PRIDE MACARONS

With Pride Month in mind, I made a batch of colorful macarons, filled with raspberry jam and lemon-flavored buttercream. The universe conspired so that in that exact week I had a maintenance appointment with my orthodontist. And to my surprise, they were “wigging it”: every staff member, orthodontists included, went to work wearing a colorful wig. They asked the patients to do the same, if they were so inclined… I was more than happy to comply (see the end of this post).

For the macaron shells, follow this recipe (I added 1/4 tsp egg white powder to the granulated sugar, whisked very well, before incorporating into the meringue, because humidity was at 58% the day I made the macarons)

LEMON-BUTTERCREAM MULTICOLOR FILLING

120g butter, softened
320g powdered sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
heavy cream to adjust consistency

Whisk the butter for 30 seconds or so, then add all other ingredients except the heavy cream. Whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved, then adjust the consistency with heavy cream. Divide the buttercream in 5 or more little bowls, add gel color to each bowl. Place lines of buttercream in different colors over plastic wrap, then roll them together as a little sausage. Cut one end, and place the roll inside a piping bag with a star tip. To assemble the macarons, add a circle of buttercream and a small dollop of seedless raspberry jam in the center.

ENJOY!

to print the buttercream recipe, click here

Comments: These were a lot of fun to make. After the shells were assembled, I used different luster powder colors diluted with vodka to pain a stripe for a simple, but effective decoration. They were delivered to the staff at Hayden and Kholmeier office with proper wig, as required…

ONE YEAR AGO: Blood Orange Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: One-Two-Three Macarons

THREE YEARS AGO: Marshmallow Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: Fujisan Bread

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

SIX YEARS AGO: Red Velvet Layered Cake

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Lemon-Lavender Bars

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Quinoa Fried Rice

NINE YEARS AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

TEN YEARS AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars

ELEVEN YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

TWELVE YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

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

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… 

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

OVER THE MOON BLUEBERRY-LEMON MACARONS

Today my original plan was to share a series of macarons with different styles of decoration. But, I am so over the moon with these, they elbowed every macaron in the waiting line and here they are. Alone in all their golden glory.

OVER THE MOON BLUEBERRY-LEMON 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
blue and black food gel color (I used Sugarflair and Americolor)
Egyptian gold luster powder
everclear

For filling:
60 g unsalted butter softened 
160 g powdered sugar
1 tablespoon blueberry jam
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 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. When they form a skin, use a very small fondant baller tool to draw a moon.

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 golden luster dust with everclear and paint the dimpled region. Flick some of the suspension to get a few golden dots on the smooth part of the shells.

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 recently saw macarons on Instagram with this dimpled effect but absolutely no mention of the technique used. I realized it was similar to what I’ve done with sugar cookies before, so I played with it a bit. At first I thought that I should bake the shells and make the dimples while they were warm. Don’t even try it, it just cracks in a pathetic way. Could be a nice effect too, depending on how you manage to create cracks, but definitely not what I was hoping for. So what you do is allow the skin to form, and right before you bake the shells, very delicately press the surface with the smallest fondant baller tool you can find (mine is the smallest from this set). You can also use the handle of a small painting brush. Bake as you would normally do, then paint the dimpled region with gold luster powder. I used Egyptian gold which is the brightest kind.

Fling some extra gold with a brush over the surface, and that’s about it. The recipe was my default, but I changed one important step: instead of adding the granulated sugar in stages, I dumped the whole amount after the egg whites were starting to leave traces as the whisk moved through them, maybe 1 to 2 minutes after starting the Kitchen Aid. The meringue will take slightly longer to firm, but what that does is give a better chance for the sugar to fully dissolve. You would not do that if making an Angel Food Cake that requires a very light and airy meringue, but for macarons it works like a charm. You can read the rationale behind it in this article. Interestingly, this method is the one favored by JC Gregg, The Macaron King, former contestant of the Great American Baking Show, season 3. I really like how much simpler it is, and how it improves the shells. Particularly the base, there are no crystals making the surface rough, or the shell threatening to glue to the silpat. Smooth like a mirror, as you can see in my composite photo above. I am sold.

It still amazes me that you can totally mess up the surface of a macaron and have it bake as if nothing happened. The possibilities of decoration are mind-blowing, so if you are into baking macarons, consider trying this method. Way too cool for words, don’t you agree?

Some shells baked without the dimpled effect were decorated with a stencil. Silver stars to go along with the golden moon…

ONE YEAR AGO: Springtime Macarons Bake-Along

TWO YEARS AGO: Macarons for a Little Princess

THREE YEARS AGO: Gilding the Sourdough Loaf

FOUR YEARS AGO: Lolita Joins the Bewitching Kitchen

FIVE YEARS AGO: Cashew Cream Sauce

SIX YEARS AGO: Blood Orange Margaritas

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Smoked Salmon Appetizer

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Clementine Cake

NINE YEARS AGO: Springtime Spinach Risotto

TEN YEARS AGO: The end of green bean cruelty

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Torta di Limone e Mandorle