Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nectarine Mint Macarons

Earlier today, I catered a bloggers brunch for Lululemon! It was a great experience, and I'll be posting more from it next week! One of the dessert items I made for the brunch was this macaron! It's a refreshing macaron with a mint white chocolate ganache and a tangy nectarine jam! Perfect for any summer party!

Nectarine Mint 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 and Yellow 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.


Whipped Mint Ganache
6 oz White Chocolate
3 oz Heavy Cream
3 Mint Leaves

1. In a small pot, scald cream.
2. Place white chocolate in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
3. Allow it to sit slightly, and then mix to incorporate completely.
4. Finely chop the mint leaves and add to the white chocolate ganache. 
5. Allow the ganache to cool and set slightly.
6. Once the ganache is thick, use a mixer to whip to medium peaks. Pipe immediately.

Nectarine Jam
2 Nectarines
1/4 cup Sugar
1 oz Water

1. Cut nectarines into small pieces. They do not need to be exact.
2. Place into a pot with sugar and water.
3. Heat on low to medium heat and mix occasionally to avoid burning.
4. Heat until the nectarine is soft and can be crushed easily with a spoon.
5. Pour the mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times to ensure there are no large pieces.
6. Allow the mixture to cool completely before you pipe into the macaron shell. You can speed up the process in the fridge in a thin sheet.

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.

Though the thought of nectarine and mint seems a little strange, the combination is extremely refreshing and delicious! This was a huge hit at the brunch, and I'm sure it will be a hit with your friends as well! :)

Stay tuned for a full post on my first solo catering event next week!!!

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