When I made my savory walnut macarons, I saved half of the shells to make a sweet version as well. So these macarons have the same cookie shells as the Walnut macarons with fig and goat cheese, but instead use a walnut buttercream filling.
photo: Eva teapot, tea cup and posy plate
Walnut macarons with Walnut buttercream
2/3 cup almond flour (70 grams)
1/3 cup walnut flour (30 grams)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (100 grams)
2 egg whites, aged, at room temperature (75 grams)
1/4 cup sugar (65 grams)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional, but great if you have it)
chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top
50 gr. butter
50 gr. confectioners’ sugar
20 gr. chopped walnuts (very fine)
1 teaspoon milk
1. Chop the walnuts and grind them into a flour. Walnuts are oily, so the flour is a bit pasty and harder to sift. Mix the walnut flour with the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar together and then sift them through a fine-mesh sieve. Re-blend any nuts that are too coarse to filter and re-sift.
2. To age the egg whites I usually separate the yolks a couple of days in advance and let the whites sit in a jar on my counter. Whisk egg whites at a low speed for 1 minute and then add the regular sugar and cream of tartar, beat 1 more minute at low speed. I only started using cream of tartar in my recent batches, it really helps build the meringue but is not essential.
3. Beat the egg whites at high speed for 2 more minutes so they form into stiff, glossy peaks. I set a timer for this because it’s difficult to estimate the minutes. But if the batter is over-whipped, the macarons tend to have air bubbles and hollow out underneath the shells.
4. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients. Using a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue, then press the flat side of the spatula firmly through middle of mixture and rotate the bowl slightly. 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. Getting this right is part luck and part practice, there are countless videos online for how to achieve a proper macaronage! I think the main thing is not to over mix the batter.
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. I do this in a swirl and make each cookie quite small because they rise considerably in the oven. A macaron mat helps to make the cookies perfectly round and the same size and the raised rims contain the batter from spreading out on the sheets. Some people use a template with circles underneath the parchment paper, but I love my macaron mats.
7. Drop the baking sheets firmly onto the counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. Sprinkle the tops with chopped walnut bits. Then let the macaron sheets sit for 30-40 minutes to dry so that they create a slight crust on the surface.
8. Preheat oven to 160ºC.
9. Place the macarons in the oven on the middle rack and lower the heat to 160º C (320º F). Bake macarons for 16 minutes, after 8 minutes, take the tray out and face the front to the back so both ends of the tray get evenly baked. Only bake 1 sheet of macarons at a time. If your macarons are very large, bake a few minutes extra. I found that the walnut flour made my macarons puffier than usual, the same thing happened when I made pistachio and sesame macarons, so I guess the combination of nut flours has this effect.
10. Once the macarons are completely cooled, remove them from the sheets. Mix the butter, confectioners’ sugar, chopped walnuts and milk into a creamy paste. Use a butter knife or spatula to spread the buttercream on half of the cookie shell bottoms, then sandwich each macaron with another shell on top. Store the macarons in a closed storage tin in the refrigerator or freezer.
Enjoy your macarons with a nice cup of tea!
photo: Eva teacup and posy plate
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