Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Cream Filling


I made these Macarons a while ago and was so happy they actually turned out this time!!  I went with a chocolate shell, and a cream cheese filling, flavored with homemade strawberry freezer jam.  Loved these so much!  They were fun to make and when something like this turns out right, it is very rewarding.  (The pics are big; but for some reason they are either huge or tiny, and I'm going with huge today....)


Chocolate Macarons with Strawberry Cream Filling
Shells from here

Macaron Shells:
110 grams blanched almonds, ground (OR use 110 grams almond flour/meal)
200 grams less 2 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
100 grams egg whites, aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
50 grams granulated sugar

1. Using a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are finely ground. Alternatively, you can use ground almonds. Add in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder and process until fully blended. Set aside.

2. Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the granulated sugar, and continue beating until the meringue is stiff, shiny, and stiff peaks form. Add the almond mixture to the meringue mixture, and using a rubber/silicone spatula, mix swiftly but gently until no streaks remain. The whole process should take no more than 50 strokes.

3. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip (I used Wilton #12) with the batter. Pipe small rounds (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) onto the baking sheets. Once you have piped out all of the batter, tap the cookie sheet on the counter to release any air bubbles. Let the maracons rest at room temperature for about an hour to allow them to harden their shells.

4. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes depending on size. Let the cookies cool completely before removing cookies from the cookie sheet.

Strawberry Cream Filling
adapted from here

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

1.  For the cream cheese frosting, beat butter and cream cheese a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add jam.  Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar 1/3 cup at a time and beat just until smooth.  If desired, add more jam or sugar at this point to get to the desired consistency and taste you want.

2.  When ready to assemble macarons, fit a large disposable pastry bag with a round tip and fill with frosting. Pipe about a tablespoon of frosting onto the bottom of half the shells, then sandwich with remaining shells. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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