St. Patrick’s Day always reminds me of the time I visited Ireland when I was in my 20’s, with my cousins. We started our impromptu vacation at Cork. By impromptu I mean, we had not even planned where we were staying or which cities we were visiting! All we had booked was our flight to Cork. It took me a day to get used to the Cork accent, and I had to ask everyone to repeat what they said twice 😉 We rented a car from the airport, and drove to Cork, and looked for a bed and breakfast place. My first encounter/experience was delightful! The Irish are such warm souls, and when they talk, it almost feels like they are singing and talking ! People everywhere were extremely nice, and helpful, and would give you directions, recommendations without any hesitation. We saw the Summer House of The Corrs! Yes! I am still a fan of their music! We drove from Cork to Galway which is an artsy student town, and was very pretty. From Galway we drove to our final destination Dublin – and saw the place where U2 actually started performing on the streets! We had the pint of Guinness! I mean that is a MUST right?! And ofcourse you need to have their Irish cream! They are famous for their stews as well and baked potatoes! All in all – it was one of the best trips of my life, since it was not planned, and secondly it is a beautiful country that I would love to visit again!
Here I am in Cork – 13 years ago!
This is beautiful Galway – an artsy student town!
Gorgeous day in Dublin!
Anyways, I wanted to give you a tiny taste of my experience in Ireland! It was surrounded all over with greenery and clover leaves everywhere! If you do get a chance, you must visit Ireland, it will make you coming back for more. I would love to go back with my family one day, and experience it all over again!
Do you know why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated? St. Patrick’s day is a cultural and religious celebration, held on 17th March, which is the day St. Patrick died. He was the first patron saint of Ireland. It commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Celebrations include a lot of drinking, parades, festivals and people generally wear green or shamrocks. Since it is a big celebration in Ireland, the alcohol consumption is a holiday tradition and is quite high. St. Patrick used a shamrock, a three leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish.
Now on to my macarons! I love making macarons, and coming up with different flavors if you do not already know. And the best part is when the flavor combination works, it is a triumph! Macarons are intimating at first, but once you get the technique correct, it becomes easy to make them. I think I might need to do a step by step photo tutorial or a video sometime to show the process. I have provided a lot of tips below to make sure your macarons turn out right!
I used Matcha powder from Aiya Matcha, which is a cooking grade matcha to make these perfect green macarons! The matcha powder is so potent and gives such a good flavor to the macarons. For the filling, I used Bailey’s Irish Cream to make the buttercream filling, and it works beautifully with the matcha macaron shells. The sweetness of the buttercream is cut through by the matcha shells, and is the perfect bite with a shot of espresso! These macarons were a huge hit with my family, and friends. My daughter shared it with her friends at school too, and they want macaron lesssons from me now!
If you do get a chance to try these macarons, please do not forget to tag me on Instagram with #thejamlab and/or leave a comment below on this blog post!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience in this beautiful country Ireland and I hope you get a chance to visit it too and enjoy it as much as I did!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
- 7 ounces confectioners sugar, divided
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 2 tbsp cooking grade matcha powder
- 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
- pinch of kosher salt
- 4 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
- 3 cups confectioners sugar ( the buttercream should not be runny, it should be firm, but pipeable at the same time)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper.
- Sift the matcha powder through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse one-third of the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour, and the matcha powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining confectioners sugar. Using a drum sieve, sift mixture three times into a large bowl. Set aside.
- To make the meringue: In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add granuated sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick, scrap down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla extract extract and increase the speed to high, whipping until stiff, firm, glossy peaks form for atleast 10 minutes.
- To complete the macaronnage step: Sift the almond flour mixture, one-third at a time, over the egg white mixture, and fold using a large spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Once all the almond flour mixture is incorporated check for the correct consistency, the batter should be firm, have a glossy shine and drip smoothly from the spatula. Make sure that the entire almond mixture is incorporated. This step is very important.
- Transfer the batter to a pastry bag filled with a 1/2 inch plain round tip(#12), and pipe 1 1/3 inch rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets. Gentle tap the bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Do this step atleast 5-7 times. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes atleast. Check for a slight crust to form on the macaron. The macarons should not stick to your finger when lightly touched. If they have a tip, gently pat it down with your finger.
- Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 15 minutes.
- Allow macarons to cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
- In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add the butter and salt and whip until light and creamy about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, baileys irish cream and vanilla to a whipped butter and mix until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is smooth about 2 minutes.Use a pastry bag to pipe the macaron shells, one at a time, and top with another macaron shell gently.
1) Make sure that you whip the meringue thoroughly. The best way to check after 10 minutes of whipping is to remove the whisk, stir the meringue vigorously with the whisk and turn it upside down. The merigue should stay stiff like a peak.
2) Make sure that you fold the almond mixture and it is well incorporated with the meringue and the end mixture is smooth and falls off the spatula with ease. It should look like a ribbon falling off the spatula.
3) When using the pastry bag to pipe the macarons, hold it absolutely vertical, and center to the holes on the template and slightly above it, and not touching the paper to pipe it. You need to squeeze just a tad bit to release the batter onto the parchment paper.
4) Make sure that you tap the tray atleast 6-10 times to release any air bubbles in the macaron shell.
5) You HAVE to let the macarons rest for atleast 30-45 minutes to form a nice shell.
6) It is very important to rotate the tray halfway through baking to make sure that the macarons are baked evenly.
7) DO NOT remove the shells off the parchment paper as soon as the tray comes out of the oven, else you will break the shell. Wait for 2-3 minutes atleast for it to cool down.
8) You can keep the shells covered and do the frosting the next day as well. The shells will keep for a couple of days.