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S’mores Macarons

20 May

May 20th 2015 

Who doesn’t love S’mores? The combination of graham crackers, toasted marshmallow and chocolate in one bite is to die for. Growing up I never went camping, so I can’t say S’mores remind me of camping trips; however, they do remind of bonfires during my college days.

These are by far one of my favorite macaron flavors. What are your favorite flavors?

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Graham Macaron

120 g almond flour
22 g graham cracker crumbs
281 g powdered sugar
116 g egg whites
33 g sugar

Y= sixty-eight 2-inch cookies (makes 34 sandwiched macarons)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar for about 30 seconds.
  2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
  4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
  5. In a steady stream, add sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
  6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth.
  7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
  8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully using a spatula fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated at this point.
  9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
  10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
  11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
  12. Line sheet pans with Silpat (or parchment paper).
  13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1-1.5 inch circles. Once the sheet pan is full, tap the bottom of the sheet pan against the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
  14. Allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 8 minutes.
  16. All to cool completely.

Marshmallow Meringue
60 g egg whites
½ C sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled.
  5. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes stiff and meringue-like.

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To Assemble

  1. Once the macarons shells have cooled, pipe meringue in the center and slightly torch the meringue.
  2. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs and drizzle melted chocolate (I used a chocolate sauce I purchased from Oliver Napa Valley).
  3. Filled macarons can be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for a few days.

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Hazelnut-Salted Caramel Macarons

24 Nov

   November 24th, 2014

2014-11-23 05.02.53This weekend I spent some time preparing for the Holidays including making pie dough, pie filling, cookie dough and macarons. Thanksgiving is in two days and Christmas is just around the corner. To save myself time, I try to make whatever I can ahead of time. Macarons are one of the things that I usually make ahead and they keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days, and even longer in the freezer. I decided on a hazelnut shell filled with salted caramel buttercream. The homemade salted-caramel was very easy and the taste by itself was irresistible! A little bit of salted-caramel in the buttercream goes a long way, so I still have a jar of it left. Perhaps salted caramel ice cream is in the future?

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Hazelnut Macarons: Recipe can be found here

Salted Caramel:
½ C sugar
⅛ C water
¼ C heavy cream
1T butter
¼ tsp – ½ tsp sea salt

Y= about ½ C

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Slightly whisk to mix.
  2. Heat on medium until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Do not stir when the mixture is heating up. Keep an eye out on the mixture and do not let it burn.
  3. Remove saucepan from the heat once desired color of the caramel is reached. Add the heavy cream (mixture will slightly bubble up). Slightly whisk to combine.
  4. Add the butter and sea salt. Add more salt for a saltier taste.
  5. Allow caramel to cool.

Salted Caramel Buttercream:
4.5 oz sugar
¼ C + ⅛ C egg whites
8 oz butter, softened and cut into pieces.
1-2 tsp salted caramel (adjust as needed)

Y= this was more than enough to fill 60 macarons. I have about half of the buttercream left.

Directions:

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
  7. Add salted caramel, ½ tsp at a time to the buttercream. If you like a more salty, caramel flavor, add more caramel.2014-11-23 05.41.502014-11-23 05.57.41

Nutella Hazelnut Macarons

29 Sep

September 29, 2014

Something got into me this weekend, and for no apparent reason, I had the desire to use Nutella. I normally don’t buy Nutella and it has been awhile since I’ve had a Nutella sandwich. In fact, it was about 8pm on Saturday night and I convinced my husband that we had to go get a jar of Nutella so that I can have it available the next day to complete my macarons.

Nutella consists mainly of hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa and is traditionally used as a spread. I used the Nutella to flavor the buttercream and for the macaron shell I opted for all hazelnut flour and no almond flour, where as when I made my hazelnut macarons I used a mixture of both flours . To give the macarons an extra pop of Nutella flavor, I piped a dollop of Nutella in the center of the buttercream when sandwiching the cookies together. Needless to say, these macarons were quite nutty!

2014-09-28 03.22.182014-09-28 03.34.27First fill with Nutella buttercream in the center.

2014-09-28 03.33.21Then pipe a dollop of Nutella on top of the buttercream for extra flavor!

