Friday, 1 February 2013

French Food Friday...Valentine's Day Macarons







 recipe and photo from here

Bonjour,

Well it is the first of February which means that you have 13 days to perfect this recipe......

After which time you will be an expert, just try not to eat all of them and save some to give as gifts.


Valentine's Day Macarons Recipe:

For the shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated sugar
200 gr powdered sugar
55 gr almonds
55gr pistachios
pink cherry powdered food coloring (the end color will depend on how much you use)

For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Combine the almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Divide the batter in half and mix some color to one half to the desired effect. 

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with one of the batters and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Use another bag for the second half of the batter.
Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. 

To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon in the center of one shell and top with another one.

Spiced Buttercream:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon star anise
pinch of salt

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream. 

Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. 
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. Add the spices and salt and whip for another 10 seconds to incorporate it. 
If not using right away, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 1 month. 

....bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

2 comments:

  1. YUM!!! I'm going to be having Laduree dreams ....wishing you a fabulous week-end. xo HHL

    P.S. the MA coin purses arrived and are more beautiful than I had imagined..merci

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