Monday, October 3, 2016

Earl Grey Macarons

Macarons are just the cutest looking treats. It's been a long while since I made them, 3 years to be exact. These Chocolate Macarons were the last mac I blogged about, but I've had success with matcha macarons and black sesame macarons since then. Personally, I am not a huge fan of macarons. I love baking them more than eating them for sure. They are finicky, and it takes patience to make these delicate bites. Thanks to the humidity- it took a whole hour for these shells to dry!

There are many.. or maybe way too many mac recipes out there. The nerdy me decided to compare all of them on an excel spreadsheet. I'd say the white to dry mixture should fall around 30%, but don't take my word on it until you see more macaron success stories on this blog.

Earl Grey Macaron
- makes about 16
60g egg whites, about 2 *separated and aged in fridge for 2 days
40g sugar
110g powdered sugar
70g almond flour
2 tazo earl grey tea bag, grounded
optional: 1 drop of red and 1 drop of blue gel food coloring 
1. In food processor, pulse and ground tea leaves. Add almond meal and icing sugar and pulse to mix.
2. Sift dry ingredients into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat/whisk egg whites until frothy. Slowly add sugar and continue whisking until you have glossy stuff peaks. (Optional: add gel food coloring just before you reach stiff peaks)
4. Add dry ingredients to the whites and gently fold. Keep folding until batter has a soft consistency and drops off the spatula and sinks back into the batter in the bowl. Batter should be lava-like.
5. Place batter in a piping bag with round nozzle attached. Line baking tray with silpat/parchment paper with template underneath and pipe even circles onto the paper. Remove template when done.
6. Leave piped macarons in a cool dry place to dry for anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours.
7. Preheat oven to 325F, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes until the shells easily peel away from the paper. Allow to cool completely.
8. While the shells are cooling, prepare the honey buttercream (recipe to follow).

Honey Buttercream
recipe halved from The Tart Tart
1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (62g) powdered sugar
1 Tbsp (21g) honey
Beat everything together!

Discard an insignificant amount of large pieces.
Beat egg whites to stiff and glossy peaks.
Gently fold dry into whites, making sure to scrap down the bowl.
Pipe even circles onto mat.
Let dry.
When done baking, let cool on a rack before removing from mat.

Pair similar sized macarons, pipe onto half, then sandwich with the other.
Place macarons into an airtight container and keep in fridge overnight. They taste best when the shells absorb some of the moisture from the buttercream and get a nice chewy bite.

Can also freeze up to 3 months! Simply take them out of freezer and let them come to room temperature before enjoying.

My earl grey macarons came out crisp, light, airy, and slightly chewy/moist inside. The grounded earl grey tea leaves delivered subtle earl grey/floral note and a wonderful aroma. I paired the earl grey shells with a simple honey buttercream.

Notes for next time:
  • For a purple colored shells (why's earl grey purple anyways?) , add 2-3 drops of blue and red gel food coloring each. I only added 1 drop of blue and 1 drop of red gel food coloring this time, and the end results were not at all purple.
  • Pair with an earl grey infused chocolate ganache - just personal preferences!

Taste: 4.5 stars out of 5
Subtle and pleasant earl grey notes
Texture: 4.5 stars out of 5
Crisp, light and airy!

If you are my coworkers/friends/family, enjoy the many macarons to come in the near future. Thinking of a matcha macaron with dark chocolate ganache!

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