Earl gray macarons

My boyfriend turned 24 on October 7th! For his birthday celebration I baked an earl gray cake accompanied by earl gray macarons. It was definitely a wild card but it turned out wonderful and everybody loved it!
Macarons can be tricky to get just-right, and it will take practice, but I find that this recipe is the absolute best! Although I do not recommend baking macarons without a kitchen scale since just 10g more will make a huge difference.
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EARL GRAY MACARONS
120g egg whites, divided
35g sugar
150g finely ground almonds or almond meal
150g powdered sugar
150g sugar for the syrup
50g water for the syrup
4 T  ground up Earl gray tea leaves

Set the oven to 160 degrees C (320 degrees F)     If you are using whole almonds, blanch them and let them de-hydrate,  Then ground them finely in a mixer into a nut meal. Sift the ground almonds so no big pieces remains, Weigh out 150 grams on a kitchen scale (not neccessary if using already ground up almond meal) Mix together almond flour and sifted powder sugar. Whip 60 grams of egg whites to soft peaks, add 35 grams of sugar while whipping. If you are using a standing mixer you can do this step while making the sugar syrup.

Mix sugar and water for the sugar syrup in a small pan. On high heat, boil until temperature reaches 118 C on a candy thermometer (230 F) While whipping the egg whites on low speed, add the sugar syrup in a thin stream.
Whip the meringue on medium/high speed until it’s completely cool and the meringue is shiny. It takes about 10  minutes.

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1. Mix the remaining 60 grams of egg whites with the almond and sugar mixture. Add color if desired. (I used a tiny bit of blue)

2. Fold the meringue into the almond mixture and mix carefully with a spatula

3. Add the earl gray loose tea leaves.

4. Gently combine the ingredients until ingredients are mixed together. Be careful not to over mix the batter.

Fill a piping bag with a round tip and pipe small macarons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Peaks in the batter should disappear after a while. If they don’t, tap the baking sheet to the table a couple of times. Bake for about 10-15 minutes (the baking time varies depending on the oven)  Let the macaroons cool completely and fill them with you favorite filling.   Mine are filled with the signature Creamy vanilla buttercream

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Creamy vanilla buttercream
2 sticks butter, tempered
1 T whippig cream, tempered
3 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt

To make the butter cream: cream the butter until creamy together with the scrapings of the vanilla bean and a pinch of salt.  Slowly add the powdered sugar. When it becomes too stiff, add the cream, and beat the frosting into a creamy soft deliciousness.

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