Sunday, April 20, 2014

Strawberry Champagne Macarons


These macarons are luxurious, flavorful, and colorful. The bright pink is perfect for springtime! Sadly, I was preparing these on a rainy day... The humidity affected the rise, so the macarons didn't have a great foot. Try to prepare these on a dry day so that the shell does not crack, and the food will form nicely.

When making these macarons, be sure to make the ganache and jam at least 4 hours before you make the shell. I made mine the day before so that the flavors would have plenty of time to develop.

Strawberry Champagne Macarons (Makes about 20 Macarons)
Shells
100g Almond Flour
120 g Confectioner's Sugar
50 g Granulated Sugar
70 g Egg Whites (2 large whites)
1/2 tsp Red Gel Food Coloring

1. Pulse almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Be careful not to grind too long, because it will release all of the oils, ruining your final product.
2. Sift the powder with a medium-mesh sieve.
3. Place the particles that are too large to fit through the sieve back into the food processor, pulse, and sift again. Throw out the excess pieces.
4. In a grease-free bowl, place your egg whites and sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes to begin to dissolve.
5. Use grease-free beaters on high speed to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.
6. As the meringue reaches stiff peaks, add food coloring until you reach the desired color.
7 Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until the batter moves slowly, like lava. If you run your spatula through it, it should fall together after 5-7 seconds.
8. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (3/8 inch). 
9. Pipe rounds that are about an inch apart onto a nonstick baking mat (silpat) that is placed onto a cookie sheet. 
10. Do this by holding the bag straight up about half an inch above the silpat, applying pressure to the bag until about 1 inch in diameter, stopping pressure, and then removing by moving hand in a very small circular motion to release the tip from the macaron shell. Make sure there is enough space to spread.
11. Rap your cookie sheet/sheet pan on the table a few times to make sure there are no bumps on the macaron shells.
12. Let rest until dry to the touch (about 30-45 minutes, longer on rainy days).
13. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. If you have a convection oven, use convection.
14. Bake macaron shells on the second shelf of the oven for 14-17 minutes, until they do not wiggle when nudged.
15. Remove from oven and allow shells to cool completely before removing from the silpat.

Champagne Ganache
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Champagne
8 oz White Chocolate

1. Place white chocolate into a bowl.
2. Heat the champagne and heavy cream until they boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate. Gently stir until combined.
4. Cover the ganache with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the wrap to touch the surface of the ganache so a film does not develop.
5. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. Then, whip the ganache on high speed until it thickens and holds peaks.

Strawberry Champagne Jam
8 oz Strawberries
1/4 cup Champagne
3 tbsp Sugar

1. Place the ingredients into a small pot.
2. Cook on low heat until the mixture becomes thick and pasty.
3. You want to be sure that almost all of the moisture is cooked out. When that happens, remove from heat and transfer to a container to cool. 

Assembly
1. Pair the shells by size. You should have about 20 pairs of shells.
2. On the surface of the bottom of the shell, place a small pinch of jam in the center. It should be enough for a small surprise. 
3. Put the ganache into a piping bag with the same tip that you used to pipe the macarons.
4. Pipe the ganache so that it is covering about 1/2 of the surface of the bottom of the shell.
5. Put the pairs together to create a "sandwich". 
6. Place in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
7. Let the macarons come to room temperature before you serve them.

These macarons are the perfect gift for Mother's Day, Easter, or any springtime celebration. I hope everyone had a wonderful, restful Easter. 

3 comments:

  1. is there an alternative to almond flour?

    ReplyDelete
  2. is there an alternative to almond flour?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes!! Use Pumpkin seeds!! My cousin has a horrible nut allergy and I have ground up pumpkin seeds into a flour to replace in all almond flour recipes and it works GREAT in macaroons. The taste is unnoticeable, you don't get that almondy flavor; but I really don't miss it. Only two things to keep in mind. Grinding your own flour can take a while, so plan ahead. And the seeds are green so my cookies had a bit of a green hue to them. As long as you really go heavy on the food coloring it should be fine though! Hope that helps!!

    ReplyDelete