Wednesday, April 18, 2012

{Recipe} Cherry Blossom Macarons from Cannelle et Vanille

I have wanted to post this recipe for a long time but wanted to wait until now with it being Spring with the flowers in bloom.  Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle Et Vanille took inspiration from nature, specifically cherry blossoms when creating this macaron recipe for Martha Stewart Weddings.  Aran works as a freelance food stylist, photographer, and writer.  She creates delicious recipes and captures stunning photos on her award-winning blog Cannelle Et Vanille (that's "Cinnamon and Vanilla" in French). Scroll down to view Aran's Cherry Blossom Macaron recipe so you too can make these macaron beauties!

Makes about 4 dozen small macarons
Note: Make three batches of this recipe, and color each with a different shade. Use bright pink, pale pink, and copper colors.

180 grams almond flour
240 grams powdered sugar
140 grams egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams of finely ground sea salt
80 grams granulated sugar
Few drops of food coloring

In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg white and the egg white powder. Whip on medium speed until egg whites start to increase in volume.
When the egg whites are almost fully whipped and very fluffy, slowly start sprinkling in the sugar. After all the sugar is incorporated, whip the meringue on high speed until stiff peaks have formed. Then add the food coloring.
Add the dry ingredients to the meringue and, with a spatula, fold the meringue into the dry ingredients. This is called “macaroner.” It is better to fold slowly and test a couple of macarons because it is possible to over fold this mixture. You want a shiny mass. For this amount of ingredients, I would say that it will only take about 10 to 15 strokes. But again, it is better to check for consistency. You are looking for a mass that spreads a little but not too much, otherwise the macarons will be flat.
Pipe the mass onto half sheet pans lined with silpats. Let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to dry. You want the tops not to stick to your finger when you touch them. This will ensure a crack-free macaron.
Have your oven preheated at 350 degrees. Bake one sheet pan at a time positioning it in a middle rack. Turn oven to 300 degrees. Bake for about 8 minutes and rotate sheet pan to ensure even baking. It should take about 14 minutes, but that depends on the oven. You want to be able to pick up the macaroon without it falling apart, but you don’t want to over bake it either. It is better to bake it slowly so no browning occurs.
Remove them from the oven and slide the silpat onto a cold surface. Let them cool on the silpat.

Note: Flavor the buttercream for the pink macarons with cherry blossom extract and the copper ones with cocoa powder.
100 grams of egg whites
200 grams of granulated sugar
300 grams of room temperature unsalted butter
flavoring (cherry blossom extract and sifted cocoa powder)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place over a water bath until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, shiny, and very fluffy. Bring bowl to the electric mixer and whip, adding a tablespoon of butter at a time, until stiff peaks form. Make sure the meringue has cooled to room temperature. Then add the flavoring and mix until incorporated.
Pipe a teaspoon of the buttercream on a macaron and top with another one that is similar size.
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