Small posy plate from the Big Arrow-Maia Ming collection.
In my continuing exploration of macarons, I wanted to make a cream filling, and what better flavor combination is there than strawberries and cream? Also, after my success with freeze dried raspberries in my raspberry-mango macarons, I thought I’d give it a try with freeze dried strawberries to get that really intense strawberry flavor. So I tried a couple of batches, and they tasted wonderful but did not look like or have the crunch of macarons. The good thing about macarons is that even if they don’t turn out properly, they get eaten right up anyway! So I experimented some more and finally decided to use a classic recipe for the shells and sprinkle a little dried strawberry on the top of each shell, and to then really pack the flavor into the filling. If you love strawberries as much as I do, you will love the intense berry taste of these macarons!
Strawberries & Cream Macarons:
2/3 cup almond flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (117 grams)
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar (53 grams)
4-5 drops red food coloring (make the color darker than you want your final macarons, it will get lighter in baking)
1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries, diced small to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
1. Sift the almond flour and confectioners sugar together through a fine-mesh sieve.
2. Whisk egg whites at a low speed and add the granulated sugar after a minute while the egg whites are still clear.
3. Beat the egg whites into stiff, glossy peaks. Start at a low speed, then medium, and fast at the end. The goal is to create the meringue peaks without over-whipping the batter. If the batter is over-whipped, the macarons tend to hollow out underneath the shells and there are more air bubbles.
4. Add half of the dry ingredients. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press the flat side of the spatula firmly through middle of mixture. This process is called “macaronage” and reduces air bubbles in the batter. Add the second half of the dry ingredients and continue the macaronage until batter is glossy and flows like lava.
5. Rest a pastry bag inside a vertical cylinder to transfer the batter into the bag, then close the
top. Cut a small hole in the bottom tip of the pastry bag. The batter should be fairly stiff, but you don’t want it to come out too quickly, I cut my hole to less than 1 cm in diameter.
6. Either onto a parchment sheet or a macaron mat, pipe batter into 1 inch round cookies.
A macaron mat helps to make the cookies uniformly round and the same size, I also find the raised rims helpful to contain the batter from spreading out on the sheets. My macarons on parchment paper are never very round, but some people use a template with circles underneath the parchment paper.
7. Chop the freeze dried strawberries into little bits. Sprinkle these strawberry bits onto the top of the macaron shells. This is decorative and adds a tiny bit of strawberry to the shells.
8. Drop the baking sheets firmly onto the counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. With a toothpick, pop any remaining air bubbles and smooth out the holes before you let the macarons rest. Let the macaron sheets sit for 30-40 minutes to dry so that they create a slight crust on the surface.
9. Preheat oven to 160ºC.
10. Place the macarons in the oven. Bake macarons for 16 minutes, after 8 minutes it’s a good idea to take the tray out and face the front to the back, this way both ends of the tray get evenly baked. Only bake 1 sheet of macarons at a time.
11. Filling: Whip the cream into a thick whipped cream, add the confectioners’ sugar to sweeten.
In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the dried strawberries into powder and mix the powder into the whipped cream. The final filling should be quite stiff.
12. Once the macarons are completely cooled, remove them from the sheets and use a butter knife or spatula to spread the filling on half of the cookie shell bottoms. Then sandwich the macarons together with the remaining shells. Because this filling is cream-based, I recommend either freezing the macarons in a closed storage tin or else filling them just before serving. Even though the cream is thick, you don’t want to risk soggy macarons.
Serve your strawberry macarons with tea and enjoy!
Kaya tea cup and saucer. Available at www.etsy.com/shop/MaiaMingDesigns
#lifestyleceramics #beautytexturewhimsy #simplepleasures #maiamingdesigns