February 11, 2012

Aqua macarons and a brand new blog!

Woohoo! I've finally decided to put myself together and create a new blog to share you my baking creations and adventures as well as my love of photography. To celebrate the grand opening of which I hope to be a successful blog in the future, I recently tried my first attempt at making macarons with a vanilla buttercream sandwiched between them. They're made with mainly almond meal and egg whites that are deliciously crunchy and chewy. If you have never made them before, I suggest that you should make them soon as they're so worth trying!

Here are the aqua macarons:

For the recipe, I decided to follow the instructions of the beautiful and amazing blog, Raspberri Cupcakes. The person behind this blog is Steph, a talented and creative baker known to making lots of macarons.

Instead of the piggy macarons which Steph made, I decided to just make simple round macarons as a first attempt and coloured them with blue and green food colouring for the aqua colour. You can definitely try combining different colours together but don't go too crazy on that!

Recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes:

Piggy Macarons
(makes approximately 10-15 fairly large macarons)
100g aged egg whites (you can use fresh eggs too, just make sure they are room temperature. I always use fresh these days, and zap it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds)
110g almond meal, dried in a cool (100 degrees C) oven for 5 minutes and sifted
200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites (available from The Essential Ingredient)

Vanilla butter icing:
100g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
200g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

To decorate: liquid black food colouring (available from the supermarket) or edible ink pens

Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse a few times to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar and beat until it reaches stiff peaks.

Add meringue (and powdered food colouring) to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white, then fold carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after about 30 seconds. Place in a piping bag and pipe rounds of about 4cm diameter on lined baking sheets or silicon baking mats. Gently rap your baking sheets on your bench top to remove any extra bubbles from your piped shells.

Leave shells on bench to dry for about 30 mins to an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. Take care not to disrupt the dried surface of the piped macaron rounds or it will be more likely to crack in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 140-150 degrees C (temperature varies depending on your oven) and dry for a further 30 mins to an hour. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if they are not professional grade. Bake for 13-15 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare the butter icing, remove butter from the fridge 30 minutes before starting. Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until smooth and fluffy. Using a knife or spoon, sandwich between macaron shells, using one piggy decorated shell and one plain shell.  Leave to dry and then refrigerate overnight. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. Serve at room temperature.
Free Blog Template by June Lily