Monday, August 25, 2014

Macaron Coloring Tip

Mini Lime Macarons

My macaron coloring tip is to color your macaron batter darker than you want your macarons to end up. The color of a macaron lightens after baking so if you want bright macarons be sure to intensify the batter. I find that gel food colorings work best.

To show the difference,  here's a side by side comparison of my recent batch of Mini Lime Macarons.

And, here's my recipe for Mini Lime Macrons filled with a buttercream flavored with fresh lime zest and juice. These were my favorite of three flavors including Almond Chocolate and Strawberry that I recently made for a baby shower

Mini Lime Macarons
(makes 75 quarter-sized macarons)
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
green food coloring

Line five heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts.  Towards the end of mixing, add the food coloring.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well. 

Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small nickel sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch.

While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. 

Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Lime Buttercream

Filling the Mini Lime Macarons

Lime Buttercream 

Zest of two limes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of fine sea salt
green food coloring, optional
The lime juice, zest and sugar before cooking.
Mix together the zest, 3 tablespoons of sugar and lime juice and add it to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, heat the mixture until it comes to a boil, watching it and stirring it constantly. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes until it's reduced and begins to caramelize on the edges. The zest will change color to a darker green.

Remove the mixture from the stove and transfer it to small bowl to cool. Let it cool completely.

Place the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar and cream of tartar.

Place bowl over a double boiler on medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture is very hot (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit).

Move to mixer and whip whites on high for 2 to 3 minutes; turn down to medium low until cool (use the bowl as your guide).

In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon, stir butter to soften.

With mixer on medium/high speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon just as the previous one is blended in. Once all the butter incorporated, add in the salt and cooled lime mixture and whip on high speed until fluffy. If desired add a touch of green food coloring.

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