October 29, 2018
When I lived in Europe, whenever I passed a macaron shop like Laurie I practically drooled over the huge selection of flavours and colours they offered. I thought of trying to make them for a long time but I had heard they were very difficult so never bothered. I finally conquered my fear and had a go, as you can see they weren’t perfect but I picked up some tips along the way which I am passing on to you.
Give them a try they are a delicious treats and once you get the hang of it a world of macaron possibilities awaits. Keep following this blog as I try new flavours and colours.
PUMPKIN SPICE FRENCH MACARONS
Serves: about 40 macarons
• 115g almond flour or blanched almonds ground as finely as possible• 230g powdered sugar• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice• 144g egg whites, temperature and age not important!• 72g sugar• 1 tsp vanilla extract• ½ tsp (2g) kosher salt
• 75g butter• 80g cream cheese• 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree• 1 tsp vanilla extract• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice• Pinch of salt• 240g powdered sugar• about 10-20 drops orange food colouring(optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 150° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. *If you are using whole almonds, process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute in the bowl of a food processor. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again. You should have about 2 Tbsp of slightly chunkier almond bits, but just add those into the dry mix. Then sift in pumpkin pie spice.
4. In the bowl combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and turn the mixer to medium and whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
5. Turn the mixer off and add in vanilla extract and whip for a final minute on the highest speed. At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue. When you remove the whisk attachment or beater, there will be a big clump of meringue at the tip, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.
6. Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. This should take about 30-45 turns/folds and should be lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down.
7. Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. Pipe the batter into circles on the baking sheet about the size of a 10 pence piece of a quarter. Keep in mind batter will continue to spread just a bit. Refill the piping bag after piping out half of macarons.
8. After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter three times, rotating 90 degrees after each tap. Then set aside for 20-30 minutes to allow a film to form on top of the macarons this stop them cracking and gives them the sheen on the top.
9. Bake for 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
To Make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and pumpkin at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, add the cream cheese and continue until soft and well combined. Beat in extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
2. Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute scrape down the bowl. Continue to beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
3. Match up macarons in pairs based on size and shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
4. Macarons are best a day or so after making. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Photographed on a plate by Astier de Villatte shown with Geese fabric is by étoile home Macaron recipe adapted from The Marvellous Misadventures of a Foodie ; the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting is our own recipe.
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