2013 Valentine’s Heart-Shaped Macarons

Feb 12

2013 Valentine’s Heart-Shaped Macarons

Serves 18-20
Prep time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Dessert
Region French
Website Bonbini!
Heart-shaped macarons filled with raspberry ganache, perfect for Valentine's Day!

Ingredients

Mass

  • 150g almond flour
  • 150g powdered sugar
  • 50g egg whites
  • pinch red and/or pink powdered food color

Italian Meringue

  • 120g sugar
  • 40g water
  • 54g egg whites

Raspberry Ganache

  • 100g heavy cream
  • 160g white chocolate
  • 30g raspberry puree

Directions

Preparing the Mass
Step 1 Sift almond flour and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. There will be solids left after sifting. Either save it for another recipe or give it a quick whirl in the food processor. But be careful not over process or else the almonds will start turning to a paste. Place the processed left overs back in the sifter. Depending on your almond flour/meal expect some left over.
Step 2 Add a pinch of red or pink powdered food coloring.
Step 3 Mix in the 50 grams of egg whites until it resembles a thick paste. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the mass and set aside while you make the Italian Meringue.
Italian Meringue
Step 4 Place sugar in a small heavy sauce pan (preferably one with a pour spout).
Step 5 Add water and ensure that it coats all of the sugar.
Step 6 Place 54 grams of egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk.
Step 7 Heat the sugar and water mixture and at the same time whip the egg whites on medium high-speed.
Step 8 The temperature of the syrup should be 240 degrees, while the consistency of the egg whites should be soft peaks.
Step 9 Place mixer on high as you pour the syrup into the egg whites. Ensure you slowly pour the syrup on the side of the bowl as to not have it hit the whisk.
Step 10 Whip up the meringue until stiff peaks (about a minute). It should resemble shiny shaving cream.
Final Mixing and Folding of the Mass
Step 11 Lighten your mass by adding about a third of the meringue. Mix by folding, but also flatten the mixture as you fold. You don’t want air in the mass since it will cause hollow shells.
Step 12 Add remaining meringue and mix/fold, but do not overmix. Mass should be slow-moving and somewhat thick, but not too fluid.
Piping and Baking
Step 13 Place mixture in a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Step 14 Using the back side of a baking sheet, place a piece of parchment paper or silpat.
Step 15 Pipe heart shapes no larger than 2 inches on the parchment/silpat (see notes for piping hearts).
Step 16 Carefully drop pan on counter to remove any air pockets and let rest for an hour.
Step 17 Bake at 295-300 degrees for 12-15 minutes (this depends on the temperature). Turn baking sheet mid way for even baking.
Step 18 Remove macarons from parchment/silpat after three minutes.
Raspberry Ganache
Step 19 Mix cream and raspberry puree in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
Step 20 Remove from heat and whisk in white chocolate until smooth.
Step 21 Let it sit for a few hours or overnight and then pipe onto macarons.
Assembly
Step 22 Match like sized/shaped macarons.
Step 23 Fill each macaron with raspberry ganache using a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Note

Tips on making heart-shaped macarons:

  • Use a small piping tip
  • Start piping the heart from the top of one side, pipe a round circle, drag and then slowly release when you reach the tip
  • Complete the heart by doing the same on the other side until you reach the bottom point to join the two sides
  • Piping a heart is like forming a "V"
  • Use a template to pipe consistently shaped hearts--place template under your silpat/parchment paper and carefully remove before baking

Additional tips on making macarons:

  • A convection oven is excellent for making macarons.  You will have to experiment with the temperature, but I usually bake them at 395 degrees using the convection bake option.
  • Macarons are best even the day after.  Let them sit overnight.
  • Want to know how I learned to make macarons?  Check out Chef Thip Paine's website and her classes.  She is an excellent instructor and is very patient.

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