Gingerbread Macarons

Gingerbread Macaron 02.jpg

When thinking of macarons to make for Christmas, I'd thought of doing mulled spice with brandy buttercream and bright red and white candy cane macarons, but I wanted to do a third flavour as well. Then it hit me, so obvious, gingerbread!

I did a search and found that this is quite a popular flavour. I decided to use the spice amounts that Tartelette uses in her ones, and they were fantastic.

Ground almonds, icing sugar and spices

Ground almonds, icing sugar and spices

I don't know why I'm always surprised at the incredible flavour that a macaron can have, but again I was. They leave that lovely ginger heat in the back of the throat, while the other spices still play on your tastebuds. It's incredible!

Gingerbread Macaron 01.jpg

I decided to also use the same spices in the buttercream as Tartelette does, I can see myself using this buttercream for other things as well, it's fantastic. And in the spirit of Christmas, I've also put a little something in the middle of each one; who doesn't like to find a little pleasant surprise; a little peice of crystallised ginger.

Gingerbread Macaron 05.jpg

Perfect for Christmas, perfect for any time of the year :)

 

 

Ingredients

90g Egg Whites, aged & at room temp

145g Confectioners/Icing Sugar

70g Granulated Sugar

115g Almond Meal/Ground Almonds

1/4tsp Ground Ginger

1/8tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/8tsp Ground Cloves

1/8tsp Ground Nutmeg

Crystallised Ginger Pieces

 

Method

  • Process the confectioners sugar, almond meal and spices until the almond meal is fine then sift into a medium bowl to remove any large bits of nuts
  • Tip: If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioner's 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 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
  • Sprinkle some ground ginger onto the shells 
  • 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. They're ready when no longer sticky to the touch
  • While the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 140Β°C (120Β°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 the ginger spiced buttercream filling, press a small peice of crystallised ginger into the middle of the buttercream then sandwich 

 

 

 

Ginger Spiced Buttercream

Ingredients

2 Egg Whites

100g Granulated Sugar

175g Unsalted Butter

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4tsp Ground Ginger

1/8tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/8tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/8tsp Ground Cloves

 

Method

  • 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 spices
Gingerbread Macaron 03.jpg

This macaron recipe is adapted from Tartelette and Syrup And Tang's basic macaron recipe

Other Tips:

You'll find that most serious macaron bakers swear by using aged egg whites, and I do 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

Macarons are best eaten a day or two after making them, the flavours continue to develop over this time

To add more Christmas sparkle, spray the shells with edible gold or pearl lustre

These make perfect Christmas gifts or favours, lay them in a nice box, tie a lovely bow on and give, give, give!

Posted on December 15, 2009 and filed under Baked, Sweet.