Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Raspberry Macarons with Raspberry Mascarpone

This Friday, I'm hopping on a plane and heading to hot, humid, sexy Miami Beach and I've already got the jitters. D is coming over on Thursday evening so that we can carpool to the airport on Friday. I'm starting to get the fun-anxiety butterflies (not the dread-anxiety ones) because this is the time when things are getting exciting; I finalize my packing list, get all my last minute errands completed, and start gathering my things together in the corner of my room so that they're ready to shovel into my luggage. I'll probably start packing this evening because I'm a freak and I like to pack way in advance.

In addition to the citron macarons, I also made raspberry macarons for D's bridal shower. I mean, it doesn't get sweeter and cuter than tiny pink macs, right? They were absolutely perfect for the bridal shower but they'd also be great for a little girl's birthday or baby shower or any feminine-themed party.
Ingredients:
raspberry macarons [yields 3 dozen 1-inch sandwiches]:
66g egg whites (about 2)
33g caster sugar
73g almond flour
120g icing sugar
10g freeze dried raspberries
pinch cream of tartar
pinch salt
+pink food coloring

raspberry mascarpone filling
15 to 20 raspberries
¼ cup mascarpone cheese

Let's talk about these cute pink shells, okay?

Remember, you've got to weigh all of your ingredients. Precision is incredibly important for macaron making.
Pulverize the freeze dried raspberries in a food processor until a fine powder forms. I buy my freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe's. I love Trader Joe's. This was actually my first time trying to flavor macarons with freeze dried fruit. It actually worked out marvelously. Luckily, raspberries have got a real punchy flavor. If you're not a fan of raspberries, you could use freeze dried strawberries or cherries or whatever you like.
Sift together the almond flour, icing sugar, and freeze dried berry powder.
Next, work on the egg whites. In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks and then add in the salt and cream of tartar. Whip just long enough to incorporate and then add in the caster sugar. Whip until the meringue reaches stiff peaks. The meringue should be so stiff that the bowl can be turned upside down and nothing falls out.
Add the food coloring and almond flour/ icing sugar/ berry mixture to the whites and gently fold until the dry ingredients are incorporated. At this point, the batter will be v. thick. The goal is to get the batter to the perfect thickness by deflating some of the air; this is called macaronage. You want to fold just long enough that the batter is loose enough to drip off the spatula in a thick ribbon and the batter disappears into the bowl in 8 to 10 seconds.
Pipe the macarons out onto a silpat-lined sheet pan. Parchment paper works too. I like to use a template to ensure that the shells are all the same size.
Tap the sheet pan to force out any air bubbles and to flatten the peaks leftover from piping. Bake at 300F for 10 to 12 minutes until the tops of the shells look dry and dull. If the shells are still shiny, leave them in the oven for a bit longer.
Cool the macarons before attempting to peel them from the cookie sheet. Most of these cuties turned out perfectly; a few of them had little explosion holes. Having one or two "ruined" cookies is great because you can taste test, guilt-free!
To make the filling, mash the raspberries and mix them with the mascarpone.
Fill the cooled macarons and then let them mature in the fridge for 24 hours before chowing down. These are the cutest sandwiches in the world, right? They're sweet and deliciously raspberry flavored. I love the shells because they've got such a concentrated berry flavor and the filling adds a fresh burst of deliciousness.
Aren't these so sweet and cute? I had to show you a close up shot because they're just so adorable. I have pretty small hands, but these still look tiny.
Here's the recipe page:

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