I always feel a bit weird when I decorate a macaron.
Generally it seems like it's frowned upon, but seeings as I'm just a home cook and not a fancy patisserier I can do what I want and be inspired by what my family likes rather than being constrained by tradition :)
Plus these ones are decorated with just an incy bit of royal icing that melts in your mouth along with the macaron.
I think that's totally ok, don't you?
Oh well, who really cares anyway. They are sooo pretty and yummy as well and I didn't hear any complaints when they were served.
These pink and gold macarons were made for Bubble's 8th birthday party to tie in with the shabby chic with a glitzy twist princess theme.
To make the gold macarons I simply colored half the macs with a touch of yellow and ivory to make a 'golden' base colour, filled them with pink ganache and then I airbrushed them with americolor gold sheen.
Yup pretty simple. I borrowed an air brush from my friend Sam over at Caketopia, but you could just as easily use a tin of edible gold spray like the ones from PME or Wilton. That's what I normally do.
For the pink hand piped macarons, I coloured the macarons medium pink and filled them with pink ganache.
Then I hand piped a design in the middle using some royal icing that I had coloured with yellow and ivory.
I often do a little bit of practice piping on some parchment paper before I start on the actual macarons. Umm it doesn't help me that much I am still pretty messy :) But I guess, imagine what it would be like if I didn't practice first.
Some of the macarons I piped an initial and some a few lines reminiscent of a rough fleur de lis.
Then I piped a row of dots around the edge of the macaron.
I allowed the royal icing to dry and then using a clean fine paint brush (one that I only use on food items) I hand painted the piped details with some edible gold paint mixed in with gold lustre dust and rose spirits.
Viola pretty hand piped macarons, just perfect for a princess party.
Macaron Shells makes around 20 filled macarons
190 gram (6 5/8 oz)almond meal (almond flour)
190 gram pure icing sugar (6 5/8 oz powdered sugar)
190 gram granulated sugar (6 5/8 oz)
48 grams water (1 5/8 oz)
140 gram egg whites aged split into 2 lots of 70grams each (5 oz split into 2 lots of 2 1/2oz each)*
food color of choice (I use gel type food color like Wilton)
*ageing egg whites refers to separating the yolks from whites and then leaving the whites to age for a few days. This can be done on the counter if your countries climate permits or in the fridge, wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and then pop a few holes in the top. Alternately you can pop fresh egg whites in the microwave on high for 10 seconds or so - I used the microwave method in this batch pictured.
1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar together and pulse a few times in food processor to make almond meal finer. Do not over process as the meal can become oily. Sieve into a large bowl. Add colour and 70g (2 1/2 ounce) of the egg whites to the sugar/almond mixture but don’t mix in.
Yup - I really use this super old fashioned thermometer I have had for about 20 years to make my macarons
3. Pop granulated sugar and water into saucepan stir to combine and cook without stirring to 118C (245 F). Brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water as required to avoid the sugar crystallizing. Once the mixture reaches 115C (240 F) start mixing the egg whites on high. Make sure you have a pouring shield on your mixer, when the sugar syrup reaches 118C (245 F)remove from heat and immediately pour in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl continuing to whisk on high.
4. Continue to whisk the meringue on high until the side of the bowl is only a little warm to touch, around 50C (120 F).
5. Add meringue mixture to almond mixture and using a large spatula fold the mixture together until it starts to shine and forms a ribbon that disappears back into the mixture after about 20 seconds.
6. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip (or just cut the end of a disposable piping bag, that's what I do) and pipe in lines onto parchment lined baking sheets. To make the macarons as even as possible I apply a constant slow pressure to the piping bag and count a few numbers like up to 3 for each one.
If your mixture has peaks after you have piped a couple of rows that do now sink back down you macaron mixture needs more mixing. Pop it back in the bowl and mix it a bit more
Baking in the oven. The macarons will rise after a few minutes in the oven and develop a frilly foot
Eeek- can you see some of those less than perfect under mixed mac's in the back that I pointed out
in the previous picture - they do not have a flat shiny top. That's so not mac-cool
8. Meanwhile preheat oven to 140C (285 F). Once ready bake the macaroons for around 13 to 15 minutes depending on size, it may take longer, all ovens are different. If they are baked and you gently push on the side the tops will not move, if the tops do move do bake for another minute or 2. Also they should not be browned if they are reduce the heat for the next batch or bake for less time.
9. Once baked remove the baking trays and immediately slide off the macarons and the parchment onto the work surface and let cool completely before removing the shells.
10. Once cooled match disks into like sizes and sandwich together using the ganache.
To make ganache melt white chocolate with cream in the microwave and mix gently until combined, use a ration of 3:1, so for example 300 grams white chocolate to 100 grams cream, sorry guys I measure as I already have the scales out and I can't be bothered messing up a liquid measuring jug :) Add some gel color and raspberry flavor to taste.
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.
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Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.