… Pistachio macarons – the “happy nut” …

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I hadn’t been making any macaron after the gingerbread man batch I made at last Christmas! I was determined to only make round macarons (or something close to that) from then onwards because it was so hard to prevent the filling from squeezing out from the gingerbread man shaped shells! This time I made some round pistachio macarons with buttercream fillings. In Cantonese, we call pistachio “happy nut” because the half opened shells look like many little smiling faces 😀

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It is said that any kind of nut flour can be added to the macaron shell as long as 50% of  the flour is still almond flour. For these pistachio ones I bought some roasted pistachio from the supermarket; they were slightly salted so I didn’t add any additional salt to the shells. 

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Pistachio Macarons
Makes 24 pieces of 3.5cm wide macarons
Ingredients 
macaron shells
… 100g egg whites
… 50g sugar
… 50g ground almond (I used super fine ones)
… 50g ground pistachio (I used a blender to blend the roasted pistachios)
… 180g icing sugar (I used 200g and reckon it was too sweet)
… green food colouring
… pinch of salt if your pistachios are unsalted
buttercream filling
… 3 egg yolks
… 100g butter
… pinch of salt
… 4 tbsp sugar
… 1.5 tbsp water
… vanilla essence
… 20g ground pistachios (optional)
Instructions
macaron shells
1)Trace the shapes of circles on a baking sheet with a pencil and a round object, then flipped the baking sheet over and place on a baking tray
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2) Sieve the icing sugar, ground almond and pistachio and set aside
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3) Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 of granulated sugar at a time until a stiff peak is formed
4) Add 2 drops of green colouring at a time and whip until a desired shade is formed
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5) Pour in half of the dry ingredients at a time and fold with a spatula until you cannot see any dry flour. The batter should look shining and it should slowly flow down like a ribbon when you lift it up with a spatula. If not, gently press the batter against the side of the bowl for once or twice until so.
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6) Transfer batter to a piping bag, cut the corner and pipe out the batter on the circles
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7) Tap the pan hard, 2 to 3 times, to release any air bubbles. Allow them to sit for 15 to 20 minutes until they are dried out and be tacky to the touch.
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8) Preheat the oven to 150*C while you are waiting for the macarons to dry out
9) Bake at 150*C until the feet forms, take the baking tray out and turn it around (front to back), put it back in and the total baking time should be around 15 minutes. Touch it gently to check if the shell feels hard; if so, the shells are ready.
10) Put the macarons shells aside to cool down
Instructions
buttercream filling
1) Beat the egg yolks and salt until pale and thick
2) Boil the sugar and water until the syrup reaches a soft ball stage (that is when you drop a bit of it into cold water to cool it down, it will form a soft ball)
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3) Slowly pour in the syrup into the egg yolks and add in 20g of butter blocks at a time. Beat for another 10 minutes until the buttercream is creamy and looks like mayonnaise
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4) Add in vanilla essence and mix
5) Stir in ground pistachio (optional)
6) Pour the buttercream into another pastry bag and pipe the cream onto a macaron shell, then top with another shell to make a sandwich.

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7) Store in an airtight container for at least 12 hours before consuming
 Personal notes:
* I added 200g of icing sugar to my shells but I personally think it was a bit too sweet. I would suggest to reduce the amount of icing sugar to 150g but do not go under 150g as the sugar doesn’t only add sweetness to the shells but also holds up the structure
* This buttercream feels runnier than the chocolate ganache filling and it’s best to be stored in the fridge. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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