The chilly weather is putting me in a festive mood and what better way than to channel this jolly feeling into making up some macarons. I was going to meet up with the ladies for the road-trip and I had wanted to whip up a batch of festive macarons for them. So I got busy one afternoon and 2 hours later, my macaron shells cracked… turned out I set the oven temperature too high. Disappointed I surely was, but I trashed the broken batch and started out on a new one – this time, paying closer attention to the details. Phew, after another 1.5 hours later, an almost perfect batch popped out of the oven.
I just wish that we get longer hours with sunshine! The lighting in our apartment ain’t that great and it’s been quite a challenge trying to dabble with the food photography of late. But still I couldn’t resist putting up these red babies in front of the lens for a little show-and-tell before popping them back into the container for them to be shared with friends.
Since this was going to be a batch of ‘festive macarons’, I decided to play around with the filling. We had some Mint Baileys that we brought over, so I decided to infuse the white chocolate ganache with some of this yummy mint baileys. I also made a little adjustment to my usual recipe. I substituted egg white powder with cream of tartar instead. Cream of tartar serves the same function as the egg white powder, it helps to stabilise the egg whites.
Macarons with Mint Baileys White Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 14-16 filled bite-sized macarons
For Macaron Batter
- 1 egg white (preferably aged for 3 days) brought to room temperature
- A pinch of Cream of Tartar
- 38g icing sugar
- 36g powdered almonds
- 30g granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of powder-based red colouring
- Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
- Sift powdered sugar with the almond powder to ensure that there are no lumps.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until they begin to foam. At this stage, add the pinch of cream of tartar and the granulated sugar gradually. Continue beating until very stiff and firm. When you invert the bowl, the egg white batter has to stay put. That’s the time you know when you should stop. I decided to play it safe and whisked the egg white batter for about 5 minutes before stiff peaks were formed. Add colouring. Continue to beat the egg whites on high for another 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (ideally). Stop folding when the mixture is smooth and there are no streaks of egg white. I used about 40 strokes to incorporate the dry mixture into the egg whites. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons and to remove the air-bubbles in the macarons.
- Leave the macarons out in the open for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step is important to allow the top of the macaron shell to dry up so that you get a smooth surface for the macarons. You will know when to pop the macarons into the oven when you touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your fingers. Be careful not to leave them out too much for it will give you crunchy macarons and you don’t want that. This step is important and if you skip it, your macarons might flatten . While waiting, preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
- Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
For Mint Baileys White Chocolate Ganache filling
- 50g of white chocolate (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of Mint Baileys cream
- 3-4 tablespoons of cream
- Place the chopped white chocolate into a medium size microwave safe mixing bowl. Set aside while you heat the cream.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for two minutes. This will give the chocolate time to soften.
- Add the Mint Baileys cream
- Stir the ganache until smooth. If all the dark chocolate has not melted then place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth.
- Leave the chocolate ganache to cool until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Spread white chocolate ganache on the macaron shell.
- Sandwich and you are done!
It’s recommended that you let the flavours sit inside the macaron for 1 day before having them.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva.