Today I share a little departure on macarons, piped with a star tip (Wilton 1M). I followed my basic default recipe, but mixed a bit less than so that the batter gets just a tad denser. If you do the regular amount of “macaronage”, aiming at a smooth shell, it will not work here.  It can be a bit tricky to get it right, but it’s a fun technique to play with. Give it a try!

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

For the shells:
200g  Icing/powdered sugar
115 g Ground Almonds/Almond Meal
115 g egg whites at room temperature (approx. 4 eggs)
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar
100 g granulated sugar
¼ tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 bag double chai tea (Stash brand)

for the mango buttercream: 
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
pinch of kosher salt
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp heavy cream
A pinch of cardamon
1/2 tbsp Amoretti mango flavor

to decorate:
gold dust + lemon extract
Candy melts + food gel dye + sprinkles

Make the shells:
Line 3 heavy baking sheets with parchment/baking paper or Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar, ground almonds and contents of the tea bag  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/baking 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. The whites should not appear liquid. The foam will be light and should not have any structure.

Slowly rain in the granulated sugar in five additions, trying to aim the stream between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Turn the speed up to high. Continue to whip the meringue until it is soft and shiny. It should look like marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff). Add the vanilla. 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 (for rosette macarons, use a Wilton 1M type).  If you don’t have a macaron mat, draw circles on baking/parchment paper about 2inches/5cm in diameter & turn the paper over before placing on the baking sheets.  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.

I pipe inside the circles to about 1 ¾ inches/4.5cm but you can go to 1 ½ inches (3.8cm) & the macarons will spread & fill the circle while drying.

Slam each sheet hard four to six times on the counter/worktop. Do not slam the sheets if you are making rosette macarons, just let them dry. 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. Rosette macarons benefit from longer drying time.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 300 F (150 C/130C Fan oven/Gas Mark 2). 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.

For the buttercream: 
In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about a minute. Add in the mango flavor and cardamon and mix to incorporate. Add the sugar and the heavy cream slowly, once you add everything mix for 2 minutes in high-speed. Adjust consistency with more cream if needed. Taste, and if you feel it could benefit from some sharpness, add a touch of lime juice (I did).  Place in a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip.

Assemble the macarons: match two shells similar in size and add buttercream to the bottom of one of them. If using rosette shells, they are going to be the top part. Place another shell on top and gently squeeze to take the filling all the way to the edge.

To decorate the rosette macarons, mix a little gold dust with lemon extract and paint over the details. Let it dry. To decorate the regular macarons, melt Candy Melts in the microwave, separate in three small bowls and dye them any color you like. Place in small piping bags and have fun making crazy patterns all over the macs. Add sprinkles before the candy melt hardens.

Store the macs in the fridge for 24 hours for perfect texture.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Stash Double-Chai Tea works very nicely to flavor the shells. I normally do not like to mess with the shell composition because it’s such a delicate balance, but I simply open the bag of tea and add it to the food processor when I grind the almond flour with the powdered sugar. The mango buttercream (with a touch of cardamon) was a very good complement.

I won’t lie to you, it is not easy to get the texture of the batter just right for piping. The very first time I made it (over a year ago), they worked perfectly, but I made the full batch as rosettes, and when you do that, it’s a bit tricky to sit them on a platter, for obvious reasons… they don’t sit flat.  So I never blogged about it, and to be honest I don’t even remember which flavor I used in the filling. I do remember the boys enjoyed their mandatory sampling of “one-shell-per-pup.”

Ever since that time, I’ve been meaning to repeat them, but other mac temptations and projects got in the way. A couple of weeks ago I finally re-visited this super important issue, but that batch got a little over-mixed and the texture was not sharp enough.

The definition of the piping was a bit lost. Adding lust duster is one way to make the design more evident, so if you run into the same issue, consider a little brushing with gold or other types of luster. But if you get the consistency right, you will be rewarded with sharper texture, for a more dramatic look.

I think these would be very nice at a wedding party, or some milestone Birthday celebration. Perhaps to decorate a cake… Make sure to match a smooth shell for the base with the rosette top.

But, of course, you can take macarons in so many different scenarios. After pairing the smooth shells, I placed them over a rack and went crazy with three colors of Candy Melts and some sprinkles to boot.

No matter the mood,  the right macaron will always be waiting for you!

