Macarons with Fillings

Macaron Shells

Best if made on a dry day so try to make macarons on a day when it’s not rainy or humid. Egg whites should also be separated at least a day in advance and refrigerated.

To make 16 macarons (32 shells):

  • 3/4 cup ground almond meal (also called almond flour)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar (Domino or food process regular granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Gel or powder food coloring (do not use liquid coloring or it will dilute the meringue) like Wilton at Michael’s

Put ground almond meal and confectioners’ sugar into a food processor/high speed blender and process until the mixture is fine. Sift mixture into a bowl.

In an electric mixture, whip egg whites and gradually beat in superfine sugar one tablespoon at a time until it holds stiff peaks and the meringue is shiny. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Fold 1/3 of almond mixture into the meringue in a circular motion (“lift and cut”.) The meringue is supposed to deflate. Once the dry ingredients are completely folded in, add the second third of the almond mixture. Repeat to incorporate dry ingredients. Add the final third of the almond mixture and keep folding until the batter loosens.

Separate mixture into bowls so that you can add coloring. Be careful not to over mix making the batter too runny.

Fill pastry bags fitted with round tips (we will use Wilton #12) and pope rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. (If using a template, place template under the parchment)

Preheat oven to 325F.

Leave the piped macarons at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the macarons have formed “skins”. This will help prevent them from cracking during baking.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. The macarons are ready when they are crispy on the outside. If the bottoms are too sticky to remove fem the parchment paper, return to oven and bake a few minutes long with the oven door a bit ajar to let the moisture out.

Cool macarons completely and detach them from the parchment paper in order to pipe in fillings.

 

Chocolate Ganache

  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate (one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional)

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between ntil smooth. Bring cream to a boil and add it to the melted chocolate in three additions while whisking. Stir until smooth. Ad optional butter for extra creaminess. Put plastic wrap directly on top of the ganache (the wrap should touch the mixture so that it prevents it from forming a skin on top) and refrigerate until cool enough to put in a pastry bag to pipe.

Variations on Chocolate Ganache

  1. Mint chocolate ganache – boil 1/4 cup minted mint leaves with the cream and/or substitute white chocolate for bittersweet chocolate.
  2. Peanut butter/chocolate ganache – melt peanut butter chips with bittersweet chocolate. No need to use cream or added butter.
  3. Nutella or chocolate/hazelnut spread – microwave and add optional unsalted butter to desired smoothness.

 

Homemade Jam/Jelly/Preserve Filling (or just microwave jam and put in piping bag)

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp pectin

Puree berries until seeds are broken down. Boil puree, sugar and pectin for 5 minutes. Take off heat and add lemon juice. Let cool and fill a pastry bag to pipe macarons.

Salted Butter Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • Pinch of flour de del or heavy sea salt
  • 1/8 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

In a dry saucepan, make a caramel by melting a little bit of the sugar. Add the sugar bit by bit until the sugar turns to a dark-amber thick liquid. Add cream and salt. Keep stirring (any hard chunks of caramel will envetually melt). Cook until temperature reaches 225 degrees F (use a candy thermometer). Mixture will be brown and bubbly. Piur mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that the wrap touches the mixture to prevent it from forming a skin. Cool this mixture in the refrigerator. Whip butters until very soft, then mix with the cold caramel. Transfer mix to a piping bag to fill macarons.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Beat butter and vanilla and gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 oz melted chocolate

Beat butter and gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth and creamy. Then fold in melted chocolate.

What to do with Leftover Egg Yolks

Creamy Vanilla Pudding (for 8 ramekins)

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 12 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 12 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp liqueur (rum, Grand Marnier, optional)

Whisk sugar into egg yolks and add cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour into ramekins and bake in water bath (place ramekins in a casserole dish filled with water) at 300 degrees F for 40 minutes or until pudding is firm.

 

 

 

 

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