Although I make macarons frequently, it is a first for me to do a macaron shape that is anything other than circular, so having seen meringue versions of snowmen in a shop recently I felt I had to make some as macarons….well, why not?!
Looking online, it is little surprise that macaron snowmen and other quirky macaron designs are quite commonplace – and while I used to think life is too short to be decorating macarons in particularly fine detail (other than a quick drizzle of melted chocolate over them, perhaps), I felt I had to at least give it a go.
If you have never made macarons before, or have made them but have had mixed results, please do have a look at my main macarons post, in which I have given full notes, top tips, troubleshooting advice, flavour ideas and the like.
My main macaron post arose from copious notes I had taken following the many disasters I had with making macarons a few years ago: not one recipe worked perfectly and consistently so, so I took elements from one recipe that worked and elements from others to give what works for me every time.
The snowman shape is easy: at the piping stage, you pipe one circle as normal and then a smaller circle just above, so that they meet and blend together at the join.
For these snowmen macarons I used the basic macaron recipe on the macaron post, using just under 100g of egg whites, giving me 18 filled snowmen (36 snowmen shells).
See “Top Tip 1: regarding the weights of each ingredient” on that post for the amount of the other ingredients for whatever amount of egg white you have (for it is much easier weighing out the whole egg whites first eg: using the whites from 2 eggs, and then measuring the other ingredients based on this)
Flavour, flavour, flavour!
I wanted flavour to come through in these, rather than just being plain macarons, so I used about 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger to the macaron mixture (mixed with the icing sugar and ground almonds). I decided not to add any colouring.
The macaron shells were filled with a stem ginger ganache: in the ganache recipe at the above macaron recipe link, omit the raspberry and instead add two pieces of either pureed or finely chopped stem ginger, plus 2 tablespoons of the stem ginger syrup to the mixture. If you feel the ganache is not setting enough, mix in a little more melted white chocolate.
These were very quick to do, taking about 30 minutes to decorate the whole batch. And of course you only need to decorate half of the macaron shells.
I had some marzipan that I kneaded with a little orange zest and puréed stem ginger: just a little is needed otherwise the marzipan becomes too wet to work with. This marzipan was then used for the noses and the scarves.
- eyes, button and mouth: melted white chocololate, coloured black and piped onto the macaron shells in dots
- nose: the above marzipan, coloured orange. Take a small piece, roll out with your fingers on the work surface that has been lightly dusted with icing sugar to give a long, very thin cylinder of marzipan. Cut off small pieces and gently roll the ends to taper it. Leave at room temperature to firm up. Stick to the macaron using a little drop of melted chocolate.
- scarf: the above marzipan, coloured red. Roll out as for the nose and cut into pieces a bit longer than the neck of the snowmen. Flatten gently and leave at room temperature to firm up. Once the macarons have been filled and stuck together, use a few drops of melted chocolate along the neck of the tops of each snowmen and place the scarves on.