Friday, March 21, 2014

Blue Macarons with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
After these Strawberry Macarons turned out not-so-perfectly, I wanted to try again soon to redeem myself and prove that I could do them "right"!  So a few days after the strawberry ones, my daughter and I made these blue ones.  She took the majority of them to school to share with friends, as they had all been jealous when she'd brought a strawberry macaron to school earlier in her lunch.  
Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
I was happy to see that these turned out well!  They have the ruffly "foot", and only some of them came out with a "peak" (foot= good; peak= bad).  I used the same filling as I did for the strawberry ones, but used a bit of cocoa powder to make it chocolate-flavored. 
Blue Macaroons Shells

Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
Blue Macarons with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
adapted from here; filling from here

110 g almonds meal/flour
200 g powdered sugar
1 scant teaspoon powdered blue food coloring
50 g granulated sugar
100 g egg whites (about 3 egg whites), aged (left out) a day at room temperature

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

2. Pulse almond flour, powdered sugar, and powdered food coloring in a food processor until evenly mixed.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to whip until a shiny, stiff, glossy meringue forms (but not dry).

4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and add the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, briskly and quickly fold the almond meal into the egg whites. After a few brisk strokes, slow down and then gently incorporate the rest into the batter.You want a batter that flows and "ribbons" for at least 5 seconds.

5. Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (I use Wilton 12). Pipe the batter into 1 1/2-inch rounds, spacing them about 1-inch apart. (May want to trace circles on a paper and stick it under parchment for a "key".)  Whack the baking sheets on the counter a few times, then allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until a hard shell forms.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 280 degrees. Bake the macarons 10-12 minutes, depending on size. (Should be dry and lift away easily from parchment when done.) Allow to cool completely on the pan before using a small spatula to remove them. Match the cookies according to size and pipe filling on half, using the other half to form a sandwich.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use reduced-fat)
1/2 to 1/3 cup cocoa powder, to taste
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, or more to taste

1.  Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add cocoa powder and  powdered sugar, 1/3 cup at a time and beat just until smooth.
Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

Blue Macaroons w/Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling
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