Strawberry Macarons with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries


Strawberry Macarons

Long time no post… again. Sorry for the lack of posts fellow readers and bloggers! College has done the inevitable–taken my life away. Being invovled in three different student councils while remaining a student has definitely taken a toll on me recently. Now that I finally have a break, I want to share some of my Fall quarter creations with all of you!

Today I wanted to showcase Strawberry Macarons that I’ve made in the past. These babies are sweet, but fruity. After conquering basic macarons, I became notorius for being the “kid who knows how to make macarons”. Kristina, a friend of mine, loved strawberries and I couldn’t think of a more fitting twist to the sweet and delicate French macaron. After some research I stumbled upon (you guessed it…) Tartelette’s blog. Turns out she already had an experience with Strawberrie Macarons and I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself .

The adapted recipe that I have below has three components, the shell containing dried strawberries, the vanilla Swiss Merengue Buttercream filling, and a slice of fresh strawberry to finish it off. There isn’t much difference between the typical macaron shell and this one, only a variation in the amount of ingredients added. Please refer to the original post for any details.

While the original recipe calls for powdered food coloring, I’ve found that gel and liquid coloring works as well. If you plan to substitute gel for powdered coloring, add it in after beating the sugar into the egg whites and soft peaks hold. If you plan to substitute liquid for powdered coloring, add it in towards the end of the beating process. Also, if you can’t find pink coloring, try using red!

Swiss Merengue Buttercream is a beast that deserves a post on its own. It is well known and commonly used on wedding cakes and cupcakes. Many of you might have already made a form of swiss merengue buttercream without realizing it. It’s much more delicate in flavor than traditional buttercream made from confectioner’s sugar and butter. It is very forgiving in nature when it comes to beating. If it starts falling apart, just stick it in the fridge for 10 mintues and start beating again; it will surely come together!

After trying these macarons, they quickly became personal favorite. Throughout my personal macaronage, I’ve come to learn that macarons have two common reputations, one good and one bad. The good being cute and delicate while the bad being overly sweet and bland. Try this recipe and experience the light tartness from strawberrie slices highlight the sweet macaron and create a new taste that will surely please all.

I’d like you all to note that I’m starting to include weight measurements because macarons are honestly a science and I’m sure no one wants their macarons to go wrong! For the buttercream, feel free to go by volumetric measurements (I sure did!) because it is more forgiving when it comes to measurements.

Strawberry Macarons

Ingredients:

Dried Strawberry Powder

  • 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced

Macaron Shells

  • 90 gr egg whites (about 3) preferably aged 3-5 days in the fridge
  • 30 gr (2 1/3 Tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 200 gr (1 2/3 cup) powdered sugar
  • 110 gr (1 1/8 cup) almonds
  • powdered strawberries
  • powdered pink food coloring

Vanilla Swiss Merengue Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded
  • Round strawberry slices

Directions

Dried Strawberry Powder

Preheat the oven to 250 F. Position a rack in the center. Place the strawberry sliecs in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Let them dry for about 1 hour or until completely dried. Let cool completely. Process in a food processor or coffee grinder until extremely fine.

Macaron Shells

Pulse confectioners’ sugar, powdered food coloring, powdered strawberries, and almond flour in a food processor until combined and everything is finely ground. Sift mixture 2 times.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then gradually add sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold using a smooth motion until mixture is smooth and shiny. This should take no more than 50 strokes.

Macaron Batter

Preheat oven to 280 F. Pipe 1.5 inch circles 1 inch apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging the pastry tip from the side of rounds rather than vertically from the center. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let the sheets stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake macarons for about 15 to 20 minutes depending on their size.

Let macarons cool on sheets for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)

Macaron Shells

Vanilla Swiss Merengue Buttercream

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk consstantly. Whisk for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture feels hot to touch and you can no longer feel the sugar. The mixture will look like marshmallow cream.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the merengue on medium until it is cool and a thick shiny meringue forms. This should take about 5 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter one tablespoon at a time beating until smooth after each tablespoon. Once the butter is beated in, beat the buttercream on medium high for 6 to 10 minutes until it is thick and smooth.Add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the butter cream and fold with a sptula until fully incorporated. This can be kept in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month.

Assembly

Match two similarly sized macaron rounds together. Place two teaspoons of butter cream on a macaron cookie. Top with a strawberry round and the other macaron. Serve immediately or age in the fridge.

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