Macarons are becoming extremely popular worldwide and you can make these sweet tidbits in a myriad of colors and flavorings. A number of food bloggers from Twitter got together a while back and joined up to challenge ourselves at making these delicious sweet cookies. Some were more successful than others but the Mac Attack itself was so successful that Jamie (@lifesafeast on Twitter) and Deeba (@vindee on Twitter) created a Mac Tweets where folks interested in developing their “mac” skills can get together and share their experiences. I first made Coffee Macarons with a Nutella Ganache filling for the last challenge, but I am back in Florida now so I wanted to try my hand at a more tropical looking cookie. I love the combination of pink and green so popular here in Florida, so I decided to use Japanese matcha green tea powder to color my shells and created a white chocolate strawberry filling. I used a couple of teaspoons of sugarless strawberry preserves to add a fruit flavor to my filling, as well as give the cookie the pink color I was looking for, but you could simply use a few drops of red food coloring instead.
Deborah Mele 2011
For The Shells:
- 90 Grams Egg Whites (About 3) At Room Temperature And Aged For 3 Days
- 30 Grams Sugar
- 200 Grams Powdered Sugar
- 110 Grams Finely Ground Almonds
- 1 to 1 1/2 Teaspoons Matcha Tea Powder
For The White Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 3/4 Cup White Chocolate
- Red Food Coloring (Or Berry Preserves Strained To Remove Seeds)
- In a food processor, blend the almonds, tea powder and icing sugar until very finely ground. (I also found it helpful to push the mixer through a sieve to remove any larger pieces.)
- Set aside in a bowl.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites until foamy, then slowly begin to add the granulated sugar until you have created a glossy meringue.
- Add the almond mixture to the meringues all at once, and quickly fold to blend and break up some of the air.
- Continue to slowly mix until the almonds are incorporated into the meringues and the mixture resembles lava. It should not take more than 50 strokes to accomplish this.
- I find it best to test the meringue at this time but dropping a small spoonful onto some parchment paper.
- Once you have the right consistency, fill a pastry bag with a plain tip with the mixture.
- Carefully pipe circles of about 1.5 inches in diameter about 2 inches apart onto parchment paper.
- Once you have completed piping allow the macarons to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour to develop a skin.
- You can tell if this has happened by lightly touching the top with your finger, and if the mixture does not stick to your finger they are ready for baking.
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees F. then carefully slide the parchment sheets onto a baking sheet and bake the macarons for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how large you piped them.
- While baking they should rise with airy feet developing.
- Once baked remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove them from the parchment using a small metal spatula. (If you have any trouble with the macarons sticking you can place a couple of drops of water under the parchment. Do not leave them there too long or they could get soggy.)
- Store macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to add the filling.
- To make the filling heat the cream in a small pot until just before it begins to boil.
- Break up the chocolate and mix it into the hot cream until it has completely melted.
- Add the berry preserves or food coloring and stir to blend.
- Refrigerate the filling for an hour or two until it begins to firm up enough to be of spreading consistency.
- Either pipe or spoon some of the filling onto one half of a macaron, and then top with another of equal size.