Hazelnut Macarons
190g hazelnut flour
375g powdered sugar
155g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
45g sugar

Y= about 45 sandwiched macarons, about 1.5 inches in diameter

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together hazelnut flour and powdered sugar for about 30 seconds. Divide in parts if food processor is not large enough to fit everything at once.
  2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
  4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
  5. In a steady stream, add sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
  6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth. (If using fresh egg whites vs. carton egg whites, the peaks should form fairly quickly).
  7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
  8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully using a spatula fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated at this point.
  9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
  10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
  11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
  12. Line sheet pans with Silpat (or parchment paper).
  13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1-1.5 inch circles. Once the sheet pan is full, tap the bottom of the sheet pan to get rid of any air bubbles.
  14. Once all the batter has been piped, allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 6.5 to 7 minutes.
  16. All to cool completely.
  17. Once cooled, fill with hazelnut buttercream.
  18. Filled and sandwiched macarons can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for a 1-2 months. When ready to eat, always bring to room temperature.

Hazelnut Buttercream:
4.5 oz Sugar
¼ C + ⅛ C Egg whites
8 oz butter, softened and cut into pieces.
4 T Nutella (adjust as needed)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
  7. Add the Nutella, one tablespoon at a time to the buttercream. If you like a more sweeter, nuttier flavor, add more Nutella.

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Hazelnut Macarons

26 Jul

July 26th, 2014

These macarons were made specifically for my husband’s co-worker’s surprise bridal party. He originally wanted to order some desserts, but I volunteered to bake some treats for the special occasion. The team surprised the bride with macarons, cupcakes, and champagne and decorated her cube with confetti and paper streamers. She was definitely taken by surprise and did not expect it at all.

2014-07-11 12.42.31                 Chocolate Cupcakes and Hazelnut Macarons for the bride-to-be2014-07-11 12.42.49My plan was to make hazelnut macarons by substituting some of the almond flour with hazelnut flour. I have done this in the past before, but with a different ratio of the flours. This time, I replaced most of the almond flour with the hazelnut flour and the outcome of these little rounds of joys was a tasty surprise. Upon first bite, these macarons reminded me very much of the chocolate candies we ate as kids- Ferrero Rocher. The crisp, nutty shell along with the chocolate buttercream filling was very similar to the tastes of the chocolate candy. Ferrero Rochers consists of a hazelnut in the center, filled with hazelnut cream, enclosed within a wafer shell, and a chocolate outer coating.

I loved these candies and these were always a treat when we were younger. I rarely eat them now since I don’t eat much candy in general, but I will keep this recipe in rotation to get my hazelnut-chocolate combo fix. Next time though, I will have to incorporate hazelnut flavor into the filling.

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Tip: When I have extra macarons that I want to save, I put them (sandwiched with the filling) in an air-tight container and freeze them. They last for a few weeks and when ready to be served, take them out and allow them to come to room temperature. Otherwise, if you know they will be gone within a few days, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Hazelnut Macarons:
125g almond flour
65g hazelnut flour
375g powdered sugar
155g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
45g sugar

Y= about 60 sandwiched macarons, about 1 inches in diameter

Directions:
1. In a food processor, pulse together flours, and powdered sugar for about 30 seconds. Divide in parts if food processor is not large enough to fit everything at once.
2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl. Set aside.
3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
5. In a steady stream, add sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth. (If using fresh egg whites vs. carton egg whites, the peaks should form fairly quickly).
7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully using a spatula fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated at this point.
9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
12. Line sheet pans with silpat (or parchment paper).
13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1 inch circles. Once the sheet pan is full, tap the bottom of the sheet pan to get rid of any air bubbles.
14. Once all the batter has been piped, allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 6.5 to 7 minutes.
16. All to cool completely.
17. Once cooled, fill with chocolate buttercream.

Buttercream:
9 oz Sugar
3/4 C Egg whites
1 lb butter, softened and cut into pieces.
5 oz dark chocolate, melted, cooled

Directions:
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
2. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water.
3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
7. Slowly add the cooled chocolate to the buttercream. If you like a more chocolatey flavor, add more chocolate. If your chocolate is not cool enough it can melt the buttercream. I always melt my chocolate before I pipe the macarons. That way it will have sufficient time to cool.

