I have been making many batches of macarons in recent weeks – sadly not all for me: most have been for friends, with a few macarons from some of my batches used for temperature testing for a recent post.
Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits and I need little excuse to use these in sweet bakes: fresh, dried, curd…..any or all work for me! I was rather late to the blueberry party, though: only really taking to their sweet-acidic flavour in the past year or so, but now I adore them.
Despite my utter love of chocolate and coffee (tiramisu macarons remain a favourite of mine), I tend to prefer the refreshing, tangy flavours of fruit when it comes to macarons. I particularly love the way the sharpness cuts through the sweetness of the macaron shells.
I have some blueberry powder that I am gradually using up and the remains of another batch of raspberry curd I made a few weeks ago, while clearing out the frozen raspberries from the freezer, so what better use for them……
I really must give a shout out to fruit curd: it makes a perfect, almost ready-to-go filling for macarons – it just needs a little melted white chocolate in there so that it become a little less oozy, and job done! As I have mentioned in other posts, a little of it beaten into buttercream really perks things up and gives a great fruity flavour. The recipe link for the raspberry curd is given at the bottom of the post.
The macaron recipe
The shells were made as in the recipe (the link is at the bottom of the post), with the addition of 2 teaspoons of dried blueberry powder and a little powdered burgundy food colour in with the almonds.
The addition of the fruit powder in the shells gives a subtle tang in the shells, but you have to be sparing with this as adding additional ingredients into a macaron mixture can affect the outcome: typically, feet being not as perfectly formed as if you had added nothing. But then you do get the bonus of flavoured, rather than just coloured, shells…….Well, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other!
The macaron recipe link at the bottom of the post has the full guidelines for making macarons, including troubleshooting and top tips, some of which I have given below.
Believe me, I almost lost count of the number of batches macarons I have made a few years ago while trying to get to grips with them: I still have my little notebook with frustrated scribblings of things that didn’t work, things that kind of worked and things that did work, and it is quite fun re-visiting my comments of the time!
A few key tips
A few quick tips for making macarons, though:
- don’t over-mix the macaron mixture: under is much better than over! You only need to mix until a trail of the mixture slowly disappears back into the mixture
- rap the baking trays with the piped macaron shells on several times on the floor or work top (keep the tray as flat as you can!). This helps dissipate larger air bubbles which could otherwise make the macarons rise too much and then crack, as well as giving hollow interiors. A cocktail stick can be use to burst any that make their way to the surface
- leave the piped macaron shells at room temperature for about an hour or just until the tops are no longer sticky – a thin skin will have formed
- bake one tray at a time in the oven, rotating the tray after about 7 minutes when the feet start to form
- leave the macarons to cool on the baking tray: they lift off easily then
For this batch I used 3 few tablespoons of raspberry curd and about 1 tablespoon of melted white chocolate. I also added 2 teaspoons of blueberry powder, but just the curd and chocolate work well.
I piped some more melted chocolate over the tops and sprinkled over some dried raspberry pieces. Gilding the lily, perhaps, but why on earth not??
I have used raspberry and blueberry for macarons a few times before and rather than white chocolate drizzled over them, I dusted each shell with the blueberry powder. It really is a case of whatever takes your fancy at the time.