Friday, 4 March 2011

Winter Strawberry Macarons

The humble egg box. Finally. Useful!


These macarons were supposed to be the Orange and Pistachio Cupcakes that I made for Bliss' 'Cake A Difference' campaign a few weeks ago, but I was STUPID and forgot to upload the photographs. I can only apologise.

You shouldn't feel hard done to though! Everybody likes a macaron, especially a Winter Strawberry Macaron. You might be wondering what a Winter strawberry is exactly, and you'd be right to. So I'll come clean up front and let you know that I just made them up. They are 'Winter' as in 'out of season' as in 'jam'. But I did make the jam myself, so don't be hating when you should be celebrating. I would dislike it immesely if you were to associate the wrong sort of emotions with these little pinkies.

They are the first macarons I have ever made that do not contain food colouring. You're looking at the colour of real, baked egg albumen. Lovely! I'll be honest: I just couldn't hack it when I piped them out, so sprinkled them with gold lustre before baking, and I think they look better this way. Cocoa or cinnamon would also be a good choice if you don't have gold lustre, but that would beg a particularly pressing question:

'Why don't you have any gold lustre?'

I'll be expecting an answer. You won't get away with this.


Winter Strawberry Macarons

If you read this blog at all often, you'll know already that I run a loose ship when it comes to macarons. I don't bother with the food processor and all that almond grinding. I pre-buy. Relax. These will work.

You will need:

110g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
2 egg whites (60g), aged for 24 hours (just leave them on the kitchen counter, uncovered)
40g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

50g mascarpone cheese

3 tbsp strawberry jam

  1. Sift the 110g icing sugar into a large bowl, and mix in the almonds.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, then slowly whisk in the caster sugar until you have soft peaking meringue. If you want to add a little gel colouring, then add it now, along with the vanilla extract, and carry on whisking until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add the almond and sugar mixture, and fold in. You are supposed to do this in exactly 50 strokes, and turn the bowl 45° after every tenth stroke. I don't think it's of paramount importance - you should just have a smooth mixture.
  4. Put this mix into a piping bag with the end snipped off, and pipe circles about 2 inches in diameter and well spaced apart on a lined baking sheet. You should have between 28 and 30 blobs of mixture. Let's call it 29.
  5. Let them sit for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of the macaron shells with gold lustre. Bake for 12 minutes on the bottom shelf. Cool completely on the sheet, and then remove using a pallet knife.
  7. Mix the jam and mascarpone together until smooth and pink, then sandwich the macarons with the resulting cream. Store in the fridge until about 30 minutes before eating. Which you should do within a week.

18 comments:

  1. First, these look yummy. No hatin', definitely celebratin'.

    Second, gold lustre? This sounds like some fancy piece of European finery that my plain old apple pie American self has never seen before.

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  2. Yummmmmmmmmmmm ...Thy luk so tempting

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  3. I love the idea of homemade strawberry jam and mascapone filling. Who doesn't love mascapone?

    I have just finished my latest batch of macarons and they are sitting in the fridge at this very moment. They are olive favoured with balsamic vinegar buttercream. I must be crazy to come up with this experiment! I wonder what they taste like after they mature a bit in the fridge...

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  4. Mine came out without feet the first time. And since then I am not getting courage to try them again. You have rekindled my interest again :)

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  5. Ooh nudie macarons wearing only a thin veil of luster dust. How sexy! They are way beautiful in all their naked splendor and yes I have a drawer full of luster, hologram and disco dust just beggin' to be used on macs.

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  6. I've tried making macarons a few times now and failed each time. I like your method. Looks very simple. Will try but I warn you now I will be Cardiff-bound if anything goes wrong!

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  7. I actually popped by yesterday thinking that for some horrible reason I'd missed your posts. Good to know I hadn't. Although, I still resent the fact I can't make or eat these.

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  8. I love macarons, but never attaempted to make them at home. They seem so fiddly and I am scared of failing :(
    Yours look perfect. Can I just get some of yours?

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  9. I love macarons, they are just so cute! I'm not hating, I think using homemade jam in maracons is a great idea!

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  10. OMG! I've missed Cake a Difference this year! They really need to pull their socks up with their PR, I would have done something for it again if I'd known.

    I love your macs in an egg box - I recently transported some to a party like that.

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  11. um, yummy!!
    in response to diane - if you have a michael's craft store near by, you can find the luster dust in the baking area. i just found it 2 weeks ago (i got purple and silver, but no gold!). i'm from the DC area so i know we have it "state side"

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  12. These look stunning, after 4 or 5 disasters i conquered the macaroon a few weeks ago but they were shocking pink after being a little heavy handed with the food colouring, your little naked ladies with their gold sparkle look divine!

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  13. Love the use of the egg box. Very creative and beautiful food photo.

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  14. These look lovely, nice idea serving them in an egg box - really rustic ;-)

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  15. yay! the macarons are back. gorgeous as always. you must have a massive almond flour stash in your cupboard!

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  16. You can make a macaron talk Mr P...these are fabulous 28 or 29, even 30-fabulous!

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  17. oh MY, I could eat the lot of them - Love all the yummy treats on your home page and look forward to digging deeper :)

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  18. I suppose everyone must browse on this.

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That's what he said.

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