Tag Archives: macarons

Watermelon, Raspberry and Mint chocolate chip macarons


pink and green macarons on white cake stand

I was being rather greedy one night – instead of just making a single flavour of macarons, I decided I should go all out and see how many I can churn out with only one or two coloured shells.

Deciding that I should go with what I have in the fridge, I checked and found half a wedge of watermelon, a punnet of fresh raspberries and half a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I know I know, there is absolutely no connection in those ingredients and can’t see that anyone would attempt to plate up a dish with those things in it, together. Fruit salad and some ice cream maybe? Anyway that wasn’t where I was going.

green macarons on black cake stand with mint leaves and chocolate pearls

The inspiration I got here was for the macaron flavourings.  I know I maybe cheating here but I got fed up with my blueberry macarons not tasting like blueberries despite the large quantites of blueberries I had added into my filling. So I went and got oil flavourings to see if the intense nature of the oil would give the macaron filling a much needed boost in taste. Since I only have 3 hours to do this, I could only do two colours of shells.

pink and green watermelon macarons

Here’s my thinking around the three ingredients:

  • Watermelon – pink and green
  • Raspberries – pink
  • Mint chocolate chip – green

There. By colouring my meringue in pink and green, I will have matching shells for three different flavours!


pink raspberry macarons on white cake stand

I’ve used my normal macarons recipe, as below.

Macarons shell ingredients (for each colour)
150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Making macarons shells

Sift the almond meal and icing sugar, set aside in a large wide bowl.

Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.

Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.

Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.

Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage[this is a picture from my other macarons recipe, showing the same stage]

Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze the mixture in the centre of the rounds and as it is close to filling the circle, stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.

Allow 30 minutes for a skin to be formed.

Fan-bake them at 125°C, for 20 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, you should see them rising nicely.

Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They should peel off the baking paper quite easily. Slide the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto a cool counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

I paired these with a dark chocolate ganache of different flavours

pink and green watermelon macarons on white cake stand

Filling Ingredients:
150g dark chocolate
150ml cream

3 drops each of watermelon/ raspberry / mint chocolate chip oil flavouring

Instructions:
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool, and poor into 3 separate bowls. Add 3 drops of flavouring into each bowl and let it thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Toblerone macarons


Toberlone macaron

I think I struck gold when I heard S say “oh how I miss black Toblerone…”. We were talking about how the Toblerone fairy had been visiting work and I was also wondering what macaron flavour I should try next (I haven’t repeated once since I started making them at the start of 2012. There’s always a slight variation.)

Hmm dark chocolate laced with crushed nuts, classic! Easy too as all I need to make for the filling is to melt the chocolate bar with the cream.

I’ve used a subtle chocolate flavour shell to let the filling stand out. I think it screams Toblerone, I wonder what my colleagues will think?

Macarons shell ingredients
150 g icing sugar
140 g almond meal
10g valrhona cocoa powder
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Making macarons shells

Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, set aside in a large wide bowl.

Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.

Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.

Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.

Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

macronnage

Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, I hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. I squeeze the mixture in the centre of my rounds and as it is close to filling my circle, I stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.

You can sift some cocoa powder on the tops too if you wish.

Allow 30 minutes for a skin to be formed.

Fan-bake them at 125°C, for 20 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, I could see them rising nicely.

Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They peeled off the baking paper quite easily. I then slid the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto my cool marble counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

I paired these with a dark Toblerone ganache.

Filling Ingredients:
150g Dark Toblerone
150ml cream

Instructions:
Break up Toblerone into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Donut macarons


This creation is part of my macaron marathon this week and I ended up letting my piping hand loose on the baking sheet. I piped hollow circles and crossed my fingers that they won’t collapse – they didn’t and I got donut macarons!

These were made with the fruit loops macaron base, as I thought they had a hint of cinnamon in them, making it quite an authentic donut flavour. (The fruit loops I used did not have the usual artificial flavourings, and instead were all natural ingredients such as beets and even turmeric.)

Macarons shell ingredients
150 g icing sugar
130 g almond meal
20 g ground fruit loops
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Making macarons shells

Grind fruit loops in a powerful food processor or magic bullet and gave it 15 seconds of blitzing and there you’ll have finely grounded, cereal crumbs.

Sift the almond meal, icing sugar, cocoa powder and fruit loops crumbs, set aside in a large wide bowl.

Put the first lot of egg whites into your hand or stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.

Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.

Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.

Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.
Test it by pulling the spatula up and letting the mixture drip back into the bowl. Watch it, if it quickly homogenises with the rest of the mixture, it is ready.

Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, I hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. I squeeze the mixture in the centre of my rounds and as it is close to filling my circle, I stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.

You can decorate the shells now – I placed some sprinkles onto half of the shells.

Allow 30 minutes for a skin to be formed.

Fan-bake them at 125°C, for 16 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, I could see them rising nicely.

Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They peeled off the baking paper quite easily. I then slid the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto my cool marble counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

I paired half of these with a fruit loops butter cream filling and half with a salted caramel filling (see earlier post).

These shells were made with the chocolate macaron base

Filling Ingredients:
1.5 cup fruit loops, blitzed (becomes 0.5 cup of fine crumbs)
150g butter
150g icing sugar

Instructions:
Cream butter and sugar together.
Blitz the cereal and mix in with the creamed sugar.

Fill half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Popcorn macarons with salted caramel and popcorn ‘snow’


I’ve been slowly working through my macaron flavour list and finally arrived at popcorn!

popcorn popcorn

My memories of popcorn brings me back to my high school days. It would be the last day of school before the summer holiday, and we would typically change from our school uniforms to causal wear and head out for an afternoon of fun. The bunch of us might go to see a movie (Finding Nemo, I think on this occasion) and for me, if I was having popcorn, it would always be sweet flavoured popcorn, not butter popcorn actually. It was quite a shock for me when I first went to a cinema here in NZ and discovered they only make fresh butter flavoured popcorn! The distinction was so profound I still haven’t understood or gotten over this simple fact. In honoring that memory, I have therefore used sweet popcorn in this version of my macarons. I was initially worried it would be way too sweet, but as it turns out this brand of sweet microwave popcorn wasn’t nearly as sweet as actual caramel popcorn, so the pairing of it with a salted caramel filling was subtle and appropriate.

Macarons shell ingredients

150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
6g valrhona cocoa powder
110 g egg whites
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1g meringue powder
1 packet sweet microwave popcorn

Making macarons shells

Follow the popcorn packet instructions and get the popcorn popping. You need to let it cool a bit before blitzing it to make the ‘snow’ (After my trip to Queenstown I am a bit obsessed with snow) and it seems to be a nice treat to snack on while you are working on a piece of art – macarons that is.

When they are cool, blitz about half of the bag, taking care to remove the burnt ones, if any.

Now for the shells.
Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, set aside in a large wide bowl.

Put half of the egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Don’t splash the sugar around, and don’t stir. Use a clean pastry brush to brush down the side of the saucepan to avoid any crystallization if the liquid splashes up. Increase the heat.

Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.

Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, decrease the mixer speed to medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.

Add the extra egg white to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.

Ready for piping

Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe.

Today I waited for 30 minutes for a skin to form.

I fan-baked them at 125°C, for 20 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, I could see them rising nicely.

Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They peeled off the baking paper quite easily. I then slid the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto my cool marble counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

I paired these with a salted caramel with popcorn ‘snow’ filling

Filling Ingredients:
200g castor sugar
310ml fresh cream
50g butter, cubed
5g good quality salt flakes
A few drops of vanilla essence
2 tbsp popcorn snow

Instructions:

Heat the sugar in a wide saucepan until melted and golden colour.
Be careful and wait for it to turn amber and slightly smoke.
Carefully add the cream in slowly, continuing to whisk but be very careful of the resulting vigorous bubbling.
Add the butter in gradually until melted and combined.
Add in salt flakes, vanilla essence and the popcorn snow.
Cool in fridge for a few hours.

Pairing up:
put the salted caramel onto half of the shells.

Melt a litte bit of butter (20g) and brush the tops of the other half of the shells with butter, and then dip it into the popcorn snow. Pipe or use a small offset spatula, place salted caramel filling onto the other half of the shells and pair up.

I’ve rolled some of my macarons in the snow completely too.

These need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Tres Macs


This post is about trying a new lighting set up. These were shot in the afternoon.

In these photos, I had a dark brown kitchen bar stool sitting next to my living room sliding door, where the warm afternoon sun is coming in at a nice 45 degree angle, coming through from the left. The reason for choosing the bar stool is for its wooden-palette like stripes, which I’ve seen used in lots of food photography shots.
I used a white foam core board as background, and another one to the right at right angles as a bounce.
I tweaked the macarons a bit to show less chocolate ganache. Is it better?
How about having them flat on the plate, to show off their circular symmetry?
Here’s a photo of the boxed up gift for my colleague in exchange for some sour dough starter. See the shadow? I think I need a better bouncer! Will try the white umbrella with my speedlight next time – time is running out today!
Another shot of the gift with the top off.