I was being rather greedy one night – instead of just making a single flavour of macarons, I decided I should go all out and see how many I can churn out with only one or two coloured shells.
Deciding that I should go with what I have in the fridge, I checked and found half a wedge of watermelon, a punnet of fresh raspberries and half a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
I know I know, there is absolutely no connection in those ingredients and can’t see that anyone would attempt to plate up a dish with those things in it, together. Fruit salad and some ice cream maybe? Anyway that wasn’t where I was going.
The inspiration I got here was for the macaron flavourings. I know I maybe cheating here but I got fed up with my blueberry macarons not tasting like blueberries despite the large quantites of blueberries I had added into my filling. So I went and got oil flavourings to see if the intense nature of the oil would give the macaron filling a much needed boost in taste. Since I only have 3 hours to do this, I could only do two colours of shells.
Here’s my thinking around the three ingredients:
- Watermelon – pink and green
- Raspberries – pink
- Mint chocolate chip – green
There. By colouring my meringue in pink and green, I will have matching shells for three different flavours!
I’ve used my normal macarons recipe, as below.
Macarons shell ingredients (for each colour)
150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder
Making macarons shells
Sift the almond meal and icing sugar, set aside in a large wide bowl.
Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.
Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.
Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 25 times. Don’t over do this.
Scoop half into a piping bag fitted with a #12 Wilton tip, and pipe. To get even rounds, hold the piping bag above the baking sheet, with the tip at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze the mixture in the centre of the rounds and as it is close to filling the circle, stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.
Allow 30 minutes for a skin to be formed.
Fan-bake them at 125°C, for 20 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, you should see them rising nicely.
Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They should peel off the baking paper quite easily. Slide the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto a cool counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.
I paired these with a dark chocolate ganache of different flavours
150g dark chocolate
3 drops each of watermelon/ raspberry / mint chocolate chip oil flavouring
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool, and poor into 3 separate bowls. Add 3 drops of flavouring into each bowl and let it thicken in the fridge.
Spread a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! These freeze well (up to 3 months).