Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long for the second batch of macarons that Elina and I made... trust me though, they're worth it! Chocolate-y shells filled with a delectable cinnamon cream cheese buttercream.
They're so photogenic, I'll let them speak for themselves :) Be sure to check out my first macaron post for more tips and lessons I learned!!
Red Velvet Macarons
adapted from Tartelette and An Edible Mosaic
I only used about half the buttercream. Whether that means I under-filled my macarons, I'm not sure, but I think it was a actually a good amount that prevented them from being overly sweet. The extra frosting was perfect on these!
For the macaron shells:
110g aged egg whites, RT*
25g evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
100g sifted almond flour
200g powdered sugar
1- 1 1/2T cocoa powder
red food coloring (I used the gel kind)
For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Buttercream:
4T butter, RT
4oz Nufatchel, RT
1/2t vanilla extract
8oz powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add sifted almond flour and whisk together.
Using a stand or handheld mixer, whip egg whites and salt on medium-low until foamy. Add the evaporated cane juice and continue beating, on medium high until you have flossy, medium-stiff peaks. If you pick up the beater, the egg whites shouldn't drip off.
Add almond flour/powdered sugar mix to the egg whites. Add food coloring to a rubber spatula and then get ready for the macronage! Macronage, or the combining of egg whites with the almond flour/sugar mixture, actually deflates the egg whites so you don't have to be too careful with the folding. Fold, vigorously at first, then a bit slower to evaluate the batter consistency. The whole process shouldn't take more than 50 strokes (I didn't count).
What should perfectly-mixed batter looked like? I've seen it described several ways, but the easiest way for me to test was to put a small amount on a plate; it should form a smooth dome when ready, if it forms a peak it is under-mixed and requires a few more folds. You want to avoid over-mixed batter, which will be a bit runny and have the consistency of pancake batter. Alternatively, you can use your spatula to lift and drop the batter onto itself; if the ribbon gradually disappears into the batter within 30sec, it's ready to go.
Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2" tip or a plastic ziploc bag. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and pipe batter into 1" circles, leaving ~1" in between each macaron shell. I found a great template to use for piping the shells from Kevin and Amanda that I slide under the parchment paper to get the appropriate size. Don't forget to remove the paper template before baking! Tap the baking sheet (firmly!) on the counter several times to dislodge any air bubbles that might cause cracks when they're baking.
Let the macaron shells sit at RT for 30-60min, during which time the shell should become dry to the touch.
Preheat your oven to 300deg. (I did this about the 30min mark, and by the time it was preheated it was about 60min after piping the macarons)
Bake macarons in preheated oven for 15-20min, or until the parchment peels away cleanly from the macaron. If you see wet batter below the shell, it's not done yet. Once the macaron shells have baked, let them cool completely on the pan.
The shells can be made a few days ahead and stored in a ziploc bag until you fill them.
To prepare the buttercream, whisk together powdered sugar and cinnamon. Cream together butter and nufatchel until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and blend until combined, then add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth.
To assemble the macarons (should be done at least 24hrs before you need them!), match up similarly sized macarons. Pipe or spoon filling onto the bottom of one macaron, then place another on top of the filling (I actually used a spatula). I didn't measure the filling, I just didn't want to overfill them so the buttercream oozed out the sides when I transported them.
Store assembled macarons in a parchment-lined airtight container and store in the fridge for at least 24hrs (up to a week or so). Let the macarons come to room temperature before serving (an hour or so should do).
These pictures are making me drool again... I'm itching to make another batch already!! I know some people that won't complain either ;) With a lemon curd filling, would you like to see lavender or ginger shells?