ONE YEAR AGO: Common Table, Something New in My Life

TWO YEAR AGO: The Daisy, a Bread with Brioche Alter-Ego

THREE YEARS AGO: Pork Tenderloin, Braciole Style

FOUR YEARS AGO: Raspberry Buckle

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SIX YEARS AGO: Cooking Sous-Vide: Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Loin

SEVEN YEARS AGO:  Farewell to a Bewitching Kitchen

EIGHT YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen. June 2012


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Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here

Crazy times ahead for all of us. I find it difficult to go on blogging as if life is normal, but on the other hand, this site is one of my ways to feel connected, and blogging keeps me sane. Or so I hope. Instead of sharing a recipe, I will talk briefly about a series of macarons that happened in our kitchen over the past few months, since last December to be more precise. When we had no idea of all that was probably already brewing in our beautiful planet. Macarons always make me smile, the idea is to bring a smile to you too…

All recipes in this collection used the same basic method that you can find here.

I start with perhaps my favorite…

These were decorated with air-brush and stencil. Some were piped as donuts and topped with drizzles of Candy melts and sprinkles. The filling was a simple almond buttercream (butter, powdered sugar and smooth almond butter).


These were made around the holiday season, using a white chocolate ganache with mint, and decorated in two different ways. Some were painted with golden pearl dust and topped with little stars (for detailed technique, look here). Others were decorated with Royal icing, as at the time we were busy making sugar cookies and had a lot of icing laying around.


Very similar filling, except that I used mini-mint chocolate chips to make the ganache. Shells were left plain and decorated with air-brush and stencils.  Come to think of it, a blueberry filling would turn these perfect for the 4th of July!


For these shells, I divided the batter in two portions, before proceeding with the macaronage step (when things are still pretty roughly mixed). One portion stayed clear, the other was dyed with gel food color (Chesnut by Progel). Each was placed in a small piping bag, and both were slipped inside a larger bag with a round piping tip (see top right photo in the above picture). The filling, a coffee ganache, was from this post.


Galaxy Macarons were all the rage a few years ago. I made them three times, but to be honest, I have not reached my desired goal yet. The batter is divided in four portions, dyed black, dark blue, light blue and pink.  My main mistake is using too much of the darker colors, so they  become too dominant. But this batch was my best, and I decided to share. Stay tuned for future adventures in this theme. Filling was a blueberry ganache made along the lines of this recipe.


Very simple batch, dyed Purple using Artisan Accents gel color. As soon as the batter is piped, sprinkles are added on top. Some shells were left naked and decorated later with Candy melts. The filling was another variation of the Galaxy macs, this time using Black Cherry Jam.

Very simple design using once again the air-brush and a stencil. Shells were dyed with a mixture of green and yellow gel dye from Artisan Accents. The filling was American type buttercream (butter and icing sugar) with the addition of Tart Apple flavoring from Amoretti.


Loved these! Shells were dyed orange (Artisan Accents gel color), and the filling was a white chocolate ganache with Passion Fruit flavoring once again from Amoretti. After filling, macarons were dipped in a mixture of “magic shell” (like this version). Before the coating set, Sprinkle Party!


Thrilled about this and urge you to consider flavoring the shells this way. Simply open a bag of Double Chai tea (I used Stash) and add to the dry almond-powdered sugar mixture. Follow your recipe as you normally would. Shells were decorated with air-brush and several different stencils. The filling was a modification of that from my recent batch. I made a white chocolate ganache and added to it the leftover mango-jellie that I had in the fridge.  The chai flavor is amazing on the shells, and I can tell you I’ll be playing with all sorts of teas in the future.


This batch follows along the lines of mixing several colors (in this case purple, red and orange), but instead of separating the batter, you simply paint the inside of the empty bag with a stripe of undiluted food dye.  Fill with the full amount of batter to be piped, and as it moves along it will drag the colors with it. The pattern will be random, the proportion of colors changing as you go. Two things I do not like about this method: you need to make sure the dye reaches way to the bottom of the bag, close to the opening, and as you add the second and third colors, there is a high chance you will mess up the stripes already there. Still, it is a very popular method to make colorful shells. The filling was a Cranberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream which in fact I had made to use in a cake the day before. Recipe should be on the blog soon.


Last but not least, a similar effect using a different technique which I read about it in a forum for Mac-addicts on Facebook. Instead of painting the bag, just add a few drops of gel dye on top of the batter once it is ready to go. Quickly move it around with a toothpick, fill the bag and start piping. The picture on the right top corner shows how I did it. You can use many more colors in this case, as you are not limited by the small area inside the piping bag. I loved it! Very easy to do, no mess, no fuss. Expect to see more of this technique in the future. These macs were filled with a White Chocolate Coconut Whipped Ganache. I made it using shredded coconut, simmering heavy cream with it, allowing to cool, straining, and proceeding with a regular ganache.


I hope you enjoyed this small collection of macarons, and that it made your social isolation a bit more colorful…



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FOUR YEARS AGO: Auberge-Pecan Walnut Bread

FIVE YEARS AGO: Gluten-free and Vegan Raspberry Bars

SIX YEARS AGO: Lasserre, a French Classic

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Sourdough Bread with Walnuts and Dates

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Apricot Glaze

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