I have not made macarons in a long time, and have been itching to make some since the start of the New Year. I wanted to make macarons for a Valentine’s day post. We do not really celebrate Valentine’s day, cause LOVE should be celebrated everyday! But making desserts for Valentine’s day are so fun! It is all red and pink and chocolatey and so pretty, and hence super fun to make! I had some fun ideas for Valentine’s Day desserts, and I boiled down to a couple recipes.
Last month I made these super cute Heart cookies with my kids and we had fun making them! I wanted to try my hand at making heart macarons. So I did a couple of weeks ago, but it was a complete failure! I think I had not whipped the almond-meringue mixture well enough, and the heart shapes did NOT form well, nor did my round regular macarons, which made me very sad! I was trying a Strawberry-Beet shell with a dark chocolate ganache filling. So I tried it again this past weekend, to get my heart shapes, and I managed to get probably 10 shells somewhat well done, which was some progress made! It takes a lot of practice and a steady hand to get those heart shapes right! Luckily I made round ones as well, and I put cute little edible silver hearts on the top, giving it a pretty, elegant look!
I have seen so many gorgeous macaron feeds on Instagram lately and it is mind blowing to see how many talented people are out there, doing amazing, wonderful things! Macarons in the shape of unicorns, bears, roosters, it is so fascinating to see! Some of my favorite macaron feeds are: @loveandmacarons @mac_lab @bakedbyandres . You must check them out!
For my macarons, I used freeze dried Strawberries that I got from Trader Joe’s, which are fantastic! I powdered them fine, and put them through a fine sieve to remove any strawberry seeds to not compromise on the final batter. I used organic beet powder for the pretty pink color(to avoid using the artificial food color), and I love how sweet the color turned out! The filling is a dark chocolate ganache filling, which works perfectly with these macarons and balances out the flavors perfectly! I have included some macaron tips as well in the recipe below, that I learnt from my experiences and I hope it helps you as well.
I hope you get a chance to try out this recipe! Be sure to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on this blog post!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers! Celebrate love everyday, spread sunshine into someone’s life everyday. You will see how fulfilling and gratifying it is! 🙂
- 7 ounces confectioners sugar
- 4 ounces almond flour
- 4 large(4 ounces) egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 3.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp organic beet powder
- 1 tbsp freeze dried strawberries powdered in a coffee grinder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate(or dark chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp room temperature butter
- For the macaron shells:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheets with the paper templates, and top with the parchment paper.
- Sift the dried strawberry powder through a fine sieve to eliminate any seeds.
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the confectioner's sugar with the almond flour, and the dried strawberry powder and organic beet powder until a fine powder is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. 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 food coloring and 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. 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.
- 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.
- Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- Put the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan till it just begins to boil. Add it to the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate melts. Add in the vanilla extract and soft butter and mix till silky smooth.
- Now let cool in the fridge for atleast 30-40 minutes. Use the pastry bag with a small hole to pipe the macarons. Invert half the macarons. Pipe the filling. Cover with another macaron shell.
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 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.
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 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.