Valentines is right around the corner. Only 4 days left! Pairing beauty and Macarons is an art made in heaven. The colors of the Macaron and the makeup makes the day ever so bright. Now, making Macarons is still doable even in a tight crunch. Especially if you want to munch on the macarons one by one. I will show you a quick method today with Mastrad’s new kit. Whether you’re having a tea party or a make over party, this Valentine will sure be memorable.
Before making Macarons, the very first thing to do is find out what ingredients you need and get more than needed. Chances are you might not conquer it at first. Also reading ahead of the steps gives you a visual memory of what is to come next. So, after contemplating on what kind of process I should use for Macarons, I decided to run with the French Meringue method. Looking into Les Petits Macarons, I noticed that it was the first method on at list of 4.
One of the newest simple to use kits is the Mastrad Macaron Kit. It is an all in one tool kit that pretty much sums up everything needed tools wise. Though you still need an OVEN. This multi colored box comes with a premium silicone baking sheet that includes 53 cavities for your shells. There is also a 500 ml reusable piping bag with 6 nozzles. Topping it off is a cap for piping bag storage and a clip to secure the funnel end.
Did I mention a booklet with 7 recipes is enclosed? The stunning ingenuity design of a strawberry Macaron caught my eye. I thought I’d share with you. Using sesame seeds on red shells really makes one think of the ever so bright and sweet strawberry. For our purpose we will be using Kathryn’s book for the shells.
The cavities on the baking sheet holds the mixture ready to bake. Easier to keep things in place in case of overflowing or wandering mixtures. Flip over the sheet, the smooth side doubles as a regular baking sheet for cream puffs, shortbreads, cookies and all sorts of desserts.
Almond flour is next. I used King Arthur’s Almond Flour because of how fine and smooth it is. I recommend choosing King Arthur Flour for their large selection of baking needs and the quality of the flours they offer. It’s simply the best.
For the color mixture that you saw from the first pic, I used India Tree’s Decorating Set that is created with Vegetable Colorants. Enclosed colors include Red, Yellow, and Blue. Mixing together the base colors creates everything else on the color wheel such as orange, green and purple.
Each colored Macaron was incorporated with Aftelier’s Chef Essence essential oils. I used Rose, Blood Orange, Shiso, Lavender, and Jasmine. Beware that a tiny bit goes a long way since Aftelier has a very concentrated essence that really stands out so much.
To begin you will need the following ingredients:
Almond Flour 165g
Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
Egg White* 115g
Cream of Tartar 3g
Granulated Sugar 150g
Powdered Egg White 5g
Confectioners’ Sugar 165g
*aged egg whites works better, liquid egg whites also works
1. One of the most important tricks to making macarons smooth and glossy is tossing the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar into a food processor and then sifting in fine mesh. This produces a very fine mixture at the end for baking. This will take the bulk of the time depending on how fine the mesh is. The finer it is the better the end result becomes. If you omit this process, your macarons will not be as smooth skinned.
2. Whisk together the powdered egg whites and granulated sugar with a hand whisk before adding into the egg whites and cream of tartar mixture in batches. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until it forms a stiff peak meringue, about 11 minutes.
The meringue should look smooth and shiny. When turning the bowl upside down, the meringue should not slip.
3. After making the French Meringue, it is time to fold in the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar sifted from earlier. Ensure not to use the mixer, instead use a rubber spatula. Be quick and gentle.
4. After a few folds and seeing the incorporation process up to 90% or so, take out a few smaller sized bowls and spread out the mixtures evenly. It is time for coloring fun! It is also the best time to drop in those essence. Right after dropping in the colors and essence, use a spatula to fold and finish macaronnage process.
Below we have flavors of
Blood Orange with Orange (Red and Yellow) color
Green Tea Powder with Green (Yellow and Blue) color
Jasmine with Blue color
Lemon with Yellow Color
Lavender with Purple (Red and Blue) color
Rose with Red color (not pictured)
5. Now it is time to put the batter into the silicone piping bag. Pipe one batch at a time cleaning the bag in between so that colors don’t mix. Make sure to scrape the batter all to the tip of the dispenser and clip the end so that batter doesn’t move around too much.
We are now ready to pipe. Put the large round tip nozzle slightly over the mat in the middle of each cavities. Gently squeeze the batter out slightly smaller than the ridge, the batter will expand a little.
6. After all the piping has been done, let the Macarons dry in the over at low temperature (200 °F) or outside for 30-45 minutes in a cool place. The surface of the shells need to be hardened prior to baking into the oven. This is a CRUCIAL step. If you miss this step the Macarons will become waste. Shells will crack, no feet, etc…
7. If you use the oven dry method, bake the macaron shells at 200 °F for 15 minutes to dry out the shells. Increase the oven temperature to 350 °F and bake for an additional 9 minutes. Otherwise, bake at 265/285 °F for 12 to 15 minutes. Open the oven door slightly 2 to 3 minutes before the end of cooking so as to allow the stream to be release.
8. Wait for approximately 15 minutes so the macaron shells will be cool and taken off the mat. Transfer the baked shells to the cooling rack for further stabilization.
9. Alternate rows of macarons, facing up and down. Now the shells are ready to be filled.
For today’s macarons, besides buttercream we have an even easier cream cheese recipe for the filling. Courtesy of Les Petits Macarons page 208.
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces (120g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick (56g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 packed cup plus 1 tablespoon (125g) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon (3g) vanilla extract*
Pinch fine sea salt
* I used vanilla paste and lemon zest for the Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
Pair the Macarons up with your favorite drink. Be it tea, champagne, or even a nice served cappuccino. Whatever it is, the little cookies are bite size and tasty.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!