First I’d like to say a big shoutout to all of my new Online Blog Con friends! Dorothy from Crazy for Crust and Ashton from Something Swanky created this awesome conference that’s useful to both new and experienced bloggers (and not just for food) and I’ve definitely learned a lot! I’ve also got some new friends and followers from other blogconners and my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest kind of just exploded, but I’m really excited to see what my new friends post =) But let’s talk about the magic of macarons.
For those who don’t remember, I had a whole macaron week where I tried out a whole bunch of different macaron flavours. A lot of them were my own tweaked recipes because for some reason, a lot of people don’t like releasing those recipes! The flavours I tried out were lemon poppyseed, rosewater, peanut butter chocolate, salted caramel, hazelnut nutella, black sesame, and my favourite, raspberry dark chocolate.
I shared a lot of my failures, my successes, and my discoveries about the magic of macarons—as well as their finicky quirks. My cousin wanted me to show her how I make macarons, so I decided to make a classic flavour that brings me back to my childhood: Birthday sprinkles and vanilla.
There’s something so special about birthday sprinkles. Maybe it’s the extra sugar, the bright coloured bits on top, or just a fairy-dust-like quality that makes them particularly appropriate for birthdays. The sprinkles my cousin brought were these beautiful luster-dusted sprinkles that made these sprinkles a little more grown up.
Now I don’t know if anyone else ever experiences this when they’re taking pictures of something (be it still life, people, or nature), sometimes I have these moments where I just take awful, uninspiring pictures that don’t make me drool. And then I have this eureka moment where I decide, hey! Macarons go well with tea, let’s get a mug of tea and take a picture of it. And then I choose to use my roommate’s Dirty Dancing mug because hey, I only recently discovered the awesomeness of Patrick Swayze, and Dirty Dancing is awesome.
And then you know what I did mid-photograph? My macaron fell off my spoon and went into the tea. Clearly I had no choice but to eat it, right? Oh boy, the second that little sweet almond sandwich went into my mouth, the magical properties of tea infused it’s deliciousness into my already delicious macaron, and my taste buds exploded with awesome. I barely had time to take a picture because I wanted to eat it so fast.
Seriously friends, please go have a macaron with some tea.
- 120 g egg whites (separated into 60g and 60g), room temperature
- 150 g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 150 g icing sugar
- 150 g white granulated sugar, + 35g for the meringue
- 50 g water
- 1 tsp vanilla (1/2 for the cookie, ½ for the buttercream)
- about ¼ cup of sprinkles
- 1 cup butter
- 3 cups icing sugar
- (1/2 tsp vanilla from above)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In one bowl, mix together the almond meal, icing sugar, ½ tsp vanilla and 60 g of egg whites.
- In another bowl, start whipping your egg whites and 35 g of white sugar to stiff peak (when you lift the whisk, the egg whites will stand straight up into a stiff peak).
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, boil 150 g of white sugar and 50 g of water until you get to soft ball stage, or to 230F.
- Once the egg whites are at stiff peak stage, slowly stream the hot sugar syrup mixture into the meringue while mixing. Continue to whip the egg whites until they become room temperature and it gets to stiff peak. You may have a hard time determining stiff peak, but I usually stop once the meringue is room temperature, or when you lift the whisk, the meringue doesn’t move too much.
- Remove the whisk and add in the meringue attached to the whisk to your almond meal mixture. This will loosen up that batter a bit so you can better and more easily incorporate the meringue.
- Gently fold in the rest of the meringue into the batter until incorporated, and you get a lava-like texture that reincorporates itself into the batter within 25 seconds.
- Transfer mixture to a piping bag, and pipe 1-inch circles of batter onto a thick aluminum jelly-roll pan lined with either a Silpat or parchment paper.
- Rap the sheet against a table to get out the air bubbles, if that doesn’t get them all out, I like to use my cake tester or a toothpick to poke out any big air bubbles.
- Let them sit for about 10 minutes to form a skin, and then add the sprinkles. Let them sit for about 5 minutes again, and THEN pop them in the oven. If you don’t wait, then the sprinkles will break the surface of the macarons and they’ll cause them to crack in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for about 14 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through to ensure even baking.
- Remove from oven, let them cool for about a minute, and then remove the lining/Silpat from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. In about 10 minutes, they should be cool, and you can gently remove them from the liner and let those cool on a wire rack to fill them.
- Meanwhile, whip up the buttercream by creaming together the butter and sugar together. Once that’s fluffy and airy, add in the rest of the sprinkles you didn’t use for sprinkling on top of the macarons, and add ½ tsp vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag to fill the macarons.
- (This is my favourite part) Once all the macaron shells are cooled, find each shell a “partner” that best fits the shape and size of the macarons. Line them up so you can easily pipe the filling and sandwich them.
- Let the macarons rest in the fridge at least overnight so that they mature and absorb the flavour of the vanilla. They also get softer and chewier if you wait!
- Enjoy with a nice cup of tea! Omnomnom =)