black food pen. The outline gives a more dramatic look, it’s totally up to you to go for it or not. Your bake, your rules.

SPRINGTIME PIPED FLOWER MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

For the shells:
200g powdered sugar
115 g almond flour
115 g egg whites at room temperature (approx. 4 eggs)
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar (optional)
100 g granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste or extract
pink, purple and green food gel color (I used Sugarflair and Americolor)

For filling:
60 g unsalted butter softened
160 g powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp lemon oil
pinch of salt
heavy cream if needed to adjust consistency


Line 3 heavy baking sheets with parchment/baking paper or Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar and ground almonds/almond meal in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal, about 12 pulses. Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small bowl or to a sheet of parchment paper. Set aside.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are impeccably clean. Starting on medium speed, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until they look like light foam. Add all the sugar at once and keep whisking until the meringue is soft and shiny. Add vanilla extract.

Whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to dull and the lines of the whisk are visible on the surface of the meringue. Check the peak. It should be firm. Transfer the whites to a medium bowl.

Fold in the ground almond/almond meal mixture in two increments. Start incorporating, but before you do the macaronage, divide the mixture in four bowls, one large, three small. Dye the small portions pink, purple, and green, then proceed with the macaronage for all four portions of the batter. Place the plain mixture in a piping bag fitted with your choice of piping tip (round, ¼ or ½ inch in diameter or 6 – 12 mm). Place the other portions in small piping bags, with no tips. Pipe shells, and then use the colored batters to make any design you like. Leave half of the shells plain, as they can be the bottom side of your macarons.

Gently bang each sheet four to six times on the counter/worktop. Be careful not to disturb the designs. Let the unbaked macarons dry until they look dull but not overly dry. Drying time depends on humidity. In a dry climate, the macarons can dry in 15 to 20 minutes; in a humid climate, it can take 35 to 40 minutes.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 300 F. Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack. Check in 11 minutes. If the tops slide or move (independently of the ‘feet’ when you gently twist the top), then bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. Check one or two. If they move when gently touched, put them back in the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes until they don’t move when touched. Let the macaroons cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. The macarons should release without sticking. If desired, do the outline and details with a black food pen.

For the filling, use a hand-held electric mixer and whisk the butter until creamy. Add the other ingredients except the heavy cream, and whisk until creamy and smooth. If needed, add a bit of heavy cream to loosen the mixture.

Assemble the macarons: find two macarons similar in size and add a good amount of filling to the bottom of one of them. Place the other on top and squeeze gently to take the filling all the way to the edge. Store in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect texture.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: As you can see, the design is very loose. Let your inner child come out to play, just have fun with it. I think I like the ones with the outline better, but in the end decided to leave half the batch without it. For this type of design to work, the batters need to have approximately the same texture, and should not be too thick, or it will look a bit coarse. Another thing to keep in mind is that piping the design adds additional batter to each shell, so they get bigger. Make a row with the flower piping, and then grab the plain batter and pipe a row of plain shells right by them so you can more efficiently match their sizes. Of course, you can draw on all shells, but I prefer to save my energy and leave the bottom shell plain.

ONE YEAR AGO: Charcoal Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Ispahan Macarons

THREE YEAR AGO: Smokin’ Hot Meatloaf and Homemade Ketchup

FOUR YEARS AGO: Banana Bread with Espresso Glaze

FIVE YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooker Carnitas & Paleo Planet Cookbook Review

SIX YEARS AGO: The Making of a Nobel Reception

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Fennel Soup with Almonds and Mint 

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

NINE YEARS AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta

TEN YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken