6.13.2014

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons


Where I once used to wonder what to do with all the leftover egg whites in my fridge, I now wonder what macaron flavor I should create with them next. Oh, how times have changed. Who would have thought that one day I would find myself brave enough to take on macarons? Better yet, who would have thought that I would win Sucre's macaron challenge?! Certainly not me. But I am elated about it and can't wait to start receiving my year supply of macarons to get inspiration from all the flavors.


My latest macaron flavor concoction if you haven't figured it out already is strawberry shortcake! So many strawberry shortcakes have been popping up around the web lately, and it was almost as if it was a sign that I needed to make a strawberry shortcake flavored macaron. Now I know that putting fresh fruit in a macaron is probably not the smartest idea due to the high water composition of fruit, especially strawberries. And then paired with whipped cream, fuggedaboutit.


But, this combination makes for an exceptionally delicious macaron, soggy and all. Of course, you can avoid the sogginess by simply assembling the macarons shortly before serving, rather than keeping them assembled in the fridge overnight like I did. Hey, it's all about trial and error :)


Speaking of which, I think my almond flour may be absorbing some moisture from the fridge because my macarons were a little off this time around. I've read online about people drying their almond flour in the oven before using it so I think I will do that next time around. If you keep yours stored in the fridge as well, it might be a good idea to do so. So that's our macaron lesson for the day. Dry your almond flour. And make these strawberry shortcake macarons ASAP!

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons

Yield: Approximately 30 macarons
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Ingredients:

120 grams almond flour
200 grams powdered sugar
100 grams egg whites, room temperature
30 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Strawberries, sliced into coins

Directions:

Add almond flour and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift almond flour/powdered sugar into a clean bowl. Then, sift again. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. Add sugar and cream of tartar and beat on medium speed for 5-10 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. The beaten egg whites should stick to the whisk when you remove it. Tap the whisk against the side of the bowl to release them into the bowl.

Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg whites. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites, until the batter is thick and lava-like. This should take about 50-60 folds. Do not overmix. The batter should slowly fall off your spatula when you pick it up and any peaks in the batter should settle down within 20 seconds.

Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with large round tip.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto the parchment paper. It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size. Once all the rounds are piped out, slam the baking sheet against a flat stable surface, then rotate, and slam again. This is done to force any large air bubbles to the surface.

Let the piped macarons dry on the countertop for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until a thin skin forms on top.

Preheat oven to 290 degrees F.

Bake on the middle rack for 14-15 minutes. Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on them. To check if they are done, touch the top of the macaron. If it wobbles, it's not done yet.

Let cool completely on baking sheet.

To prepare the filling, using an electric hand mixer, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Match macarons up into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can.

Shortly before serving, pipe whipped cream onto the flat side of half of the macarons. Place a strawberry slice on top of the cream, then top with the other half.  These are best eaten immediately.
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