Raspberry Macarons with Aperol and Chocolate filling

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It’s not that I really enjoy eating macarons, it is just that I suddenly got in my fridge two lonely egg whites. The logical usage was to make macarons out of them. Considering that there was a long time since my first experiment in that area, the temptation was too big.

I was afraid that all my knowledge in macaron-making was gone, but this wasn’t true. Cooking is like speaking foreign languages: if you don’t practice for a long time you feel like you have forgotten everything. But the reality is that the knowledge stays somewhere hidden in your mind, just waiting to be applied again.

In the middle of my work I was almost paranoid that I am not mixing correctly the ingredients and my macarons would become flat or in funny shapes. Due to my worries I almost forgot to add the colour. It was quite late when I added it, so I just put a very small quantity, because the mixing part was almost over (if the macarons are mixed too much they might not get baked properly). This is the reason for the undefined color that you see on the pictures.

But I can say eventually that the result was pretty satisfactory. There is still room for improvement, but I don’t want to be that much perfectionist.

I have described the technology in my previous recipe. I followed the same proportions (1: 1,3: 1,6: 0,8) just the quantity of the products was less.

I am very happy with the experiment of putting herbal tea into the macaron shells. I found the idea in the blog Drops of Sweetness. The tea that I used is not among my favourites for drinking, but it gave the macarons a very nice raspberry aroma.

To accompany the raspberry taste I choose a light chocolate filling. I wanted to feel also an alcohol accent in the cream, that’s why I added my favorite aperitif Aperol. But at the end it wasn’t really noticeable.

I realized that it doesn’t really matter in which way you will fill the macarons (by piping or by using a knife or spoon), but it matters how much cream you will put and how thick is the cream. It is always good to use products like cream cheese, mascarpone, butter and chocolate, which get firmer consistency when cooled. I guess that creams with gelatin would also work, but I haven’t tried them.

I tried the macarons after staying in the fridge for more than 24h and I can say that this was the first time I really enjoyed eating this type of sweets. The truth is that this is my third time eating them (the first time I bought a few from a pastry shop, just to try them and I wasn’t impressed; the second time was after my first macaron-making experience). I assume the next time will be even more successful.

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And now here comes the recipe:

Shells ingredients:
77 g egg whites
100 g almond flour
123 g powdered sugar
62 g white granulated sugar
Red food coloring – powdered
2 bags of raspberry & linden tea

Sift the confectioners’ sugar with the almond flour and the herbal tea.

Beat the egg whites with electric mixer until they get foamy. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until egg whites are glossy and fluffy. This is the moment to add the coloring Add the almond-sugar powder in 3-4 times, while folding the mixture into the bowl with a rubber spatula (I don’t have such, so I am using a big plastic spoon).

After adding the last part of the almonds, keep folding for some more time, until the mixture is smooth. It is important not to over-mix it, because the macarons will not have feet. These macarons made very small feet and didn’t grow high – so probably I mixed a bit more than needed.

Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper and then leave the macarons to dry out for 30 minutes – this prevents from cracking. Preheat the oven to 150 C and bake the macarons for around 20 minutes. It is very difficult for me to understand when they are ready, but I prefer them slightly more dried than not enough baked. Also my oven apparently doesn’t get too heated, so I baked them for around 30 minutes on between 150 and 160 degrees.

I ended up with only 2-3 slightly cracked macarons, which is a big achievement (and much better than the previous time).

When baked if it’s not easy to take them out of the baking paper, put the paper into a moistured cloth for 5-10 minutes and then they will come out easily.

Leave the macarons to cool down on a rack. Pair the shells into ones that are similar sizes and fill them with the cream. Don’t worry too much if the shapes are not completely equal – if they are filled with enough cream this will not be visible.

Filling ingredients:
50 g milk chocolate
125 g cream cheese
2 spoons of powdered sugar
2 spoons of Aperol

Break the chocolate and put it in a bowl on top of a pan, full with water. Put the pan into the fire and bring the water to boil. When the chocolate melts add the cream cheese, mixed with the sugar. Take the bowl out of the water pan. Mix well the ingredients and add the Aperol. Mix again. Leave the cream in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before filling the macarons.

The macarons should stay in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours before eating them – they will taste much nicer.

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