Friday, February 20, 2015

Raspberry Macarons

I love the modern and monochromatic look of these deep pink raspberry macarons.

To get the colors, I used Wilton Rose gel coloring and just a touch of AmeriColor Electric Blue gel coloring to tint the meringue for the shells, but the filling color came about naturally — It's just Crofter's Raspberry Spread whipped with butter and a few drops of LorAnn Oils Raspberry Flavor.

The filling really couldn't be easier to make and is "very raspberry" without being overly sweet. It's the perfect partner for the sweet macaron shells.

Here's the recipe:

Raspberry 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
Wilton Rose gel coloring
AmeriColor Electric Blue gel coloring

Line four 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. Add the coloring. I added a pea-sized drop of the rose coloring and just a touch of the blue (I dipped a toothpick into the blue coloring and just touched the meringue with it).

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 quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

The shells resting before baking.
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 about 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

The shells after baking. Be sure to let them cool before trying to remove them from the parchment.

After cooling, you should be able to lift the shells off the parchment. If this doesn't work, you may need to gently slide a long thin knife or spatula underneath the shells to help release them. You can see the spatula I sometimes need to use on the counter behind the tray of shells.
Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife or spatula to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Raspberry Filling.
Filling the shells.

After assembling the macarons, store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. Macarons are best served at room temperature so take them out about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve.

Raspberry Filling
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Crofter's Raspberry Spread or another high-quality low-sugar raspberry preserve
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Just 3 drops of Raspberry Flavor (I used LorAnn brand)

Whip the butter until it is light and smooth. Add the jam, sea salt and raspberry flavor.

Whip this together until the filling is light and creamy. When you first start whipping the ingredients together, it will look like a curdled mess, but don't panic. The filling will eventually come together and be beautiful. Just whip it and whip it good!

The spread and flavoring I used.

The finished smooth and creamy filling.

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