I have to admit this post is more like an error report than recipe sharing. This was actually the first macaron recipe I tried to create: some strawberry macarons with grounded dried strawberries. One thing I didn’t like about my pistachio macarons was that they were too sweet, so I lowered the sugar content in my strawberry macarons, neglecting the fact that adequate amount of sugar is essential for the structure of the shells.
So in my first go I got all these cracked shells with no feet at all; the shells, after resting for more than 40 minutes and blow drying with a hair dryer, still felt a bit sticky when I touched them. Now I understand that it had something to do with the sugar content.
I dig out several macaron recipes and compared the ratios between each ingredient; and I found that the higher the sugar content in the shells, the nicer the shells would look (smooth surface with even feet). Then I adopted the ratio with the minimum amount of sugar.
Anddd.. it went okay! As soon as the surfaces of the shells didn’t stick to my finger after resting for 20 minutes, I felt like I was a step closer to success. After seeing the feet appearing after 4-5 minutes in the oven, I felt like I was another step closer.. until I made a wrong decision. I noticed that one or two of the shells started to turn brown so I transferred the tray to the lowest rack. I saved the top from burning but the bottom was burnt instead 😦 (The remedy of this will be in the conclusion at the very end)
So here comes the final recipe for the strawberry macarons 😀
Makes 24 pieces of 3.5cm wide macarons
… 100g egg whites
… 45g sugar
… 100g ground almond (I used super fine ones)
… 15g freeze dried strawberries
… 180g icing sugar
… rose red food colouring
… pinch of salt
… 170g white chocolate
… 5 tbsp heavy cream
… 60g freeze dried strawberries (blended)
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
2) Sieve 100g of the icing sugar and ground almond, set aside.
3) Use a blender to blend 80g of icing sugar and freeze dried strawberries (the icing sugar can keep the strawberry powder from sticking together)
4) Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 of granulated sugar at a time until a stiff peak is formed
5) Add 3 drops of rose red colouring and whip until well incorporated
6) Pour in the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until you cannot see any dry flour. The batter should look shinny 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.
7) Transfer batter to a piping bag, cut the corner and pipe out the batter on the circles
8) Tap the pan hard, 2 to 3 times, to release any air bubbles. Allow them to sit for 20 minutes until they are dried out and be tacky to the touch.
9) Preheat the oven to 150*C while you are waiting for the macarons to dry out
10) 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.
11) Put the macarons shells aside to cool down
1) Melt the white chocolate and heavy cream in a steel mixing bowl over boiling water. Stir until smooth.
2) Add in ground strawberry and mix well. Allow mixture to cool.
3) Pipe the ganache to the shells.