Spring is in the air
Summer is here
Sunshine never seize to inspire
Play with colours
Red n yellow showers
Simply think it's again happy hours
So Yes! It's that happy time of the year.. So poetic and picturesque. The broiling sunshine, the jaded green grasses, sparkling calm waters and chirping birds.. You would simply love to scribble poems and sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. Such a blissful occasion to let your imagination loose in everything from food to fair writing. The weather is so pleasant that it imparts a realistic essence of vigour in all actions... and I set out to make macarons again.
I had lot of ideas. I haven't yet participated in the Mac Attack at MAC TWEETS, a blog started exclusively for Macaron enthusiasts to share their mac adventures by two talented bloggers, Deeba and Jamie. This time they have set the theme to 'dual colored macarons' and I was more than willing to take the challenge in my elated mood. Thinking of the coming summer and the vibrant sun, the two colours which came to my mind were orange and yellow. Yes! the colour of Sunshine.
For the double colour effect I borrowed Kim of Macaron Fetish's method of putting different bags of batter into one piping bag and then squeeze to finish. For the shells I used the basic macaron recipe. For the flavour sake, lemon curd for the filling and dashes of 'sumac powder' on the top of the shells. Tangy and tempting, it tasted perfect for the season. If you are not a tangy love kinda person, the flavour may seem a little overpowering. In that case you can always go for jams and jellies and of course chocolate ganache.
This time I baked all the batches in my fan forced convection oven and they came out perfect as the heating was even. I found that baking macarons is easier in it than in the conventional gas oven I have with heating element at the bottom. I have seen some blogs quoting that you cannot bake macarons in a fan forced convection oven which I find is ridiculous as I get better results in it. I have doubts on whether they have even baked their macarons in fan forced CO, before they commented on its outcome. To see more about oven temperatures and macaron tips check my previous post on macarons.
Sunshine Macarons Recipe:
For the Macaron shells:65 g ground almonds
100 g icing sugar
50 g aged egg whites (about two egg whites)
25g granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Yellow and orange powdered food colour
Sumac powder (for garnish)
Lemon curd filling:
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
For the shell:
1. Firstly age the egg whites: Place egg whites in a clean bowl and cover lightly with a kitchen towel or tissue paper. It should not have any streaks of yolk in it. Keep it in your kitchen counter for 24 to 48 hours or up to 5 days in the fridge. Aging egg whites help to reduce its water content which is turn makes firmer shells for cookies.
2.Pulse the almond powder and icing sugar in the food processor or blender until fine and sift it into a large bowl to break lumps and aerate it. Discard any lumps or almond pieces. Keep it aside.
3.Whisk egg whites in a squeaky clean stainless steel bowl with no traces of fat in it, using an electric beater(medium speed) adding a pinch of salt.When the egg whites become foamy( like bubble bath) start adding granulated sugar slowly and beat on high until stiff glossy peaks.
4.Fold in the dry mixture to the meringue( beaten egg white) in two batches,quickly with a flexible spatula until well combined and no dry mixture is visible in the batter (it takes about 50 to 55 folds).At this stage your batter should be smooth, thick and shiny which slowly and ruggedly drips off your spatula as a ribbon when you lift it. Do not over mix once you have reached that thick batter stage.
5. Divide the batter equally and add orange food colour powder to one batter and yellow powdered food colour to the other and fold gently until combined. Take 2 plastic freezing bags, fold the bottom side up to the right, so that you can fill up the bag via the opening.Staple along the sides and fill each one with different coloured batter.Or you can use two piping bags and fill each with the different coloured batter.
6. Put those 2 bags carefully in the piping bag ,fitted with a round tip nozzle and pipe your macarons on to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper (about 2 and1/2cm diameter) leaving two inches between them. It should spread a bit as it settles. The point should slowly disappear if the mixture is the right consistency. If not you could hit the bottom of the tray with your hand to smooth the point. Sprinkle sumac powder over them.
7. Let your macarons sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will depend on the humidity in your house and the day. Try touching the macaron softly, after 15mins. It should not stick to your hand.If it does keep for a few minutes more.
8. Preheat the oven(fan forced convection oven)to 180 degree Cand then reduce to 160 degree while baking and bake the macarons for 15 to 20 minutes until completely done.
9.Take them out and let cool on a wire wrack along with baking paper for 15 to 20 minutes. Peel them out carefully with an offset spatula and sort them out with same size shells.
Make Lemon Curd:
- Stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Beat the yolks together in a medium bowl and temper with the hot lemon mixture.(that is: add a little hot liquid and quickly whisk in, then add a little more and whisk in)
- Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan and stir constantly over medium heat until the liquid thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Take two shells of same size, invert one and pipe a small dollop of lemon curd on to the base. Gently press the other shell over it to sandwich the filling in between. Do like this for the rest of the shells and keep in fridge to mature before you eat it. Enjoy!
Sending this to Mac Attack #29 conducted by MACTWEETS