Move over cupcakes, macaroons are officially taking over. Not only can you get them in a variety of qualities, from the french bakery to Trader Joe’s, almost equally delicious. Now they are arriving in a variety of shapes and sizes for all to enjoy. I had heard that macaroons take some patient are a bit more complex then a boxed cake. Screw the flowers that die this year honey, I WANT HEART SHAPED MACAROONS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!
Red Velvet Valentine Macarons
adapted from Kitchen Musings
for the TPT (tant pour tant)
300 grams almond flour
300 grams confectioner’s sugar
110 grams aged egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
red food coloring (I used a gel coloring)
Sift together the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar. Mix in the egg whites to create the “mass” (mixture will be very thick). Add in your desired amount of red food coloring and mix well. Note: I didn’t measure the amount I used, I just kept adding until I had a bright red color, keeping in mind that the color will be diffused a bit when the Italian meringue is added.
for the Italian meringue
300 grams granulated sugar
75 grams water
110 grams aged egg whites
Bring water and sugar to a boil until it reaches 239F on a candy thermometer. Start whipping your egg whites in a stand mixer to soft peaks once your sugar/water mixture reaches 239F. Continue boiling your sugar/water mixture while simultaneously whipping your egg whites.
Once the sugar/water mixture reaches 245F, remove from the stove and let bubbles settle. Turn your mixer to low-medium speed and slowly pour in your sugar syrup mixture while continuing to beat the whites. Beat until you get soft peaks that gently food over when you turn the whisk upside down.
Preheat your oven to 350F
Fold in 1/4 of your meringue mixture into the TPT “mass” to lighten the mixture. Gently fold in the remaining meringue until the mixture “flows like magma”. Transfer to two pastry bags with a plain tip.
A note on how to pipe heart shaped shells: This takes some finesse. I started out with heart shapes drawn on parchment underneath my silpat which helped somewhat. This particular batter was more ‘oozy’ than the French meringue method I typically use, so it was a bit difficult to pipe them exactly into the shapes I traced. I ended up piping them freehand in a gentle ‘V’ shape that turned out well.
Allow for shells to dry at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (I almost always wait 1 hour) then bake at 350F for 12-20 minutes (depending on your oven).
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
NOTE: I halved this recipe which made plenty for the amount of macarons I had. Double the amounts below if you want to make a full batch
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. (recipe states “about 20 minutes” but my mixture thickened in under 10)
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of stand mixer and beat on high, using the paddle attachment, until cool. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the butter, piece by piece, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. If frosting is too soft, chill in the refrigerator and then beat again until proper consistency.