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Strawberry Macaron Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwich

12 Jun

June 12th, 2014

You can’t tell, but I’m actually really excited for this post. Two delicious things- macarons AND ice cream together! I’ve always wanted to try making these since I’ve seen pictures of the giant macaron ice cream sandwiches from a place called MILK in Los Angeles, CA. I have never visited their shop to try the sandwiches, but I can only imagine it’s nothing but pure heaven. It’s on my list of places to go the next time I’m in L.A.

A few factors finally prompted me to make these ice cream sandwiches. First, I was making some strawberry macarons for a friend who requested them for her daughter’s high school graduation. I had extra shells left, so I set them aside for this project. Second, I really, really wanted to make ice cream since the weather is getting warmer and I wanted to use the copious amounts of Whiskey we have on our shelf. Third, I had this article pinned to my ‘Baking Ideas’ board on Pinterest for some time now and it was always there for inspiration.  And lastly, I was talking to my friend, Yao, and he asked me if I ever made ice cream sandwiches before. Prior to that, I told him I have not but it was the one thing I have on my to-bake list. Our conversation went on about ice cream and I was definitely inspired. A couple of days later, the strawberry macaron vanilla Bourbon ice cream sandwiches were born!

I had the macaron shells already made, so the following day I made the custard for the ice cream. That chilled overnight in the refrigerator and was processed in my ice cream machine the next day. I then let the ice cream set up in the freezer overnight to firm up. Then working quickly, the macarons were sandwiched with the ice cream. It may sound weird, but the combination of strawberry, Bourbon and vanilla together? Trust me, it was a great combination of flavors!

2014-06-08 02.18.552014-06-08 02.26.38Strawberry Macarons
I used the same macaron recipe found here.

I omitted the vanilla powder. When processing the almond flour and powdered sugar, I added about 2 tsp of freeze dried strawberries for a more pungent flavor.

Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream
1 ½ C heavy cream
1 ½ C milk
⅔ C + ⅛ C sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla
2 tsp Bourbon

Yield = 1 quart

Directions
1. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt. Add the vanilla powder remove from the heat, cover and let steep for about 20 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the the yolks.

3. Temper the yolks with some of the heated milk mixture. While you’re slowly adding the milk, use your other hand to whisk the mixture constantly. This prevents the yolks from curdling.

4. Add the yolk-milk mixture back into the pot and heat on medium. Using a spatula, continuously stir and scrape the bottom of the pot.

5. Heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

6. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl. Place bowl over an ice-bath to stop the cooking.

7. Allow the ice-cream base to cool in the refrigerator overnight.

8. Churn ice cream the next day.

9. Once the ice cream is done, fold in the 2 tsp Bourbon using a spatula.

10. Place ice cream in a clean container. Allow it to firm up in the freezer.

11. Once ice cream is firm enough, sandwich macarons. Work quickly as ice cream will become soft. Sandwiched macarons can be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer. Macaron shells will remain soft and ready to eat.

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Donut Macarons

20 Apr

April 20th, 2014

Happy Easter Sunday! To celebrate the Easter weekend I made donut shaped macarons. These were quite fun and fairly easy to make if you’ve made traditional macarons before. I also had a lot of egg whites from another project that I wanted to use up, and the most appropriate thing that came to mind was macarons. I wanted to experiment with the shape of the macarons, as I have been seeing very unique ones on Pinterest.

I am not a big donut person, but also not against eating them. I just don’t go out of my way for them. Even though these macarons do not taste like actual donuts, they really do look like them! I wanted to go for the vanilla glazed-Funfetti look. I used royal icing as the glaze, topped with colored sprinkles and chocolate ganache as the filling.

Hope you had a great Easter celebration! We kept it mellow and took our puppy to the beach for the very first time…he loved it and definitely got chased by the waves a few times. He found a few crabs that washed up and was very intrigued by them. Overall, a great weekend!

Macarons:
190g almond flour
375g powdered sugar
155g egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
45g sugar
2 tsp vanilla powder
Y= about 36 sandwiched macarons, 1.5 inches in diameter

