This recipe is another that is the result of the October Daring Baker challenge. At first when the challenge was announced and it mentioned that you can only flavour the meringue with dry ingredients, my head sort of went "but there's hardly anything to use then!" It's a good thing we have a fantastic community with people who are keen to give tips and advice!
Audax told us how he used flavoured teas to flavour the meringue. So simple. So brilliant.
I headed out on my stock-up-for-macarons shop and landed up in the tea aisle. Now. What to choose? There are so many flavours! Of course I could have tried quite a few teas, but I already had 8 other flavours on my list, so I thought I'd stick to just one to start with.
The Twinings Cranberry, Raspberry & Elderflower tea caught my eye and it was a fantastic choice. I must be honest, I was a little skeptical about how much flavour it would add, I've drunk fruit teas before and am always disapointed because they smell great, but taste like water. Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, I added the tea to the batter and kept sniffing to see if there would be a magical smell. Nothing. Hmmmm. And then I baked them. Oh wow! I couldn't believe how the smell came out during that time, it was incredible! And then I ate one. Why can't they taste like that when you drink them?! I could so clearly taste the cranberry and raspberry, it was amazing!
I decided to fill them with a swiss buttercream with tiny chunks of dried cranberries which was also so yummy. The buttercream is silky smooth and the little chunks a little chewy like the inside of the macaron shell. I'm hungry just thinking about it.
I'm definitely going to be trying more tea flavoured macarons in the future, but for now, give these a try.
90g Egg Whites, aged & at room temp
145g Confectioners/Icing Sugar
70g Granulated Sugar
115g Almond Meal/Ground Almonds
3 Cranberry Raspberry Teabags
1/4 tsp Candy Pink Powdered Colouring
- Process the confectioners sugar, almond meal & contents of the tea bags until the almond meal is fine then sift into a medium bowl to remove any large bits of tea or nuts.
- Tip: If you don't want to see the tea speckles in the shells, grind into a fine powder in a mortar and pestle
- Tip: If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
- Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl until foamy.
- Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks.
- Tip: If you turn the bowl upside down they should make no move to fall out
- Fold half of the almond flour mixture and powdered colouring into the meringue, starting quite vigorously then folding more carefully.
- Add the remaining almond meal mixture and fold in carefully. Do not overfold.
- Tip: A good way to tell if the batter is ready is when you fold it onto itself, it should blend back into itself in about 30seconds
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip. You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off.
- Tip: It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
- Pipe 1 1/2 inch mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Tip: I don't recommend using a silicon mat, I had trouble taking the macarons off each time I used it. Once piped, bang the sheet down on a counter top a couple times to flatten any mounds and bring up air bubbles, also to settle the almond meal to the bottom giving smooth tops.
- Leave the unbaked macarons out to dry, between 30min - 1 1/2 hours.
- Tip: If you have a fan assisted oven you can dry them in less time by just having the fan turned on with the macarons in the oven.
- While the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C Fan Assisted)
- Once dry, bake for 15-22mins depending on their size
- Tip: They're ready when you push them and they move very slightly on their feet
- Cool on a rack before removing from the parchment, 15-30mins
- Pipe or spoon with filling and sandwich
Cranberry Chunk Swiss Buttercream
2 Egg Whites
100g Granulated Sugar
175g Unsalted Butter
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
100g Dried Cranberries, finely chopped
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl
- Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water
- Whisk over heat until all the sugar is dissolved and it resembles marshmallow fluff, about 3 mins
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl and beat until the mixture is cool and you have a glossy meringue
- Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time, making sure it's completely mixed in before adding more
- Tip: At some point it will look curdled, DON'T WORRY! Once you've added all of the butter, just keep beating and it will come together to form a smooth, creamy buttercream
- Beat in the vanilla extract and then fold in the chopped dried cranberry
This macaron recipe is adapted from Syrup And Tang
You'll find that most serious macaron bakers swear by using aged egg whites, and I did notice a difference with the feet between using fresh & aged. Some say 3 days is best, some say up to 5 days is best. To age your egg whites, leave them in the fridge (or if in a cool climate) on the counter covered with a paper towel to stop anything from getting inside, and allow to stand between 3-5 days. If aged in the fridge, leave out until room temperature before using.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge but sit out for an hour or two before eating