Easter approaches and so does a bombardment of chocolate bunnies, hot cross buns, and rabbits popping out at you from shopping aisles. We're not complaining, mind you.
Here's a cute recipe we came across and had to share:
1¾ cups confectioners sugar
1⅓ cups almond flour or ground almonds
¼ tsp salt
4 egg whites
¼ cup superfine sugar
*gel food coloring if desired
**piping bag fitted with a #806 Ateco tip or equivalent
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
14 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method for Macarons
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and trace 4cm egg shapes onto the parchment as a guide for piping. Flip the parchment over before piping.
Combine almond flour, confectioners sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and blend until completely combined, 1-2 mins.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add superfine sugar and beat on high speed until meringue is glossy and (very!) stiff peaks form.
Fold almond flour mixture into meringue - I find about 50 strokes to be the magic number. The batter should be the consistency of lava.
As you are folding, you can add a drop of food coloring if desired.
Fill the piping bag with the batter and pipe egg shapes within the lines that you traced. The batter will spread a bit, so don't overfill.
Tap the baking sheet once or twice on the counter to release any air bubbles and with a slightly moistened finger, gently pat down any points on the surface of the shells.
Bake one tray at a time for 10-12 mins until shells are set but not browned.
Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool.
Method for Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
- Combine sugar and eggs whites in the bowl of your electric mixer or a large metal bowl.
- Place over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar is completely dissolved and isn't grainy when you rub it between two fingers.
- Remove from heat and using your electric mixer, beat on high with the whisk attachment until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the butter, piece by piece, and mix until incorporated.
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add the scraped vanilla bean seeds and extract. Continue beating until light, smooth and completely homogenized.
- Using a pastry bag, pipe 1½ - 2 tsps of filling on to half of the shells. Place an empty shell on top of the filling and press lightly so filling spreads to the edge, taking care not to crack the shell.
- *Optional* Pipe decorations with thick, piping consistency royal icing and allow to dry until icing is hardened.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Acknowledging Cathy Roma that inspired these beautiful creations. For more of her recipes see: http://whatshouldimakefor.com