Saturday, April 25, 2015

Creamsicle Macarons

Learning that I can flavor macaron shells by adding extracts to the granulated sugar and it doesn't ruin the meringue, has got me so excited that I had to experiment again.

This time,  I created "Creamsicle" macarons that are so fresh tasting with the winning combination of orange and vanilla coming from both the macaron shell and the filling. The flavor bursts in your mouth from all directions and for me, brings back so many fond summertime memories. I just loved eating orange and vanilla ice cream with a wooden spoon!

To color these, I used the technique of drawing stripes of gel coloring on the inside my pastry bags before adding the macaron batter.

It's an easy to create and cool effect that gives you different intensities of color — some bright and some more subtle. In combination, I think the variety is eye catching.
An assortment of colors.

Here's the recipe:

Creamsicle 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
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
Orange 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.

Add the vanilla and orange extract to the granulated sugar and mix it well. Set it aside.

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.

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.

With a small food only paint brush, draw three stripes of orange gel coloring on the inside of each piping bag. A little coloring goes a very long way, so just dip your brush once in the coloring before each swipe.

A pastry bag filled with macaron batter added after painting the three stripes of color.
Transfer the macaron batter into the 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.
Piped macarons.
Leave the macarons 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 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave them 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 the macarons into pairs and fill with Creamsicle Buttercream.
The baked macarons sorted and ready to be filled.
Creamsicle Buttercream
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoons orange extract
Orange gel coloring, optional 

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whip together until smooth and creamy. If desired, tint with orange gel coloring. Transfer the buttercream to a pastry bag for the filling of the macarons.

Filling the macarons.

All done!

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