Food, Love and Life in Brooklyn
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Written and Baked by Pitasushi
I know what most people will think when they see this title. “Yeah umm, does he really think I would ever consider doing this?” The answer to that is no, UNLESS… you have a little bit of cooking skills, are aware of what tastes amazing, and have the balls to try something scary. Everyone says to prepare for them failing, but so far with this easy recipe I picked up at a cooking class (thanks Gillian!) I’ve baked 4 batches since resulting in exactly zero garbage piles!
The recipe is a bit long winded so I won’t blabber too much, but let me just say these are some of the best treats I’ve ever tasted, much less cooked myself. A product of an amazing cook-fest with E, we seem to be gradually raising the bar. Proceed if you dare, I promise you won’t regret it.
I’ll apologize in advance…. this recipe is in weights. I would give cups and tablespoons and whatnot but a recipe like this calls for precision. If you don’t have a food scale, go and get one. They’re cheap, useful, and multipurpose.
Red Velvet Macarons **Courtesy of my DessertTruck cooking class and some tinkering
• 115g blanched almond flour
• 10g cocoa powder
• 125g powdered sugar
• 50g + 50g egg whites (little over 2 eggs)
• 110g granulated sugar
• 4 drops red food gel coloring
In a food processor, pulse the almond flour, cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar until fluffy. Boil a small pot of water, and find a large mixing bowl that can nest easily on top to form a double boiler. In that mixing bowl, whisk the first 50g of egg whites until soft peaks form, then EXTREMELY gradually whisk in the granulated sugar. It will become thick and glossy (meringue-y). Place over a double boiler for 20 seconds beating constantly to dry it out a bit. The meringue should be thick, shiny, and resemble marshmallow fluff. At this point whisk in food coloring then continue to beat until a lifted whisk forms a soft downward pointing peak, and the inside is unmoving.
This part sounds too easy to be right but it is. Pour the almond flour mix and remaining egg whites into the bowl with the meringue then with a rubber spatula, gently fold. Folding from the bottom, the goal is to mix as little as possible, so the moment it’s all smooth stop. The final mix should be uniform in color and thick like lava.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a straight tip (my store was size 10, it should be able to fit a pen through the tip). On a full-sized sheet pan covered with parchment, pipe 2” discs. Keep the piping tip about 1/4” away from the surface of the sheet pan and apply even pressure.
Once all macarons are piped, tap the pan on the counter 4-5 times to smooth tops and release air. Set the pan aside and allow the surface to dry for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on humidity (wetter out, longer dry). When you can tap them and they are dry, they’re done. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You can tell they are finished when they rise and their foamy base is dry to the touch.
At this point let them COOL COMPLETELY. I found it hard to not just grab at them, so this is a perfect time to make super easy cream cheese frosting!
Cream Cheese Frosting
• 4 tablespoons butter, room temp.
• 4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Scant 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and again beat until fluffy. Gradually add ½ cup of powdered sugar at a time so you don’t have to wear it. Congratulations! You’re done!
Now, gently run an offset spatula underneath each macaron to release it. Pair them by size making the prettier ones tops.
Note: You will get some ugly ones, they’re for taste testing. Also note I dropped one on the floor at this point. You can guess what its future was.
Pipe about 1 full teaspoon of filling into each cookie sandwich. The macaron should be generously filled since this frosting is light on flavor.
Gently twist the top on, then place on a plate to dry. They keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to a few weeks. Like a fine wine, I think these get better with freezer age just make sure you let them get to room temperature before eating. Also, be warned, they’re crack-level addicting and will disappear quickly so beware showing them to friends. Now go be brave and try these!
I made macarons a couple Christmases ago as gifts. I’m much more of a cook than a baker, but I was psyched to challenge myself. It was intimidating, but they came out great! I did 5 different flavors, one of which was a coconut macaron with Pandan flavored cooking. Pandan reminds me of your coconut cookies. It’s a South Asian leaf that results in delicious neon green baked goods. Maybe a thought for your next batch. The “I Love Macarons” book had great step by step recipes to tweak with crazy things like pandan flavoring!
Thanks Sonamaist! We’ll have to check out the “I Love Macarons” book. Sounds like something we could get into.