Directions:
1. In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, powdered sugar and vanilla powder for about 30 seconds. Divide in parts if food processor is not large enough to fit everything at once.
2. Sift the mixture into a clean bowl.
3. Place egg whites in a mixer bowl. Whisk until slightly foamy on medium speed.
4. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whisk to incorporate.
5. In a steady stream, add sugar to the egg whites. Once all the sugar is added, increase speed to high.
6. Continue to whisk the mixture until stiff peaks have formed. Peaks should be shiny and smooth. (If using fresh egg whites vs. carton egg whites, the peaks should form fairly quickly).
7. Transfer the egg whites to a clean bowl.
8. Sift a third of the dries into the egg white mixture. Carefully fold the dries into the egg whites. The dries do not have to be fully incorporated.
9. Sift the next third of the dries into the mixture. Continue to fold.
10. Lastly, sift the remaining of the dries and fold.
11. Continue to fold until the dries are incorporated with the egg whites. Be careful not to over-fold, otherwise the batter will be too runny.
12. Line sheet pans with silpat (or parchment paper).
13. Using a piping bag fitted with an Ateco 304 tip, pipe 1.5 inch circles. To make the donut shape, pipe as if you’re writing the letter “O”, leaving the center unfilled. If you’re batter is on the runny side, use a smaller tip. Tap the bottom of the sheet pan to get rid of any air bubbles.
14. Once all the batter has been piped, allow macarons to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
15. Bake at 300F for 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for another 6.5 to 7 minutes.
16. All to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
160g dark heavy whipping cream
160 g dark chocolate

Directions:
1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream to a simmer.
3. Pour heated cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 30 seconds before whisking to combine.
4. Allow the ganache to set up before filling the macarons. Note: You can make this ahead of time when the macarons are resting. You can also place the ganache in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to help it firm up quicker.

Glaze:
Powdered Sugar
Pasteurized egg whites
Vanilla extract (optional)
Note: Ingredients for the glaze were eye-balled.

Directions:
1. Sift powdered sugar into a mixer bowl. I started with about 1 cup of powdered sugar.
2. Add egg whites a little at a time. Whisk to combine. Start with about 1 tablespoon.
3. If the glaze is too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it is too stiff, add more egg whites. Continue to do so until the right consistency is reached. You want the glaze to be somewhat on the runny side.

Assemble:
1. Once the macarons shells have cooled, place about half the shells on a wire rack. Spoon a small amount of the glaze over the shells. Alternatively, you can dip the shells into the glaze.
2. Sprinkle colored sprinkles over the glaze and allow the glaze to completely dry, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Fill the center of the unglazed shells with the chocolate ganache. Sandwich the macarons together.
4. Filled macarons can be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for a few days.

2014-04-18 03.51.30Allow the glaze to dry completely before filling the macarons.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

February 14th, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m usually not a big Valentine’s Day person and like to take it easy on this day. I think from here on out I will use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to bake something fun and festive, which I did this time around. I couldn’t resist making heart-shaped macarons. Besides, when else do you see macarons shaped like a heart?  At first I was a little hesitant because I wondered if the batter will hold the shape once they were piped, but sure enough, it did! I didn’t use any templates for the hearts, which might have been easier to get consistent sizes of macarons. Instead, I carefully piped the hearts free-handed. Believe it or not, the fun part was trying to match up the hearts when it came time to sandwiching them.

I filled half the macarons with strawberry buttercream, which I had leftover from the dinosaur cake and the other half with chocolate buttercream. The chocolate buttercream was easy to make. I saved some of the plain buttercream from the dinosaur cake and added melted dark chocolate. If you are short on time, another option is filling the macarons with raspberry or strawberry jam.

Hope your day is filled with love, chocolates, and plenty of sweets! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Macarons

7 oz powdered sugar

4 oz almond flour

4 oz egg whites

pinch of cream of tartar

3 1/2 oz sugar

red food coloring

Directions:

  1. Sift powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer bowl, whisk egg whites on medium speed.
  3. Once the whites become foamy, add a pinch of cream of tartar. Whisk on high-speed to incorporate.
  4. Slowly stream in granulated sugar. Continue to whisk until whites reach a medium peak.
  5. At this time, add food coloring and whisk to incorporate. Add as much or as little food coloring to get desired color.
  6. Whisk until stiff peaks.
  7. Fold in the dry ingredients in three additions and carefully fold with a spatula to incorporate each time.
  8. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated with the meringue, transfer batter to a piping bag with a round tip (I used an Ateco 803 tip).
  9. Pipe heart shapes on parchment lined sheet pans. Tap sheet pan against counter to remove any air bubbles. Allow macarons to rest 1 hour before baking.
  10. Bake at 310F for 10-12 minutes.
  11. Once cooled, fill macarons with buttercream.

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